We did it!
Seven organisation-wide Come & Trys, two Academy Football 101s and a Meet The Coaches session later, we’ve almost made it Christmas. And we’re not actually finished either – the seniors have still got three Football 101s to go yet – but there’s much turkey and cranberry sauce to be had before we get that far.
It’s been an incredible year for us – not that much blood, fortunately, but buckets of sweat and a few tears, certainly. I remember the year starting off with incredible nervousness for me, as I took over this lovely write-nice-stuff-about-the-team-and-keep-us-out-of-libel-and-slander-court-please position formerly in January, and had to introduce myself to the Head Coach who I was marginally afraid of as when I announced his appointment as HC the previous year, I spelled his surname completely wrong.
There is no ‘s’ in Benton as it turned out, but there definitely is one in ‘I’m REALLY, REALLY sorry Coach …”.
I spelled it right when I was Tweeting about his ejection from the Hornets game, but that’s getting ahead on the story a bit.
We had nearly 100 people turn up to our Come & Trys in 2014 across the three teams and we had similar numbers again this year. It’s been an absolutely brilliant couple of months, AND no one had to arrive via a gondola like last year’s Dagenham adventure. We did lose a long-standing player for a few months after the pre-season-friendly-turned-mud-wrestling day in rainy Watford at the start of the season, but you can’t have everything.
Then there was ‘flag-gate’, probably less said, and then the amazing moment when our Academy became the first lot of Spartans in the club’s long history to beat some of the most formidable teams out there. The Under-17s almost won their league (and really deserved to), but instead went all the way to Cornwall to represent the club in the playoffs and made us all extremely proud.
We’ve been to Tilbury, Southend, Billericay, Dagenham and Chelmsford in thunder, lightning and in rain (well alright; drizzle, clouds and horrendous wind that one time) and we couldn’t be happier with the lot we’ve drawn this year. Again we’re going to be a young team, but again, we’re going to be a good one.
So we’re winding up for Christmas now (me especially – got a plane to catch) but there’ll still be the odd life-altering announcement and a standard Stitch-Up Thursday before it all goes quiet.
Thank you for sticking with us for another year – Merry Christmas and a joyful, undamaged ACL of a 2016 to you all.