This week’s training session was a little different. We had Sue Perman, who used to play for Brusing Banditas, as a guest coach. The session was all about footwork. We started with Creepy Blocker, given as a tool to annoy and distract the opposition from their task of blocking your jammer. I don’t recall the numerous other drills, but they included loads of transition work, 180 jumps to a stop, on both sides, backwards acceleration, track transitions, techniques for making holes in walls, and techniques for bunching the wall up. We did backwards running on toe stops, pushing, endurance drills and a neat 180-to-shoulder block. Melon Collie got a mention as being really good at this :-)
We finished with queen of the track. I decided to go after Jim, and got taken out by Baker whilst doing so and he went on to win.
A very full sessions that left us with loads to practice. Thank you Sue!
Aire Force 1 Scrim
For some time I’ve been trying to set up a friendly scrim with AF1. This was all unofficial, me chatting to Bakin Bad and Oblivious Prime every time I bumped into them at derby/skating events. Following their game over in Liverpool Feral got in touch and we bashed out a proposal to make it happen.
Yesterday after training we headed over to Futsal where the AF1 guys were also training. They can field a full team, we played short. On track from the Dead were Buckingham, Baker, Lloyd, Matt, Niven, Si and myself. We had Jason Slays Them from Inhuman League and Dis Droid from Oldham as guests, bringing our team to nine.
I was a little nervous before the scrim. I have a (perhaps irrational) fear of injuring my back again. Once we were all warming up around the track the nerves passed. Half six and first whistle, I was on track as a blocker, and it was fine. The hits were hard, in some cases very (thank you Chris, sorry, I don’t know your derby name) but clean. I didn’t see Bakin, apparently his partner is expecting a child soon, so he’s off skates – hope all goes well with that sir!
I jammed once in the first period, failing to get through the pack. Then before I knew it the period was over. We swapped ends and considered the need to balance the teams. We were all happy to carry on with just nine and did so. The second period seemed to pass faster than the first. Again I jammed just once and got stuck again, though whilst I was there did a cheeky hit on the other jammer when he came around to the back of the back. Knocked him out of bounds and ran him back a little. I didn’t gain anything from it other than the satisfaction that my situational awareness was reasonable. Then with much assistance from my blockers I did make it through the wall. The final score was something like Aire Force 1 around 120 to about 90 for us.
More important than the score was the spirit of the game, which was excellent. I didn’t get any penalties and I think most on our team were cutting the track – not helped by the multitude of markings on the floor. The AF1 blokes seem to be a thoroughly nice bunch, I look forward to playing them in future. Thank you guys, well played!
I’ve got some fresh skills to work on from training and targets to work towards from the scrim. An excellent day of derby!