In an idle moment - I have them quite often now that I don't have to do any work - I happened to be reading about the great Lakota Sioux warrior Crazy Horse. I've always found American Indians history fascinating and I think there's a lot we can learn from their lifestyle, beliefs and traditions.There can be no doubt that they have been grievously wronged by the white man. However it seems to me they've never taken a step back in the face of aggression even when horrendously outgunned.
Facing down adversity is an admirable quality which could stand the mens 2's in good stead so there might be a lesson to be learned here. You may scoff but at least have the good grace to hear me out.
On Saturday we were playing Aylesbury 1's away The previous week they had suffered a calamitous defeat to OMT. In case any of the Aylesbury side might read this report I will spare the details - suffice to say it may not have been their finest hour. To me this fixture had all the makings of a banana skin so, in the interests of self preservation, after last week's abject performance in front of goal, I stocked up on Beta Blockers anticipating a stressful 70 minutes on the side line.
We had a full complement of 15 players all of whom arrived full of beans except Edmiston Junior who told his Mum to go to the Aylesbury clubhouse rather than the pitch where the match was to be played. Well done James! He therefore arrived for the post match curry 2 hours before it was to be served and before the match rather than after it.
Now I have to record that despite taking 4 points out of 6 from our first two matches I don't actually think the boys have yet been entirely ruthless in front of goal. If we were to achieve an improvement in our match execution then doing it in the opposition's circle where the battle might be at its hottest would be the best place to start. Bear with me and you'll see where this is going.
As for the match the 2's grabbed an early goal through Bas Marshall which rather tweaked the home side's tail as they immediately fashioned a nicely contrived move to score from open play which was followed by a very competent penalty corner finish. Aylesbury 2 Hawks 1. Not the doddle some had anticipated and my blood pressure was starting to move steadily upwards.
Enter Freddie Smith aka Crazy Horse.
Now the connection here is not as contrived or outrageous as you might think. Consider the following. The Sioux leader was born in around 1842 to two members of the Lakota tribe. His father , an imposing well built man, was himself known as Crazy Horse. His mother "Rattling Blanket Woman " (I promise this is not a fabrication) gave him the nickname Curly because of his light curly hair (spooky or what :- Editor) His actual name at birth was "In the Wilderness". (The Smith family live in rural Oxfordshire- Ed).
By the age of 13 the young man was leading raiding parties against rival tribes (at about the same age Freddie was scoring goals against other school and club sides - OK he hasn't scalped anyone yet as far as I know but these are more enlightened times :- Ed). By 18 he was leading war parties against all tribal enemies.
And thus it came to pass at Aylesbury that the 2's, lead by a reincarnation of Crazy Horse inspired by his spiritual ancestor at the Battle of Little Big Horn, put the home side to death with 3 goals.
I'll be very happy if the boys can continue to replicate the same hunger in front of goal we demonstrated on Saturday.
8-2 it finished as the 2's gradual improvement gathers pace marred, sadly, by the wrist fracture sustained by Simon Robinson which brought his participation in the scrap to an abrupt and very painful end.
Finally it is said that as a result of his exploits in battle In the Wildrness was renamed Crazy Horse and his father accepted the name "Worm" - say no more.
Oxford Uni 2's next week - which should be interesting.