I woke up today to be informed that I had opened my mouth and firmly shoved my size 11 feet in. Prince Of Penzance, a 100-1 (or close enough) long shot decided to up and win the Melbourne Cup, meaning I won the sweep…unfortunately, I had already called for whoever won to fork our for drinks at the after-party. Let this be formal notice that the first round (at least) is on me.
Aside from the case of foot-and-mouth disease, today was a pretty good day. We once again had the earliest training session, which seems to work well for us when we have the early match. We were, however, at yet another training venue, making this our third, which has made us wonder exactly how many korfball stadiums exist in Antwerp. After a bit of a debrief from the Russia game, which included a few home truths, we got into the nitty gritty of training proper. As has become the norm, shooting drills took precedence, mainly contested shooting games. We also worked on our feeding skills, which can be both fun and challenging, depending on if you are feeding or trying to stop the feed. After training we had a quick team meeting, where we looked at what we expected from Poland this afternoon. These meetings are certainly useful for breaking down an opponents game to its individual components, which makes it easier to understand, and then play against, them.
As mentioned, we once again had the early game, which is good from a scheduling point of view, as it allows our supporters at home to watch live at a decent hour, but it also means we have a lot of waiting to do before our matches. We are also now playing at the other pool match venue, which makes for a grand total of 5 stadiums we have either played in or trained at, with the promise of more to come. The bus got us to the venue close enough to two hours before the game, which is a lot of time to try and keep calm, and not wind yourself up. Thankfully, I have a couple of new books, which help me switch off when I have to. The match itself was fantastic from our point of view, with us winning 28-22. We managed to get away to an early lead, and then held that lead for the rest of the match. There were times the game threatened to spill over, with Dan in particular showing a fair amount of self-restraint, but in general the match was played in reasonable spirits. It was certainly good to get back in the winners circle, and I feel we played the kind of game we want to be playing.
We now look forwards to Hong Kong, who are sure to provide a unique challenge. The match is a little later than it was today, 4:00PM here, or 1:30AM in South Australia. As always, all the match info is available on the National Teams page, including live streams. For everything else, remember to keep checking the Facebook page to keep up to date.