At long last we’ve made it, after countless hours avoiding work, I have finally reached my Last Crusade, my Return of the King/Jedi, my Toy Story 3, it’s the one we’ve all been waiting for, the Contenders!!!
Kicking things off with the home team, Bears 1 have always enjoyed successful Windoors campaigns, and will be looking to extend their top 8 streak to 5 consecutive years. Remarkably, captaining the ship for 2018 is Willem “Because yorwerth it” Garnier who joins a prestigious line of captains, including Dave Tyler, James Freeman and Joe Thompson, proof the club has truly reached the darkest of depths. Handing over the coaching duty to Joe “van de” Weil, whose creative rules interpretations have led the team to great successes, has allowed Willem greater opportunity to focus on his own game – to varying degrees of success. New faces Zac “Cheese” Jopling and Hugh “Best Indoors Defender” Kinnear, notorious members of the Chucklewagon gang, will have to quickly adapt to life on the firsts and will be pivotal in keeping the disc out of Willem’s hands. Eager to catch teams off guard with their prepubescent appearance are young hotshots Danuel “Top 3” Wilson, Ben “Squirtle” Minter and Ka “Tsung” Wong who will be hoping to upset the established top order and secure a semi-final spot. Then again, for a team with a habit of blowing big leads, and a paltry average of 14.2 on Andy scale – a valiant 56 from Joe must be applauded – one must wonder if this group simply wants it enough.
I haven’t talked about regionals, but it is worth noting that Jonathan had four opportunities to play that weekend. He could’ve not gone on the CU weekend, he could’ve not gone on the CU weekend, he could’ve not gone on the CU weekend and he could’ve not gone on the CU weekend.
Moving swiftly on, it’s safe to say that everybody loves Shakesbears and the people’s champions will be wanting to improve upon their debut 8th place finish and progress to the semis. When asked about their chances captain Adam Carver responded, “Aye w’ av a rate team, I’d seh ah chances are prettih gran’”. Adam, recently heartbroken after learning Josh Blake would not be attending, will be hoping for a strong performance from his team. Look especially for key man J“Clapham Indoor MVP”Law who has volunteered as tribute, so expect to see plenty of three fingered salutes as his combination of righty scoober, lefty backhand, and offensive pick calls, means the odds are ever in his favour. This weekend will also see a return to the line-up for Zak “already married” Cottrell and Calum “soon to be” Awcock, whose sickening acts of love and happiness just provide a nice, healthy reminder of how very sad and lonely my life is. Unfortunately, 2017 was not all good news for Shakesbears as we saw the utterly tragic loss of a long serving member, one who will be sorely missed by all. Anyway back to the good stuff, Sam Hollow, a pickup who has been anonymously described as “decent 😊” will be hoping he can fill the void left by similar player Win Chirayus, who it is believed has come down with a case of time difference. Otherwise, this is the same team that limped to 8th last year, so you can expect game winning layouts from Peter “You’ve lost the news” Weightman, plenty of questions about Guernsey for Chris “I’ve managed … I’m out! I’m out!” Wrah and lots and lots and lots,of Matt Kirk jogging.
Next up we have the oldest freshers team still in attendance, Bear Knuckle, missing key components Sam “What a terrible mark” Hawkins and Tom “Still has nightmares about Hamza” Barkley, Knuckle are going to struggle to replicate last year’s top 5 finish. Leading the team will be Robbie “Cracking” Tink capably supported by Si Holland, and Marius “Wait, didn’t he play for UBU” Hutcheson. Knuckle’s hopes and prayers will rely on two very important factors however, is Robbie Tink the “serious athlete” he once was? And did he remember his boots? Despite not being a freshers team, Bears Inc. has risen from the ashes that was Bear Force One/Bear Effort and become a symbol for all bears, that no matter how much you dislike your teammates it could always be worse. Hayden Cole and loving partner Mike Welike will have their work cut out controlling a group of players including Evan “for the love of god move on” Chumpner, Frig “you know Tobias isn’t in Germany?” Frigate and Helen “Whelen” Wanstall. Not much is certain with this team, but if given the chance sparks may fly.
Somehow, over the last couple of years we have formed a brotherly connection with Haze, them playing the role of plucky younger sibling, talking the big talk but falling short against us in all 3 divisions. This year they come into our backyard and try their luck once again, however they will have to do it without the likes of GB stars Samiel “not even top two” Wilson and Matt “I’m so Fast” Anatole, a man so fast he didn’t even register as being on the pitch last year. But with everyone’s 4th favourite Hillman and Omar “not as good as Rupal” Khan at the helm, Haze will be looking to cause an upset or two.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the Lemmings that don’t jump of cliffs, and instead go through the usual Evolution process? Me neither, but since we’re on the subject. Natural Selection are a team where weakness is the enemy and only the fittest survive, last year’s winners brought a fresh approach to the tournament, depending on hard man D and patience over traditional height and hammers. Unquestionably, they will be ones to watch, as they hope to cement themselves amongst the very best of the tournament.
Throughout my 4 Windoors there have been two powerhouses that have remained strong and stable as other teams have fallen to the wayside, incredibly in those 4 years they have combined to finish lower than 3rd just once, back in 2014. They are of course, Danger! High Voltage and Mexican Horse Bandit. They are the two teams who laugh in the face of aging, to them the laws of Biology are merely a suggestion. Yet despite this clear and utter dominance they only have one title a piece and have never met in the final, both teams will be looking to get the upper hand this year but with the height of Chris “maybe we should triple mark him” Carter and “That massive guy that plays for MHB” this could prove easier said than done. Expect pinpoint blades from Andy Hopkins and ridiculous layouts by whichever GB guy Horse Bandit happen to pickup, and we could be treated to a fiery matchup.
My Final Prediction:
1st – Danger!
2nd – Natural Selection
3rd – Bears 1
4th – Shakesbears
5th – Mexican Horse Bandits
6th – Haze
7th – Bears Inc.
8th – Bear Knuckle