|Posted by www.colinvalleyfc.co.uk on December 22, 2009 at 3:51 PM|
Yes I know - it's been a while, so shoot me!!
Sooo Christmas is finally upon us – and as usual at this time of the year I think it only right that we sit back and take stock of the 12 months that just passed. However just before we do that - there’s a little (oh ok then, a lot :D) to catch up on!
Since the last blog the Club have seen some very topsy-turvey periods in terms of performances and results – so I feel it only fair to everyone to have a quick reminder of the months we’ve had before we go summing up the year as a whole. Lets start with ….
After bouncing back from the clubs disastrous last week in September with two great wins against Suffolk Swifts (1st 1-0) and Kelvin OBs (reserves 4-2) the club went on to have what can only be described as a very "up and down" month. Great wins for the 1st team in the Junior shield against Dunmurry Young Men II (5-2) and Nortel II (2-0) were tempered with poor results against Lurgan Utd (pens) - which saw us bow out of the Junior Cup and St Pats (4-nil) in the league, a crushing home defeat which was never deserved but only highlights what we maybe lack in our own game - ruthlessness??
Whilst the reserves faired no better getting themselves back on track with good wins against Whitehead (5-1) and Plunkett (2-0) – but then having these results overshadowed by a second loss to fellow title contenders Woodvale, who beat us 3-0 at home - and this with three 1st team players being dropped down (Dunlop, O'Reilly, Murphy) to get some minutes and add extra steel!
So as we said before an "up and down" month – something that no doubt will happen from time to time at the club. But the real story of October, it has to be said, was not the results or performances on the pitch, it was more about the management team getting things right off it – as some hard decisions were made and new rules introduced. It was felt a shake-up was needed within the club and it duly arrived in the shape of some tough rules being enforced - I’m sure we all know what i'm referring to? Thats right - The new Rules ...
For the players it meant no more leniencies or bending of the rules that had been laid down at the very start of the season - and for the management, it meant needing to take a stepback from the players and showing a firmer hand on occasion. Looking at it now, I’m sure most would agree that things have settled down since those tough decisions – and I for one feel that the actions taken were the correct ones at the time …… even if it did leave the 1st team short of playing staff for the St Pats game.
Sometimes in a club - especially one making a new beginning - it’s more important to deal with the internal club issues of the moment than worry about what it will mean regarding the team selection come Saturday. Certainly no one has “forgotten” to bring their £5 on a Tuesday night in a while, and there has been a noticeable drop in players missing training on a Tuesday night with “phantom” injuries - that miraculously seem to disappear come football night on Thursday or match day on Saturday (you listening Foster? or how about you Bensy? lol).
Six games, Six wins! If October failed to live up to expectations - or put simply “Sucked” - then November it has to be said quite literally “Rocked” – as the Club seemed to take a huge breath of fresh air and rejuvenate itself for the push to Christmas. All comers were despatched with consummate ease – which was all the more amazing seeing as the first team kept shooting themselves in the foot. First they went to nine men against St Theresa’s in the Cochrane & Corry Cup with Foster and Fay being dismissed by a comic of a referee – then Liam McGreevy saw red a week later against Ballynahinch Olympic for a professional foul on their striker, prompting a man-of-the-match perfomance from our clubs very own all rounder John Benson, who showed yet again he really is a Jack-of-all-trades! The fact that the team went on to win both these contests shows just what a tough pre-season can do for the fitness and stamina as the players chased and harried all over our mammoth pitch to get the results they needed! They finished the month on a high - a tremendous Hat-Trick from Marty Kelly helping them to a great 3-1 win over a decent All Saints OB in the Junior Shield.
The reserves weren’t to be out-done though as they went one better managing to grab top spot in the league for the first time during the season pulling off a great 1-0 away win against St Theresa’s on the 21st of the month. This was made all the more satisfying seeing as it proved to be most of the St Theresa’s first team that were beaten on the day - a task the 1sts failed to do a month later. A week after this a certain Mr McNama was not allowing M.Kelly in the 1sts to upstage him as he grabbed a Hat--trick as well (Whitehead Eagles 3nil) helping to cement his teams place at the top of 3F. These results showed us all just how even and balanced our squad really had become and it is now apparent that there is not much in it between the reserve and 1st team players in terms of quality - something which should help the club no end as we all continue to move forward together.
To round off – December saw a pretty similar month for both teams. A very good win, being tempered by a shock loss away from home to mid-table opponents - the only thing that differed was the order it happened in. For the first team they saw a morale boosting 8 nil win over Carryduff (which included another Hat-trick on home soil, this time for an ever-improving P.Duff) followed by a 3-1 win over Crumlin Rec in the Cochrane and Corry Cup, all being spoiled by a shock loss to St Theresa’s (2-0) to end the year. And even though the venue and conditions played a big part in the defeat – it has to go down as 3 precious points sorely lost.
Whilst the reserves temporarily lost top spot in the league to Portavogie after a disastrous loss to Kelvin Old Boys - only to regain it again a week later with a tremendous win on home soil over title rivals Portavogie themselves. That win leapfrogged the team back over the fishermen and into the driving seat and also inflicted upon them their only defeat of the season – surely giving Valley the psychological edge if it ever comes to a run in between the two teams in the title race!
So all in all a pretty eventful 3 months for Colin Valley FC to end what has been an absolutely magnificent year for the club - and although there are a few results that could have gone better for us in the first half of the season - i think you'd have to agree that it's been pretty damn fulfilling just to be where we are. Now the players need to take a little 10 day break to kick back and enjoy Christmas then realise that the season IS only halfway through and that we could do even more in the 2nd half if we all just believe it!
Now - for a little thoughtful insight on the year as a whole you’ll just have to wait a little longer ……..