With just over 2 months of our regular season to go we haven’t quite reach the final stages, but the lap counter is certainly ticking down. But for teams that have enjoyed extended runs in various cup competitions it means having to condense a lot of fixtures in a short space of time.
Billericay and Heybridge Swifts are 2 examples as they both have several games in hand on their opponents. One of the great challenges for teams in this position is the loss of players either through suspension or injury and on occasions work commitments, especially if they are facing 3 games a week.
Even the “big boys” that are battling for honours on several fronts are faced with a crowded fixture list. Of course, some teams don’t help themselves by having to replay cup matches against teams from lower leagues!! But the teams in question have a squad that enables them to rotate players on a regular basis, because these highly paid “superstars” cannot manage 2 games a week!! Not all changes made by the managers of the top clubs are made out of choice. These unplanned alterations can be disruptive, even to the best of teams.
Losing vital players, at any level, through injury or suspension can have a big impact on the team. It may mean a change in tactics or playing players out of their natural position. This obviously effects the way an individual or team performs, which in turn, may affect the outcome of matches and eventually the league standings at the end of the season.
Here at H&RBFC we have experienced this ourselves, in recent weeks. With Charlie Wassmer, suspended for 3 games and Christian Jolley out injured. These 2 lads have been highly influential this season, so it has been a difficult job for Dowse to manage the remaining resources at his disposal without upsetting the balance of the team.
When a player is suspended you know how long he will be absent for, but with injured players it is a different matter altogether. It is important not to rush a player back to quickly, risking further injury. This has to be balanced against how badly the player is needed in the team and how much of a risk it is.
When the disciples lost their “main man” to crucifixion they thought that their season had come to an end. How could they go on without him? They gave up and went into hiding and eventually back to their original jobs. But God had another tactic that He had promised he would use, when the time was right.
God sent His spirit to empower them to continue the game until the end. The original “team” formed the first Christian Church and it is still in “the game” over 2,000 years later. That was some substitution!!
Updated 07:52 - 2 Mar 2018 by Rob Overfield