It was a pity this was an away game. The Mints put up their best performance of the season with a tremendous 3-0 victory over Independence Sporting Club from Strathclyde in a match which they had to win to avoid a playoff and possible relegation. They have achieved third place and are now secure in Series III.14 for another season and this was always the target manager Rustyjack had aimed for all season. The only downside to the game was an injury picked up by Argentinian mid-fielder Alberto César Pereyra. He will be out of action for at least two weeks and will, therefore, miss pre-season training. The third goal was scored in the 37th minute and the game was, effectively, over. Interestingly although two strikers scored, the third decisive goal was scored by defender Anders Hegdal. This has been a feature of Polomint’s games all season, that the goals have been shared throughout the team. After the game an emotional Rustyjack was as happy as if he had won the league. “There were some difficult times this season and I thought at one point we might not achieve our target and could go down. However the lads rallied with a draw and then three wins in a row culminating in todays outstanding performance. I am even receiving love poems from the fans! The Chairman and I will continue to plan for next season and , hopefully , strengthen the squad to enable us to achieve further success.”
Roused from their comatose state by comments elsewhere in the HTU Managers community, staff at Polomint threw recent results behind them and looked to the future. It has been a hard month for the senior squad with three defeats and a draw in all competitions up until tonight when a 3-0 victory against Arzt Schnell gave the club two wins for the price of one! The fixture was the first round of the GMC Shield and the win puts Polomint in the semi finals against Hellfish United FC next week. Because Art-Frisson, manager of Arzt Schnell, is a member of HTU Managers Fed. the game also qualified as a Golden League match and this was Art’s first GL game.
Polomint now sit in fifth place in the domestic league and will have to fight in the remaiming games to ensure a top four place, which has been the aim all season. The Youth Academy boys of Nippy Mints have fared much better and have gained promotion to the coveted HTUM U18 Championship. It will be a hard season for them as they will be rubbing shoulders (or shins) in illustrious company with teams such as Falcon Fledgling, MS Odense U18, Siguldas Raķetes, FC Sliver Junior, Kamenice Lamers, Manse JR and Langer House Yuva. The first game of the new season is on Friday at home against Kamenice Lamer and the boys are looking forward to that.
Elsewhere in the Hattrick world the Board of Polomint agreed to spread their wings and start a new club in New Zealand. A formal application has been made to the HT Authorities which is currently being processed. The name of the new club is Cabuie situated in the New Zealand South region of Oceania. The selected location is purely due to family connections of manager Rustyjack.
Cabuie was a shepherd’s cottage in Sutherland, Scotland and the occupants – two brothers and a sister – emigrated to New Zealand in the late 1800′s, settled in the South Island and built a farm and named it after their Scottish home. Rustyjack’s cousin, and her family, emigrated to Auckland in 1951, eventually married and had a son and a daughter. The daughter grew up, married and moved to the South Island and bought Cabuie in McKenzie country west of Christchurch.Rustyjack visited them a few years ago and later researched the history of the original family for her. The cottage in Sutherland no longer exists having been submerged in a reservoir built in the 1950′s as part of the North of Scotland Hydro electric Scheme.
This is a major undertaking and Rustyjack is excited at the prospect and is already making preparations for the new club
……. come to an end! As was proven last week when Polomint were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by old adversary Vines Cross. Manager stuarty_1 thanked Rustyjack for the game and admitted his team were on a good run this season. In the league on Saturday Polomint lost 2-1 to Uncharted Territory in a game they should have won! Although the fans have remained calm, a few have started to leave the Supporters Club, The Mint Lumps. A spokesman for The Lumps said “the game was a big disappointment for the fans and a few felt they had to protest. The target for the season remains a top four finish and, hopefully, The Mints will achieve that”. That result drops Rustyjack’s team to third place in the table, albeit on goal difference with the top three teams on 10 points
The youngsters in the Nippy Mints Youth Academy didn’t fare any better having suffered their first defeat in the HTUM Youth League II this season. Youth Coach Ronnie Stobie explained. ” We have a number of lads nearly finished their training in the Academy and, to benefit from the maximum training we have had to change the team’s usual formation. Some of the lads got a bit confused against Lokomotiv Veltem Youth Club and we didn’t play to our best and were punished and lost 5-2! Hopefully this will be sorted out for our next game on Friday when we entertain MS Odense U18at the Low Green”.
Rustyjack and the Chairman were enjoying a quiet evening with a bottle of Jura acquired from one of the sponsors at Saturdays game. Both were reflecting on the current position Polomint finds itself in. Another win in the league with a 2-1 away victory against Rudall&Rose puts The Mints top of Series III.14 after four games, three wins, one draw. the second team, however are only one point behind and it is far too early to be counting chickens. . Polomint are now undefeated in twelve competitive games. The target for the season is still a top four finish.The next game , on Wednesday, is a derby match in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup against Vines Cross
The Nippy Mints in the Youth Academy are also doing very well again this season. The lads sit top of the HTUM Youth League II with 21 points from seven wins from seven games. The lads are on a high at the moment but the time is fast approaching when some of the senior players will be moving on, hopefully to the senior team. This is inevitable in a Youth Academy – good senior players move on and it takes some time for the younger lads and new recruits to find their feet.
Rustyjack, although happy, had a lot to think about as he left the Chairman dozing beside an almost empty bottle of Scotland’s finest!
After the first week of the new season, it’s good to have the fans on side. Manager Rustyjack reflected on this as he walked to the Chairman’s house for their first business meeting of the season. The first league game was tough but was won, albeit by a tight margin. Success in the first two Cup games was expected. The Mint Lumps are sending love poems! How long all this can last is what was occupying Rustyjack’s thoughts as he rang the bell at the Chairman’s door. The Chairman was his usual courteous self as he ushered Rustyjack to a comfortable chair near the fire in his spacious lounge. A bottle of 18 year old Linkwood was on the table and was quickly opened and a couple of drams poured. “Well, a Good New Year to you, Rustyjack” beamed the Chairman, “and may it be a prosperous one. How did your trip down South go? Pick up any tips?” The Chairman was referring to Rustyjack’s extended holiday which included a trip down to London for a managers conference. “It’s all about Youth nowadays”, said Rustyjack, “old players are no use any more”. The two men looked at each other knowing there was some truth in that. Polomint’s players were ageing fast and changes would have to be made this season. “We sold Léon Waerenburgh last week”, said the Chairman, “so a start has been made”. Rustyjack nodded in agreement but knew it was not so simple. ” I think we will have to content ourselves in Series III for a while yet and we will be lucky to achieve that. It could be a complete rebuilding programme that is required. Leon was a start but we cannot afford to let too many experienced players go without adequate replacements”. After a few more drams the pair had reached agreement on the way forward for the rest of the season. Rustyjack had an inner glow as he made his way home, a little unsteadily!