Friday, July 31, 2009
Training started with some basic passing. Then followed by a shooting drill where one had to dribble from the side to the centre with the ball and do a wrist shot. Too simple? Here’s the catch. You mustn’t stop jogging. Even after the shot. Michael gave the occasional wake up call to the tired legs. Some had difficulty not doing first-timer shots and after around 20 minutes+ of that was Game Time. Training was only one and a half hours long, so less drills and wake up calls.
Lawren, Pei Li and Michael against the juniors and girls. The catch is. The senior team couldn’t run with the ball. This was made an advantage for the junior team. Goals blasted from all 4 players (mostly Kyle-good prospect for the future, keep it up!) left the seniors trailing 5-0 or 6-0.
Pei Li switched it up and sorted the players around. 3-on-3, Pei Li as the ref. After the scores were leveled at 1-1, Pei Li decided the next team to concede a goal would do 10 pushups. Sachin scored the deciding goal to wrap up the match and deliver the pushups to Kyle, Yue Shern and Lawren.
Let’s wait and see what the new coaches have in store for the juniors and girls next time.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
"...they will be like wounded beasts, so watch out!"
Not wounded enough, seemingly. That Tuesday night, UniHawks looked hungrier, sharper and fresher than Spartans. Determined not to let history repeat itself, Spartans staged a second-half fightback and clawed their way back to regain the ever-so-slight upper hand, thus ensuring at least a bronze, come the final day.
But how UniHawks made them sweat blood for it.
It was UniHawks, the home team, who took the initiative from the start-- making runs all over and exchanging the ball with supreme confidence, so it was no wonder that they took the lead early on. A soft goal to concede, one that doubtless would irritate Coach Kuan Yang after having practiced so many freehit situations in training.
This was also UniHawks' very first goal in the league this year.
And yet Spartans could not raise their game to match the flying Hawks. A second goal soon followed, an instinctive backhand stroke by Sarah, her second of the game and the year. And not long after, a third by Rish, during a power play situation.
No one there could believe what they were seeing-- and now Spartans knew how Innebandy must have felt in the game before.
The breakthrough for Spartans finally came through Kenny, minutes before the whistle for half-time sounded. It was a well-timed and badly needed goal and gave the match a whole different complexion. The momentum now with Spartans, Kuan Yang quickly scored a trademark second, and it looked like it would be all downhill from then on.
Yet it was UniHawks, again, who forced the opening in the second half, scoring a well-deserved and well-taken goal against a Spartan side that were slow to start their engines.
With more urgency than ever, Kuan Yang tweaked the lines slightly to give the team a more attacking edge, and this approach paid off.
Slowly but surely, Spartans took control of the game, living off a scare or two (one especially when Sarah blazed over after a one-on-one) and in the end, snatched a victory from the depths of defeat.
In true Spartans style.
*Due to short-term memory losses from both sides, some information might be inaccurate. Sorry.*
Thursday, July 16, 2009
It was like déjà vu. Spartans rush to the lead, dominate and get dominated, gift the opposition goals and somehow seem to come out of it all alive and well.
Kenny continued his top form by scoring a brace in the first half. Pei Li scored her first ever league goal by scoring Spartans third of the night.
Half time score: 3-0 to Frontliners.
Just like the second half against Ztec, Spartans lost their momentum after gaining the lead. Innebandy went on an all-out attack to come back from a three-goal deficit. Even before the second half started, both teams sounded like they were battling for the Loudest Cheer of the Year.
40 minutes can take a toll on players no matter how fit he/she is. Even with frequent substitutions, Spartans looked worn out and tired midway through. Any cracks and there was Innebandy, waiting to break. A mix up when Kuan Yang was substituted left Deswyn unmarked with all the time and space (again) in the world to score.
Although the Spartans still had a two goal lead, they were made to work hard to hold on to it. Innebandy came up, stronger in the second half while Frontliners played more defensive as most players were already dead tired.
Another crack in Frontliners wall was spotted by Deswyn later on when he appeared in front of Steven, got the ball and scored. Spartans were made to sweat for a couple minutes, hoping they didn't squander a lead once again.
In the end, Frontliners emerged victorious, tired, and out of breath. Kenny Ng was awarded the Man of the Match award (and a can of 100Plus) for his brace and energy channelled in the court.
3 games down, 2 to go. 2 wins, 1 draw. Can the Spartans continue their fine form or will history repeat itself when they take on Minden Unihawks next?
Thursday, July 9, 2009
TSO: How did you feel?
PL: Like, oh, cool.
TTO: Were you expecting to score?
PL: [shakes head]
TSO: What did you do? Didn’t you jump or something?
PL: I just walked back. Smiled a bit.
TSO: The fact that you scored a goal. Have you realized it yet? Has it hit you?
PL: Not really.
TTO: Rate your goal on the scale of 1-10.
PL: 3. Compared to Kenny’s and Kuan Yang’s against Dalat, mine was soft.
AG: How did you feel the moment the ball entered the goal?
PL: I didn’t realize. I didn’t see it go in because all the Innebandy players were blocking. Only when Kenny and Nick turned around and smiled, then I know lah
TTO: Rate Frontliners performance on the scale of 1-10. Why?
PL: 7. Why ah? Because we let in two goals we shouldn’t have let in. We played well but there’s still room for improvement.
TSO: Where do you go from now?
PL: Dude, it’s like I won the World Cup, with that question. I will try hard to improve my play, to vary my play. I will try to lob balls, which I have not been successful at. As long as the team wins, it doesn’t matter.
TSO: Are you happy?
PL: I’m happy that we won. Umm..well, I guess. [Thinks] It’s cool lah. I’m not sure if I’m happy or not. I should be. It’s a good thing and good things make me happy. So I’m happy. [moments later] Embarrassed.
PL: Why ah? ‘Cause right, everyone was cheering and I’m not used to that. I’m more used to cheering for people.
TSO: How did you do it?
PL: I don’t know. It just happened.
TSO: Apakah rahsia kejayaan anda?
PL: Monday, girls’ state training really helped a lot.
TSO: Who would you like to thank for your success?
PL: What success?
TSO: Your goal. You know like in the Oscars’, they thank this person and that person.
PL: I would like to thank the supporters.
TSO: Thought they embarrassed you.
PL: I would like to thank Ming Hwee for selling me the Bubble (Pei Li’s stick). The stick did it, not me.
AG: But you were holding the stick.
PL: I know but the stick did 60%, I did 40%. For me lah. I think lah.
TSO: So you’re not gonna thank Kuan Yang, the coach?
PL: And thank you everyone who thinks they are a part of it. It’s not much success la, just a goal.
TSO: Berikan nilai yang anda amalkan.
PL: English please. [Interviewer translates in head]
TSO: What moral values have you exemplified through the goal?
PL: Haaaa…lemme think, lemme think. Ah..It’s a crap question man. It’s just a goal!
TTO: But your very first.
PL: Doesn’t feel like it.
AG: Have you always been like this?
PL: Like what?
AG: Like, emotionless.
PL: You didn’t hear me scream at Algin during the game? That’s not emotion ah?
TSO: So when can we finally expect you to feel?
PL: Feel what?
PL: Not sure. It will come when it comes when it comes but I think it’s..it’s not a big deal. I’m also like, how come I’m not happy? Right..
TSO: Thank you for your time. We really appreciate it. We hope you continue your marked progress in floorball.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Favourites vs underdogs. Team of international players vs Spartans. With the odds against Frontliners Spartans, what did everyone expect from this game? The ball is round (and holey) anything can (and did) happen.
Coupled by the fact that Frontliners had what? 7 bench penalties (if my memory doesn’t fail me) and a number of new and inexperienced players, it felt more like a win than a draw for the Spartans.
One of Frontliners few decent goal scorers, Kenny Ng, gave Frontliners the lead through a rebound after his initial free hit was blocked by Ztec’s wall. The goal was greeted by wild cheers from the bench and supporters and stunned the Ztec faithful.
The Spartans’ bench penalties were due to numerous reasons: incorrect distance, incorrect substitution, you name it. The guilty: Captain Jason, Kuan Yang, Steven, Wei Jian, Kenny, Sanjeevan. To be fair, some were uncalled for and Wei Jian probably shouldn’t have bulldozed a Ztec player through the boards while both were chasing for the ball.
Sharron pulled off many of her super-saves again, even catching one as though it were magnetic to her hands. However, a tussle in the goalkeeper area resulted to Ztec’s equalizer.
Half time: 1-1.
Second half brought the same electricity as the first. Both teams tried to capitalize on the other’s errors and Frontliners paid dividends for that when Su Rong, last week’s hat trick hero, sent Frontliners into the lead. The roof of Balik Pulau stadium was blown off when players and fans erupted and cheered for a LONG time.
Apparently the full sized courts weren’t big enough for both teams as players were often sent crashing into the boards. Even Kuan Yang and Kenny had to jump out of the court after running out of space to move.
Anything can happen when it’s just a slender 1-goal lead. Enter no.5, Tania. Oh wait, Algin. He was wearing ex-Frontliner, Tania’s jersey. And the cheers were even louder this time as the unexpected had happened. Spartans were leading 3-1. Ztec called for time out to get things back in place and for Frontliners to do whatever Coach said.
It seemed like the 2nd half could go on and on with Frontliners rushing to the lead early. The defense deserves some accolade for keeping Ztec at bay as much as they could. And Spartans played defensively most of the time to protect their lead, only venturing up for counter attacks
Great Wall of Sparta
but most of the time they barely made it pass the half way line ‘cause somehow people forget the golden rule of “never pass through the centre!”
Frontliners were made to pay when Ztec captain, Oliver was given all the time and space in the world to equalize.
Total non-stop action would be the best way to describe the second half. Shots and saves, running and more running, players sent flying through the boards, bench penalty after bench penalty for the Spartans. The Spartans’ penalty bench always seemed to be occupied.
Somehow a short circuit in Nick’s brain caused him to switch from floorball mode to football mode when he kicked an incoming flying ball away. He seemed to know what he was doing as there were no signs of “haha, I did that!” on his face. Was it legal? It was. Frontliners even got a free hit moments later.
Ztec pushed on and never gave Spartans a moment of peace. With minutes to go, Jo-Wyee, of Ztec 8cers scored the goal which shattered hopes and dreams. Yeah right.
Full time - 3-3.
At the final whistle, it was as if Spartans had won the game. Although they didn’t, they can be proud of grabbing the favorites’ tag by the throat and shredding it into a million pieces.
Steven Tay was voted Man of the Match for basically being the pillar of Spartans defense and even taking one for the team (quite literally) with a ball to the face. Steven was rewarded with a can of 100 Plus. (Unlike in EPL, where MoMs get a bottle of champagne, no such thing here) Kuan Yang was so delighted he even wanted to give everyone one. The same excuse: “Not enough money.”
Friday, July 3, 2009
Sharron called in to action
Frontliners Official Kit. Available in Black and Yellow. Models not included.
Nick looks out for open players
Half time talk
Su Rong reeling off in delight
Watch Pei Li (and her hair) go
Kuan Yang, a little too content in getting a goal.
Su Rong celebrating his goal second time 'round
Lawren can't believe he's shorter than the guy next to him
Three cheers to both teams! Spartans thank their fans