Tuesday, 20 May 2008


Every so often a football match comes around which can either make or break a player. A chance to filter the men from the boys. A time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Last night provided one such occasion...

A week ago saw my Monday evening Power League 5 aside team, HEARTLESS CREW FC spectacularly end our winning run and with it the chance to complete a 'PERFECT' Season. Going into the game we proudly boasted the quite remarkable record of 11 wins, No draws and no defeats with just 3 games left to play. The Championship and promotion were in the bag and all we had left was the amazing record to chance. We were up against second placed OUT OF BREATH who we had already trounced 17-11 in the reverse fixture. Unfortunately, history was not repeat itself as we, the five heroic warriors (with no subs might I add) bravely battled but unfortunately succumbed to a late onslaught from the opposition; conceding 3 goals in the last 2 minutes to lose 12-10.

Needless to say, we were devastated. The 134 Bus journey was a sombre one that night. Barely a word was exchanged as we lamented our loss.

All week the defeat played on my mind. Losing is not something I've ever learnt to do well. All the ifs, buts, ands or maybes were going through my mind as I would try and complete the most simple of tasks. All I could think about was the '0' from our losses column in the league table was gone forever.

I was distracted from my life. Defeat had been agonizing. It was almost getting too much to bear...

Then it dawned on me. It was gone. It was in the past. What was important now was not to lose again! The real test of a man is not about whether you lose, it's about how you react to that loss. It was time let go of the past, strap up my shinpad and get back out on the pitch!

I had some football to play....

We were back in Barnet. A week on from the scene of our crushing defeat. On this night, we would be facing THE UNTOUCHABLES. Let the battle commence...

The opposition barely proved a challenge and were dispatched with ease. We ran out 22-9 winners with yours truly grabbing a hat-trick which included a cheeky back-heel which outwitted the goalkeeper with Sun Tzu-like execution! The Heartless Crew were back!

Once again, we went into battle light in numbers. The team was ravaged by injuries and for the second week running, the five warriors to the pitch to face laden with substitutes to chop and change their side with. But like true soldiers, we overcame this handicap to reign supreme.

What this week showed was our mental strength; our ability to bounce back and triumph in the face of adversity.


Joey Barton could do with taking a leaf out of our book.

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