Friday, June 26, 2009

Spartans G1: Let the Games Begin!

Meet the Spartans

Frontliners Spartans kicked off their PFL Div. 1 2009 campaign with an 8-3 win over Dalat Eagles on Tuesday. With the first two games of the league already providing goal fests for Penang’s floorball supporters, many would think a trend would follow. And it was a goal fest indeed.

Frontliners, in particular Kuan Yang wasted no time and opened the scoring about 2 minutes into the game. Not long after, the Spartans scored again through Wei Jian, on his debut.

However, a foul by Steven resulted to a penalty to Dalat and their captain Jason (yeah, both side’s captains have the same name) duly converted. Frontliners squandered their two-goal cushion when a defensive error opened up space for Dalat Eagles to equalize with a thunderous strike.
The match not only provided goals, but entertainment too with both sides working hard on the full international sized courts trying to capitalize on defensive errors and open spaces. Su Rong, also on league debut scored two goals in the first half and Algin made it 5-2 for the Spartans going into the break.

Frontliners started the second half with less momentum than in the first. Goalkeeper Sharron pulled off reflex saves which was very appreciated by both fans and players. The same can be said too of Dalat’s.

Su Rong rightfully claimed his Man of the Match status with a goal that sealed his hat trick thanks to a neat Spartans counter attack.

Pei Li, playing as centre for the first time showed no trace of nervousness as she went up against the big guys of Dalat, sometimes even giving away free hits for fouls.

Spartan’s captain, Ming Hwee displayed some of his dribbling skills from the half way line, slowly maneuvering between players until the ball ended up in goal.

Frontliners’ 8th goal was scored by Wei Jian, which pretty much put the game out of contest. Dalat however scored one more goal to make the final score 8-3.

Smiles were all around Frontliners camp as Kuan Yang and captain Ming Hwee gave a rundown on the night’s events.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Training 130609: Temperature

Well woman the way they time cold I wanna be keepin' you warm
I got the right temperature for shelter you from the storm

Imagine that. Frontliners Floorball now has its own soundtrack to training, kindly provided by the rapper trio of Julian, Tristan and Kyle (Sachin here and there).

But indeed, it was the right temperature for training, as illustrated by the model below: need to stand under any miserable trees.

[Vote: (a) Hot girl passing by OR (b) Frontliners doing awesomely in training]

For a warmup, and while waiting for other players to arrive, a star pass in slow motion was incorporated. Then, when the bulk of players arrived (Ms. Yi Lin could be heard a mile away), Coach Jason called the players together to get them into 'pairs of two' and do some passing.

Initially, the entire group of players bunched up at the far end of the court where the trees provided some kind of shade. However, Coach Jason quickly put an end to that, ordering the players to spread out evenly.

After some time, Coach Jason again called the players together, instructing them this time to get into 'pairs of three', evoking giggles and smothered laughs all over. Quite conscious of that, he amended his earlier statement into 'groups of three'.

In this drill, two players would stand at opposite ends, while the other was the runner in between. In a slightly 'V' position, the runner would run to one end, receive the ball, turn and pass to the other player. The runner would then repeat this movement another 19 times.

This drill was to help the players, especially centers and defenders, when they received the ball at the sides, to know who was around them and where to pass to.

Most players forgot to count their runs, and so ended up doing more than asked for.

In no time at all, Coach Jason called the players together for the final time, and announced game time. One question... where were the goals?

So in a very football-esque tradition, Coach grabbed two pairs of slippers and placed them at opposite ends.

The players were divided into four teams: one with the rapper trio, the second with Kuan Yang and ladies co., the third with the big boys, and the fourth... with Yi Lin's friends. A 5-on-5.

Roselyn 1, Big Boys 0 (no kidding!).
Yue Shern and Steven tussle for the ball. No prizes for guessing who's who.
A very modest Kuan Yang after a stunning solo goal against the big boys.
New player brought by Yi Lin, Wei Jian.
All right, fellas, strike your best pose!
Kuan Yang showing off... again.
You know it's bad when the kids start following Kuan Yang's example..

The temperature rose and rose, until finally Coach Jason called an end to training, happily announcing that training will be held in PBSM next week.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Training 060609: Return of the C-730

"Two hours of training only meh?!!"
"...seemed like forever-lah."

Only now do the Frontliners truly appreciate the meaning of indoor courts. While coach Kuan Yang stood pretty at the sides (more or less)... ...he made sure the players enjoyed no such thing as they labored under the sweltering heat.

It was reasonably good attendance, with two new players: Soon Chern (right) and Mayfield (left), yet the faces of most Div.1 players were sadly missing.

Most of the drills by the coach emphasized receiving while moving, looking up and passing. For the first few drills, he had four cones arranged along the basketball court, on both sides. One player would stand at the first cone, and another at the last cone, opposite each other. In constant motion, one player would pass and the other, instead of waiting for the ball to come, would run up, receive, return the pass, then backtrack. A few variations of this drill were done, with the coach throwing in dribbling and turning and drop-passing.

"Tired?" (coach)
"Okay. Let's do killer pass."

Killer pass: Three players in one group; two stationary and with the ball, one running to receive the passes and return them. Constantly. Two rounds for each threesome to complete, one run being forty seconds.

And after the much-deserved waterbreak, it was finally time for a game. But what's a game without a goalie?

So in walked Michael, the man of the moment, all suited up (which took him forever to put on), with an extra flourish, making him look all Arabian (according to Coach). However, since there was only one goalie, the team without was hard put by and let in two easy goals in straight succession before a fed-up Ming Hwee marched in and placed two cones as the goal.

The game was much fairer now (that is, until Ming Hwee came in and hogged the ball all the way), and it was a real battle between two constantly changing and exchanging sides. Su Rong especially, could be seen everywhere at once. The two newcomers seemed to be able to get the hang of the game pretty fast. Julian and Kyle were like Yorke and Cole/Berbatov and Keane/Puskas and Di Stefano(football partnerships..). And June?

...had an absolutely scandalous time sticking to Su Rong all the way.

As training wore on, the sun rose higher, and some felt the only choice left was to whip their shirts off and display their wonderfully-sculpted bodies while playing (sorry, Ming Hwee, you haven't qualified yet). Then, as if by some silent agreement, the players trickled to the giant slide beside the basketball court, thus ending the game. Coach Kuan Yang then talked mostly about the upcoming friendly with Ztec on Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Training 300509: Sweat It Out

After two long weeks of Frontliners sweating it out in the exam halls, it's time to sweat it out on the courts again. It was split training this time with Coach Nick and Michael taking charge of the juniors and girls. Frontliners also welcomed a new member, Melanie.

The very fluorescent orange balls were missing so our very creative duo decided to use shuttlecocks as balls to practice the Spartan Shield. Let's face it: shuttlecocks can never replace the round, holey ball, proven by the bored looks on those present stopping halfway through the drill.

Enter Julian and Tristan with the very familiar bag and out came pouring the orange balls much to everyone's delight. Drills and drills but two hours are definitely not enough. Game time was when the kids go wild and the seniors like Steven take it easy. The seniors started to come, and Coach Kuan Yang took over and was really getting into training, since Div 1 is coming up.