Term 2, 2016, came to an end yesterday morning. I know, school finished up on Friday, but the term’s really done once the football is finished.
It’s been a fun term, both with the Matamata Eagles and with the club’s Mini-Kickers group. I’ve had plenty of full-on Saturday mornings and have only really failed to do both when the Eagles have been drawn to play a mid-morning game on the road. Thankfully, that hasn’t been often.
Highlights (in no particular order)
- Arriving at the Domain last Saturday morning to set up for Mini-Kickers before heading off to Hamilton. The whole area was coated in frost while there was not a cloud in the sky (see picture above, which doesn’t do it justice. Or here). As cold as it was, it looked amazing.
- Taking the bare seven to Southwell back in May and winning 5-0. It wasn’t so much the score as the effort the Eagles put in and the attitude they played with. They were great. That was my first inkling that things might go okay this year after a tough 2015 (when we had mainly 8th grade players competing in the 9th grade). Of course, we visited the same venue and played the same team a week ago and things didn’t go quite as well. But that was cool too, in a way.
- Two games in two weeks at home played by the Eagles. First, we won 4-3 against Hamilton Marist, then 2-1 against Tamahere Hunters. Yes, the wins were great. And important to the kids. They were also good measures of how the Eagles had improved since the start of the season. The kids started to hold their shape. They knocked the ball around. They defended well. And they got their reward by being able to savour victories against a couple of teams that were also well organised and played some decent stuff.
- After many years of running Matamata Swifts‘ Mini-Kickers programme we have got the formula just right. It works, with enough of the right sort of coaching and games to keep the kids going for a whole hour and the parents happy. Jean has been amazing helping keep the organisation running smoothly (she protests her involvement, sometimes quite audibly, but secretly I think she’s well into it). We also have what looks like a good crop of young players coming through. They’ll be ripe for hitting the Waikato 8th grade in 2017. I can’t wait to see how they go.
- The Swifts first team is also doing really well in 2016. They, along with the other senior teams, have kept me reasonably busy on the media front (yes, something else I’m involved in), taking photos and filing reports for the local press. It’s so, so much more fun when the team is playing well and winning games. We’re currently second in the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership after several years of aimless underperforming.
So, that was term 2. It started, well it seems like yesterday, and now we have a break. I need it. The kids need it. But I’ll be ready to go in late-July when they’re back at school. Yeah, I can’t wait.