2017-18 Season Wrap Up
It has been a busy 2017-18 ball hockey season as this was the first season to see the introduction of the Junior league as well as the continuity of the adult league.
There were 6 junior teams, Spring Point Spartans sponsored by Falklands Xtreme Adventures, Goose Green Cavaliers sponsored by FIC, Camilla Creek Crusaders sponsored by Templars Medical, Fitzroy Foxes sponsored by The Fitzroy Social Club, Walker Creek Warriors sponsored by Saddle Direct and the Port Howard Patriots sponsored by SATLAN. They were all competing in the Junior Morrison Xtreme League with the eventual winners the Camilla Creek Crusaders taking the top spot by a superior goal difference to that of the Spring Point Spartans. The Crusaders were worthy winners as they worked well as a team and obtained some excellent results and overall dominated the record table for the season. Kingsley Chipunza taking the top scorers and top assists spot and Hugo Francis scoring the most goals in a match, not to mention the team scoring the most goals in a game and having the biggest winning margin in a game. They were also tied with the Spartans on games won in a row. Stevie Bennett, Ian Martin and team manager Jane Francis must also take credit for helping the Crusaders to victory. Every player, coach, parent and team manager should pat themselves on the back for a job well done as without you none of this would have been possible.
Before the season began the junior players were able to undertake professional ball hockey coaching from CBHA coaches Gary Slavin and Dave Weloy who arrive in the Falkland Islands from Canada in August 2017. The training camp was setup to develop the juniors and the adults and increase the image of ball hockey in the Falkland Islands. It worked with the sessions being full to the brim with players of all ages wanting to obtain training from qualified coaches. This was all possible thanks to The Shackleton Scholarship Fund "Quality of Life" application who sponsored Gary and Dave getting to the Islands. Gary and Dave have become great friends and are in regular contact with us and want to continue to help from distance to ensure ball hockey continues to develop and grow in the Falkland Islands.
The adult league seen the introduction of the Spring Point Spartans sponsored by Falklands Xtreme Sports and increased the adult teams to 5. Due to the introduction of the Junior league and unfortunately due to lack of floor time the 3 trophies, FIC Xtreme Trophy, Morrison Xtreme League and Dynasafe BACTEC Xtreme Cup had to be condensed to fit it all in. The Port Howard Patriots dominated the season and created history by being the first team to claim the treble. The training provided by Gary and Dave really paid off for them as they clearly bought into the F1, F2 and F3 forward play and happily destroyed teams with their give and go passing and running into space. The Dyansafe BACTEC Xtreme Cup without doubt provided the most entertainment with teams only placing each other once it created a lot of pressure with each game. The Patriots were lucky to in fact get to the final and had to count on other results going their way. The Spartans were hoping to cause an upset and prevent the Patriots from taking the treble in this 2 game series but it wasn't to be as the Patriots dispatched them with ease in both games and not the final that the neutrals were hoping for.
So with the season over we can now reflect on the good points and the areas that need tweaking to make it a better experience for one and all. Expect some changes ahead going into the new season that will aim to please :) The structure of the tournaments will be reviewed, player allocation and also the age of the junior players. With some of the juniors now moving into the senior school we will need to look at introducing a Youth league, so long as there is the interest. The adult season will also undergo some changes as we wave goodbye to some players who are moving onto pastures new but also welcome new players willing to take up the challenge. It is hoped we can secure more floor time in the Leisure Centre to allow all of our ideas to come to fruition.
Currently during the off season Team Falklands are training during Thursday 6-7pm and 6-8pm as they look to get a team sent away to the ISBHF World Championships in Kosice, Slovakia 2019. This would be the first time the Falkland Islands have attended such an event and so therefore every effort is being made to ensure this happens. Please feel free to come along and try out for Team Falklands and be in with the chance to make history!
One thing that will be happening before next season starts is the 2017-18 awards ceremony and as soon as dates and venue are sourced we will get this advertised and invitations out to everyone. There is also the 'Draft Pick' to be undertaken for the adult league and will be advertised in the not so distant future so teams can be picked and players can start training together in time for the new season.
Its been a hectic season with some highs and lows but it has been a pleasure to be a part of it and to see so many players taking up the sport of ball hockey. It may be with further recruitment that more teams will required to be created for both adult and junior teams. Right now its time to sit back and reflect on a long and successful season and recharge the batteries in time for the new season, this will be difficult as Team Falklands now takes centre stage, fundraising and coaching are the order of the day.
For now though I will sit back and wait impatiently for the 26th May where Liverpool will once again be fighting for the chance to claim old bigger ears (the Champions League Cup for those non football fans). The nerves are jangling already and as its in Kiev I have already planned supper for the night :)