“Commitment to the team - there is no such thing as in-between, you are either in or out!” (Pat Riley)
A new season, a new team, a new (slightly snug) kit, and hopefully a new improved Davey to go with it!
Well, sadly the Wrexham Raiders folded, with Hope Lions picking up the registrations of our battle-worn survivors. By the end of the year we had just five players struggling against teams with huge squads and endless benches of players, but fought our way through to third in the league, thanks largely to our captain Mike... it was like something out of The 300, I was exhausted by the end!
Having only started playing properly last year at the age of 27, there’s a nagging sense of urgency in the back of my mind, so the day after the season finished, I could be found in the gym and on the court, trying to push on and get ahead for this year. Hopefully it’s worked, the hours of shooting has made me more accurate (at least in practice) and I’m a stone heavier, so hopefully not as easy to push around as I was last year. I’ve also had great support from the nice people at the Sports Council who helped me out with equipment, as well as support from Joyce Barrow and the Wynnstay Coach House Gym who helped me out with free use of their equipment, which has been awesome and something I could have never afforded on my own.
We’ve had our first game with the Lions, who as well as picking up our registrations, also acquired a some really good players from the Apex and Shropshire Warriors sides, like Rob Clarke, Max Gore, Chris Jones and Aziz Ibraham. Mind you, after last year it feels so strange to back to training with a huge squad of players again!
I was chuffed to bits to be on the starting lineup for our opening game against Wirral Metros. Some of the new guns weren’t available, but even so we had a huge squad. Our starting five played well and got to a bit of a lead. The matches up to Christmas only count towards the cup seedings, so we can afford to try new things and get to know each other. We tried some different lineups and tactics... which as you can tell by the losing scoreline, didn’t work straight out of the box, but I thought was good for a first game shakedown.
Annoyingly I’m carrying an injury as my ankle is still not right. I went over on it the first day of preseason training with the Lions and though it’s got quite a bit better, it’s still painful and alarmingly... well... ‘crunchy!?’ I’ll give it a while longer, but it might yet need a trip to the quacks!
I do miss our old Raiders kit and if I’m honest I still miss being a Raider, but I really think we're going to come together as a unit at Hope. At the team shout at the beginning of the match, I’m sure I heard our old captain Mike whisper RAIDERS! instead of Lions... old habits!
I hope you like the new home for the blog. It’s got all the posts from last year here too and you can even leave me a message or comment by clicking below!