8th XI

Skipper: Petr Holeck

Player of the Year: Jon Pinn

After winning the League’s Division 6 and reaching the AFA cup Semi-final last season we entered 3 competitions this year- League in Division 5, AFA cup and League cup. Our performance throughout the season was highly inconsistent. We played 23 games in total in all 3 competitions, 10 won and 13 lost with a passive score 52:60. While we reached the Semi-final in the League cup, we ended up far below our expectations in the League (7th).

Our greatest challenge over this season was commitment. Although there were nearly 20 players on the team sheet we literally struggled to put together 11 players every Saturday.

We even had to play in 10 men in several away games. To put this into perspective there were only 6 players who played more than 75% of all games. We had to build different squad and different line-up every week which resulted in team’s disharmony and poor performance.

HIGHLIGHTS

– Highest victory: 8-1 against Old Minchedenians in the League cup

– Best performance: victories over Polytechnic 9s and South Bank (3-2 in both games)

– Most important result: 3-1 victory against Old Norsemen putting us through to the League cup Semis

– Jon Pinn’s crosses ending in the opponent’s net and ensuring him to become our top goal scorer

BEST GAME: 3-2 Home game victory against South Bank, 16.03.2013
With only few games left South Bank was second in the league on goal difference and chasing the leading team Old Wilsonians 6s. Our tem wasn’t at its best form and when several key players were unavailable that Saturday we feared the worst. However we put ourselves together and played one of our best football of the season beating South Bank 3-2. We were the only team to steal 3 points from South Bank after Christmas denying them to win the league.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jon Pinn
Jon had another great season for Polytechnic 8s. He played 20 out of 23 games and scored 11 goals becoming our top scorer. His trademark goals were crosses from right wing which somehow ended up back in the opposition’s net.

OTHER AWARDS
Player of the Year Runner-up: Chris Unwin
Manager’s Player: Trovers Orr
Manager’s Player Runner-up: Istvan Szlavik
Most Committed Player: Petr Holecek
Most Improved Player: Celso FelipeBest Newcomer: Tibor Szlavik
Top Goalscorer: Jon Pinn
Goal of the Season: Jon Pinn
Nathan Watling Award: Nathan Watling

CLOSING STATEMENT
It has been a very difficult and inconsistent season with only a few games we really enjoyed. The quality and team spirit we had the previous season seemed to have disappeared. As mentioned above the lack of players’ commitment was the biggest disappointment. Different squad every week, low training presence, late confirmations for the games, late turn-ups for the games as well as quick disappearance after games were the main characteristics of this season.

Given current economic circumstances it is understandable that the players’ priorities changed when it came to a selection between football or work over the weekend. However with 20 football-hungry players on the team sheet this should not have been a problem.

On the positive note we would like to thank all players who played for Polytechnic 8s last season, got us to the League-cup Semi-finals and helped to prevent relegation first season in the higher league. They are all welcome back to take part in a hopefully better and more enjoyable 2013/14 season.

The goal for the next season is to settle down in the top half of the table in Division 5, preferably top 4. In order to achieve this target the team must be re-enforced by committed and skilful players. Preferably we would like to use Polytechnic resources.

Before the start of the 2013/2014 season we will approach other teams’ captains to get players who are committed but do not get enough time on the pitch in their teams. It should be stressed we will only use those players willing to play for us on permanent basis. The “on-game-loan” approach did not work last season as the players’
availability wasn’t sometimes known as late as Saturday noon.

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