Blog 110 - 11.03.18

Blog 110 - 11.03.18

David Taylor and Brian Turner were two of the happiest people on the planet at twenty past seven today at McLennan Park, Papakura.

Their Onehunga Mangere team had just taken care of Beachlands Maraetai by two goals to nil in the second leg of the play off for entry into the Northern League division two for season 2018.
The game was tight with both goals coming late in the second half.

Football is an amazing sport when it has two experienced ex All White greats jumping up and down like school boys. Congratulations to all at the club particularly to young goalkeeper Fergus Connolly who joined them from Manukau City and played in today’s game.

Week seven of Pre season has come and gone. “Circle work” or “Rondos” were included in our training. For the record I have been utilising up to eleven players in this manner for nigh on fifty years. I use them for many practices both technically and tactically.

The week went well but our performance to finish off the week against Cambridge left a lot to be desired. Most aspects of our game were well under par particularly our passing and movement.
Minus the ball we still are not closing down quick enough nor playing with enough conviction.
What did come out of Saturday’s game was a first class performance from Tino Contratti, the young Argentine defender who was head and shoulders above anyone else on the field. He looked like he wanted to play. With performances like this it is him and ten others for the next game.

That game sees us travel to play the team of the moment Waiheke United. Their creditable 1-1 draw last week with Western Springs suggests better things are in store for them than the Northern League first division.
I never have been too concerned with pre season results simply because there are no points for pre season games. What I do take note of is the personal performance of all players particularly if they are new to the club.

Our opening fixture will see us at least short of three players due to other engagements.
As a coach I can only grin and bear it. It’s nothing new in fact most games this year has seen us under strength and in particular minus a regular goalkeeper. A situation we are still in despite pleas for help.
If you are reading this blog and feel up to the task give me a ring or just turn up to training on Tuesday at Massey Road 6.30pm start.

Talking of coaches Darije Kakezic will no doubt recall his introductory interview at the Phoenix. He was the man who was going to take the Australian Soccer League by storm and talked of winning it in his first season. Prior to the board pulling the plug on his leadership he was actually bottom of the league.
Am I surprised, in a word “no.”
His welcome to Wellington maiden speech had disaster written all over it. Never tempt fate and start shouting the odds in any coaching job.
At National team level Andreas Heraf has not had the best start to his NZ international coaching career losing 2-0 twice to Scotland at the Pinatar Football Arena in Spain. What is particularly significant is Heraf has a New Zealand women’s team full of experienced players.

Soon the season will begin what’s my expectation?
To survive. I state it to all and sundry who ask me that question. The pre season upheavals with players has meant our preparation has suffered badly.
At no stage this season have we had the team together for reasons way beyond my control. I cannot teach absentee players.
So survival is the aim.

If the Blog sounds like all doom and gloom my reading has followed suit.
Every book I buy or obtain has a couple of stories. Initially it’s how you got the book and then there is the book itself.
The biography of Leonard Cohen “I’m Your Man” by Sylvie Simmons came into my life via my daughter Bianca. She knows Dad well enough to say “he will love reading this book.”
It’s seen a few owners (I suspect) is over five hundred pages and delves deeply into the life of Leonard Cohen poet, recording artist, father and now deceased.
I have always been a Cohen fan and was at the last concert the man performed here in Auckland.
Considering in his younger day he did not enjoy live stage performances he did well to continue into his eighties. Whenever I put his music on there is undoubtedly a comment about depression or who is this? Leonard Cohen appeals to a select audience. In life he was no different and he did things differently. Reading about his wandering life between the Greek island of Hydra and Montreal and reading some of the notable poems or playing some of his popular songs was most enjoyable for me.
“Suzanne“ “Bird on a wire” “Good Bye Marianne” all classics.

To top of the week I purchased a new 99 cent double album entitled “Roses” by “The Cranberries.” Dolores O’Riorden is no longer with us but her voice lives on. Like all star performers the group has its own distinct sound. “Roses” is the best value for money album I have ever made. Love “Zombie” with that daunting musical intro also “Linger” “Animal Instinct” “Dreaming My Dreams” and many more.

WOW (word of the week) Zombie, noun, a will-less, lifeless person unresponsive to their surroundings.

POW (phrase of the week) “Pulling the plug” a reference to the demotion of head Phoenix coach Darije Kakezic after many poor team performances. Meaning to discontinue support, to end someone’s plans, to cut off.

Make sure you prepare with maximum intensity soon the season will be finding you out if you didn’t work hard enough in training.

Posted: Sun 11 Mar 2018