Following a successful summer, featuring the World Roller Games and victory in the National Cup, Tom Allander updates us on his Venn Group roller hockey sponsorship and the start of the new Premier League.
It’s been a busy month for roller hockey, with the new Premier League season having kicked off at the end of September. This will be my team, Kings Lynn’s, fourth consecutive title defence, so we were keen to get it off to a winning start.
However, our first game of the season was going to be tricky, as it was an away match against our local rivals, Soham. Not only are they a tough team to play, but it’s also my old club. Therefore, I was especially keen to come away with a victory. As expected, the game started fast, but our strict preseason training regime definitely showed. We have all been doing two sessions a week alongside a fitness session each Monday and it was clear we were a step above. By half time we were 4-0 up, and despite a slightly slower second half, the game finished 6-0 with me even saving a penalty at the end.
Following this, we had our second match away against Grimsby. This was sure to be another difficult game, as when I was progressing through the ranks, they were the league leaders. They were also the last team to win it before us. Adding to the pressure, Grimsby handed us our most recent loss which happened when we played them away last season, so there were some nerves amongst the team on the way up there.
Despite a strong start, an error in our defence saw them take the lead early on, which certainly shook the team. Sometimes it’s important to regroup at times like this, so we called a timeout to steady the team. This really turned things around, with us going up 3-1 at half time after regaining control of the game. Grimsby certainly gave it their best in the second half, and they were desperate not to let us leave with the points. They have arguably some of the best shooters in the league, with attacks on my goal coming through thick and fast. Luckily, I managed to defend these well, and we ran away with the game finishing 7-2 in the end, making it two wins from two matches to start the season.
Despite a great start, we will continue to look forwards to ensure we don’t drop the ball. We have another game against a newly promoted team - ECU - next weekend, but after that comes our biggest test against the London side. Since last season they have signed 4 professional players from Spain and Portugal, so it will definitely be a challenging match. Luckily this is our first home game, so hopefully being on our own ground means we can put in a good performance.
The continued sponsorship from Venn Group has been really important, and our new company-wide flexible working has allowed me to get to training every Wednesday. Also, our London Team Administrators have been a great help by always letting me keep my kit bag behind reception! Finally, my Venn team have been so supportive. There have been occasions when I have had to leave slightly earlier to make a train for away games, but they have always picked things up with my clients and candidates to ensure they still receive an exceptional service.