Good evening and welcome to tonight’s local derby against the Bracknell Bees. It’s the final time our nearest neighbours will visit the Hangar this season and we can all hope for win 5 out of 5 in competition to go with the pre-season trophy as well.
Last weekend we fell foul of the penalty shoot-out twice in two games. We’ve won our fair share of penalty shoot-outs this season so it’s swings and roundabouts. It does come down to a lottery on the night and you can’t hope to win the lottery every time! I have always been of the view that penalty shots should be used where needed, either to make good a penalty in the game or where a result is absolutely necessary, such as a semi-final or final of a competition. I have a simple view that a team game should be decided as a team, therefore if the 4 on 4 overtime fails to produce a result call it a draw, award a point each and move forward to the next game. There are 54 games and various statistical deciders in place to separate teams who finish level on points so it’s highly unlikely that 54 games and the statistician won’t be able to place the teams in their right finishing positions. The reason I’m told is that they want a result achieved every night to increase the entertainment value. It’s a personal preference but I’d rather call it a draw if a team can’t decide a team game and appreciate the 65 minutes effort!
On the Supporters’ Group on Facebook last week there was a debate about whether to support loudly or quietly at the game. The most important thing of course is to support and the truth is that we’re not the biggest supported team in hockey so all support is good. All team’s supporters have different ways of supporting, have different tunes they clap to and cheer with, varying amounts of drums and horns and more. Horns and drums are great but can be expensive; voices of course are free of charge and come included in the human body as a standard fitting. Hands are the same, they are complimentary gifts issued during formation and they can also be used to make some noise. My personal view would be the louder the better but that’s just my personal view. I grew up on cricket and remember a full house at the Oval roaring Ian Botham in to the crease to bowl. I’ve seen the darts on TV before and how loud is the atmosphere there? The noise level and atmosphere is the way to communicate to the players on the ice that they are being supported. That said that’s my personal point of view only and nobody is going to go around forcing people to make a noise. The fan who sponsors but sits quietly is no less a supporter than the fan who roars, claps and cheers all through the game. It’s two different ways of doing it.
There’s music that’s easy to clap and cheer to and fit “Slough Jets” into in between the play and we all enjoy cheering the goals that will hopefully be going in tonight but the main thing is that there’s absolutely no point in arguing in between ourselves.
When you read this we are getting very close to the Cup Final opening leg on Wednesday night. It’s without question the biggest game of the season so far for both teams and I’d love to see the Hangar packed out on Wednesday and home advantage helping us create a lead to take to the Spectrum. I remember saying in 2011 when we lifted the cup on home ice what a tremendous part in the win the loud and vocal support played and although if we win it won’t be on home ice this year there’s still the same opportunity to be that extra line and roar the team to a winning position.
Enjoy tonight’s game
My team, your team, OUR TEAM