Welcome to the first post from Off On A Tangent. I hope you enjoy todays offering and if you do please comment. You can comment using the little envelope that appears at the foot of the post when you select the individual blog post title. There’s more to read on the whys and wherefores of the blog if you visit the Home and About pages so feel free to pop there for some background.
So let’s get started. With summer waiting in the wings and the change of the seasons in evidence so clearly in the garden today it’s fitting that I start here with a topic close to my heart. This weekend the ice hockey season draws to a close and enters a period of reflection and transformation.
As lawns need tending and the garden emerges from the cold and into the light thus do ice hockey players emerge from the chill of the ice rink and back into the arms of their families for the warmth and nourishment of a relaxing summer.
The off season is a period of reflection and building, when coaches across the leagues vie for players who will fit their style of play and their budget in the quest for silverware as a new season approaches.
But as a new story is in the making, another has just ended and last weekend we watched from the edge of our seats with bitten nails and clenched jaws as our battling ice warriors, the Streatham RedHawks tumbled out of the 2016/17 playoffs. Heads bowed and bones aching they fell into the waiting embrace of loved ones for the last time. Battle scarred, weary and misty eyed they formed a guard of honour as two of our most loyal and committed RedHawks left the ice for the final time.
In a scene replicated no doubt up and down the country, three players who have shaped the very heart of our club will be unavailable for selection next season. For Streatham’s long standing Captain Joe Johnston and long serving local boy Liam Rasmussen, life is on the change. Parenthood and family take centre stage as each of them bow out of hockey and begin to shape the lives of the next generation. For net minder and club favourite Will Sanderson the season ended more abruptly as he made the heart wrenching decision to resign. A casualty of change, it was simply too hard to watch from the sidelines as his brothers fought for glory. So with great dignity he said goodbye as fans chanted his name from the stands.
For each player a tough decision, made particularly poignant as the team enters a new era. While Streatham evolves with a determined new coach at the helm focussed on leading the team to victory next season, three club heroes bow gracefully out like leading actors in a play.
So as the seasons change, as the cherry blossom blooms, daffodils sway gently in the breeze and the leaves on the trees abound, I’m thinking of our guys both old and new. A hard working, loyal and committed bunch who will rest their weary, aching bones for a few short weeks before starting all over again, delighting the fans and fighting for the right to be crowned champions.