Friday League Preview

Sam Carter runs down the Warwick Bears region ahead of this weekend’s Friday League at Warwick.

As Friday League draws to a close, all teams in the Warwick Bears Region are once again drawn to the Sports Centre to compete for the coveted trophy. Here’s a preview of what we’re likely to see.

“Team Exec” might be a more accurate term for Team Sierra, with five of the club’s newly-appointed officers playing for the tournament favourites. Sierra remain undefeated in this tournament so far, thanks largely to the tactical nous of new captaincy duo Jack “Frigate” Skipper and the club’s second-favourite fresher Romit “More D’s” Patel. The side have impressed with an effective and well-organised zone defence thus far, as well as a talented young squad that includes hot prospects Josh “Carver” Blake and Peter “Hammer Time” Weightman. Sources tell us that Matt “The Milkman” Kirk will compliment his side’s defensive stability by instigating a revolutionary strategy that involves sprinting deep before changing direction and cutting under. When asked about the tactic’s chances of success, he responded: “Fifty-fifty, of course.”

Aron Lim

Defying gravity: Aron Lim, proving that the laws of physics are merely a suggestion.

Team Hotel appear to be Sierra’s biggest challengers for the Friday League title, and Samuel “261” Hawkins will aim to shake off an inevitable hangover to lead his team to a place in the final. Rumour has it that James “JL” Lawton has been heavily sponsored of late, so expect plenty of donations to help his team’s cause for the inevitable arrival of tracker jackers. Add to that the handling ability of Rory “the” Hughes and the end zone threat of Laura Oh Chun Xing, and Team Hotel will only hope that Yeong Kit Lee continues giving out backhands better than he does cash prizes. With their combination of incisive passing and fast build-up play, Team Hotel’s chances of winning could hinge on one question: “How did it get burned?”

Also hoping to reach the Friday League final is Team Kilo. They have made a habit of playing in high-scoring matches so far, owing to a highly attacking mentality and speedy play up the sidelines. In terms of experienced players, Kilo will look to the physics-defying handling of Aron “Chicken Wing” Lim, the impressive height and athleticism of Kris “Petrol Bomb” Kerswell, and the commentary of Sam Carter. Other promising cutters include Calum “The Machine” Machin and Mike Capstick, who is renowned for having a surname that really ought to have lent itself to a nickname by now. If they can tighten up their somewhat leaky defence, Kilo will be looking to be that outside bet to break into the top two (of Sierra and Hotel) in the club.

Team Tango appears to be just as unpredictable, given the shocking news that Tobias “Hard Bread” Huxol reportedly threw a flick in the early rounds of this tournament. Elsewhere, Zhiling “Catches Everything” Chan will hope to continue living up to her nickname, while coaches have looked to motivate new club president Hamza “Kasbah” Alawiye by installing a cardboard cutout of Tom Barkley in his bedroom. However, this is not a team without its concerns: despite strong showings so far, Zak Dunstone still needs to justify his £5 million transfer fee, and Robbie “Cracking” Tink is struggling with low morale after his favourite word was superceded by the vastly more popular “smacking” catchphrase. As such, it’s likely that Tango could “do a Fling” and take a steady fourth place here.

Tango’s progression to the semi-finals came after a nail-biting encounter with the injury-depleted Team Papa. Jamie “The Mafia” Barr scored a dramatic last-minute goal during the first meeting between those two sides, and the newly-appointed treasurer has shaken off allegations of illegal activities to become a consistent scoring outlet for his side. A talented outfit, Papa hope to add structure to their game as Ed “the Fresher” Vinnicombe attempts to travel across the pitch entirely by layout. They will also be bolstered by the return of Victor Tan, who promises to restore his team’s pride by winning every game of ninja statues during post-game calls. Aided by consistent handling from P-Money “Alex” Porter and Dan Rickers Adam Carver, Team Papa will be eager to take the 5th-place playoff in style.

Another side that has struggled with injury concerns is Team Whiskey. The transition from Outdoor Regionals back to Indoors may prove to be a difficult one for some teams, and there have been some concerns that Rob “Volvic” Terrett will struggle without the prospect of a muddy pitch to knee-slide into or the necessary space to “stretch it deep.” At a towering 6’12”, “Honest Joe” Van de Wiel provides the obvious end zone option, but his side will also look to freshers Chris “WRAHHH” Wray and Win Chirayus to provide a consistent offensive threat to compliment Tan Ken “dal mintcake” Wei’s scoobers. Team Whiskey may have had a tough tournament so far, but their undeniable talent could well help them finish this tournament on a resounding high.

Taken from predictions around my imagination, here’s an average of what I think the outcome will be:

1st – Sierra
2nd – Hotel
3rd – Kilo
4th – Tango
5th – Papa
6th – Whiskey

Whatever happens, with the strength in Warwick Bears and the amount of silverware Warwick Bears have around the region, it promises to be a tasty affair for Warwick Bears. See you all there.

And that’s it for Friday League; next weekend we’ll be covering the upcoming Perudo finals.

Sam Carter

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