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FLEETS' THOUGHTS - BLOG #3

20 August 2012

The Town striker writes exclusively for your official website

However cold, wet and miserable the weather is leading up to the first league game, you can guarantee that the temperature will be hot and filled with sunshine come 3pm at kick-off on the Saturday. 

The familiar feelings are that of fresh starts, clean slates and ultimate belief and excitement. The dreaded 'cotton wool' mouth symptoms kick in whilst standing in the tunnel five minutes before kick-off. Shoulder to shoulder with your opponents as the shouts of “come on lads” and the usual cliches, those motivational words of wisdom echo around the tight space.

I prefer to keep quiet and wish every player and member of staff individually with a handshake and a good luck message for the season. However experienced you are, the butterflies definitely kick in and the nervous energy fills the body.

Over 7,000 expectant fans at home for our first game was a great boost for the players and certainly raised the adrenaline levels rushing around the body. To get through the game in the heat and electric atmosphere certainly takes its toll, but with each game you get your fitness up to speed and the rustiness soon disappears.

I think all the players have been fascinated by the recent Olympic Games in London. The changing rooms have been full of chat about the legendary Usain Bolt and ice cool Jessica Ennis! These sort of competitors are superb role models for athletes and young people in general. The commitment and work put in to reach the games is hard enough but the pressure to deal with and competition during it is fierce.

To me it reiterated what I already know...crowds make a huge difference. I think every GB athlete was overwhelmed and spurred on by the noise and support from the home crowd. You as supporters, fans - lovers of the game - can lift a player or team to new levels with chanting or singing, and the goosebumps always raise up on my neck when I hear my name being sung. I feel fortunate to be able to entertain people enough for them to pay hard earned money to watch my play.

The league table starts to take shape after about 10 games, so although early season form is important it isn't time to get carried away or ahead of yourselves. It's a marathon not a sprint, and most of the time the best team in the league wins promotion. 

The 'P' word is our main priority this season. The start has been promising but we'll strive for another 'P' word...perfection.


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