Good evening and welcome back to the Hangar after the festive break. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year and enjoyed whatever break you managed to get.
Firstly I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate our scorer, Richard Brown, who took the plunge on New Year’s Eve and got engaged to Abbie. Turns out he’s a bit of a romantic at heart but it’s paid off as she said yes to his question and they start the New Year off engaged.
In the time while we’ve had a break Milton Keynes have snuck ahead of us to take 4th spot while Bracknell failed to capitalise on an opportunity to take 5th place. I think the table has formed into the bunches now of how it will look at the end of the season. Basingstoke, if Stevie Lyle stays fit and in form, I feel will edge out Guildford and Manchester to claim the EPIHL, the other two will battle for 2 and 3 and I think we’ll have a good enough finish to claim 4th and push for 3rd. I think the bottom half as is now will stay in the bottom half of the table and fight for their places. It’s hard to see Telford from this position making a play-off push and to be honest, despite a couple of good games over the festive period, I think Sheffield’s play off chances will be decided very late on in a battle with Peterborough for the 8th spot.
One thing is for sure and that’s that the 2012/13 EPIHL has in the main so far been a very competitive league and I’m sure the added intensity now of being post turn around will ensure a great finish to the regular season.
For us we have the task ahead of scheduling in a home and away cup series with Basingstoke for the semi-final while Guildford and Manchester will play the other semi-final. I remember the atmosphere here a couple of years ago when the Jets met the Bison in the cup Final so I hope we can re-create that and the result in the semi-final this year. The Hangar was full, the fans on both sides were loud and the result was right. It’s tough seeing good friends on the losing side but I’m glad the Jets were the winners and lifted the trophy. This year we will again line up in the semi final against old friends but there’s no doubting that when the time comes we’ll all be routing for the Jets to book a final place for the season’s first trophy.
Tonight we face the Bracknell Bees. The Bees have had a much improved season than of late and are in danger of qualifying for the play-offs this season for the first time since our edging them out 7-5 on aggregate in the quarter final stage of the 2008/09 season. Despite a brilliant start last season they tailed off in the second half of the season finishing in 9th place and avoiding the quarter finals of the play-offs but this year the Bees look to be a stronger squad and I’m sure will be looking to finish strong to ensure their play-off appearance.
It’s been a couple of weeks, the Hangar could do with a noisy start to 2013 so let’s start the year as we mean to go on, loud and proud, clapping, cheering and dancing all through the night.
My team, your team, OUR TEAM