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OK so we didn't win. To be honest, Chipstead have a very big, powerful side who made full use of their size and strength. Fair credit to them they played well and made the most of their physical advantage, however, each year that advantage will diminish and technique, skill, and approach to the game will win the day.
I thought our boys played well…in parts. And, that is the lesson from the weekend … we must play well for longer periods, and minimise our mistakes with better decision making. Simple things like closing the defensive line, supporting the ball carrier, thinking where you should be on the pitch, and what you should be doing when you don't have the ball. All things that will come with practice, and more game time. But, the boys also need to be ready to switch on every Sunday morning.
With a bit more shape to our game, and with all boys switched on and showing controlled aggression, I think we can compete with the best … I hope the boys believe that too. Whilst we will continue to focus on our physical development, I also think we need to try and work on the boys' mental approach to the game. It is a team game, and the boys need to want to work for themselves as well as their teammates – as exemplified by player of the week, Connor, who, as well as playing well, yet again showed the mental strength and determination to want to play for the team even after being stamped on, kicked in the chest, and elbowed in the face (not to mention having to put up with living with the Head Coach outside of training and match time). Well done Connor.
Next week we have another very tough match with Dorking. They will be another very good team. Well, if we want to be the best we have to play the best.
Please can I ask all boys to make an extra effort to attend on Sunday, as I would really like to have a strong showing and performance to see off the end of 2013, and set the platform for 2014.