Changes at the Club

Some of you will already know this, but for anybody who I haven’t already told, in January I will be starting a new job in London. Therefore, sadly, I will no longer have a regular involvement with Coventry Handball Club. Whilst my disappointment at not being able to be a part of the club is huge, I can at least reflect back over what has been an incredibly successful first four months for the club. The progress we have made in so many areas has been immense, and if the momentum that the club has built up can be maintained, I’m sure the club will continue to grow and grow.

It’s also reassuring knowing that I’m leaving the club in safe hands. Paul and Duane were there from the very start – without them, there would simply be no club. I would also like to thank Lukasz for massively improving the standard of play at the club through his excellent coaching. Paul will be moving to replace myself as Chair, with Duane becoming the new Treasurer. Therefore we will be looking for a new club secretary – if you are interested in that role, or perhaps think you could help the club in some other capacity, please speak to Paul. Any help that the club gets will be greatly appreciated, and my own example should provide proof if proof were needed of the benefits getting involved with a club. It’s probably fair to say that without this role on my CV, I wouldn’t have been offered my new job. 2013 will be a huge year for the club as we look to move into establishing a junior system and entering into men’s and women’s leagues for the first time, so if you’d like to get more involved with the club, now would be the perfect time.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who has come down to sessions and played. Seeing everyone enjoying themselves has made all of the work incredibly rewarding and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every moment. I wish the club every success for the future, and hopefully we will meet again on a Handball court at some stage. Hopefully I will see you all either at training over the next two Thursdays or at the social on Friday to say a proper goodbye in person.

Colin.

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Match Report v Warwick University 2nd December

Coventry HC 23-12 Warwick University HC Development Team

I wrote last week that, as frustrating as the last-minute loss was, I’d be happy as long as we learned from the lessons of that defeat and improved. Well, I think it’s fair to say that we did that and more against Warwick today. Last week was a case of us being the victims of our own frustrations, but from the off today it was clear that we were not going to repeat the same mistakes. The game was fairly even early on – Warwick even took an early lead in the game – but throughout the first half we kept our composure, kept focussing on taking the right options and quickly putting behind us anything that didn’t go our way. We definitely had the greater strength in-depth amongst our squad – people were coming off the bench and making a real positive impact – and slowly we pulled out to and 8-5 lead, with Vicente scoring 3 of our first 5 goals. The five minutes prior to half-time really killed the game as a contest, as we scored four unanswered goals to go into the break with a 12-5 lead. The second half was slightly closer in terms of the scoreline (11-7), but I think this was mainly down to a slight loss of fluency in our game as a result of multiple substitutions, giving players opportunities to play in different positions as well as a couple of 2 minute suspensions. I felt we controlled the game well in the second half, and the final score was a fair reflection on the game as a whole.

Congratulations to all of the guys who were involved, and thanks again to Warwick for the game, as well as providing an excellent referee. We can hopefully look forward to many more Coventry derbies in the years to come. If we continue to build on this performance in training, then it will stand us in good stead for 2013. Before then there is potentially one more fixture in two weekends time – hopefully we will have something confirmed in the next week.

Today’s Goalscorers were:

Lukasz – 5

Przemek – 5

Jon – 5

Utsav – 4

Vicente – 3

Sena – 1

First Home Game This Sunday!

As good as it is to play any Handball game, there is something extra special about the prospect of playing our first men’s home match this Sunday. The fact that it is the first ever Coventry derby against Warwick University HC only adds to the occasion. It’s shaping up to be an excellent game – and it’s one that you can experience too. Whether you’ve come down to our sessions before or whether you’ve never watched or played Handball in your life, we’d appreciate your support on Sunday, and the great news is it’s free to get in. Therefore if you’re around and about, why not pop in and watch? The details are:

Date: Sunday 2nd December

Time: 13:00-15:00 (Game due to start at roughly 13:30)

Venue: Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre, Fairfax Street, Coventry, CV1 5RY, courts 5-10 (spectators should follow the signs for Jungle Junction to find the viewing gallery)

We’re hoping we’ll get a decent turnout to cheers the guys on, and hopefully we’ll be able to provide an entertaining performance for you. Who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself wanting to come down to try the sport for yourself after Sunday?

Match Reports 25/11/12

Loughborough Men 11-10 Coventry Men

Usually Handball is a game characterised by high-scoring encounters. However, this match was anything but the dull encounter that the scoreline might suggest. We started the match in great form, racing into a 2-0 lead in no time at all, but any thoughts we might have had that this would be an easy match were quickly dashed as Loughborough mounted a strong response. Nevertheless, we were slightly disappointed to find ourselves going in at half-time level at 6-6. What followed immediately after the restart did not make pleasant viewing. Frustrations started to build amongst our side that things were not going our way, and Loughborough capitalised on this to great effect to pull ahead to 9-6 with around 10 minutes remaining. We took a time-out to regroup, which had exactly the desired effect, as we stormed back into the match to take a 10-9 lead. However, we twice had opportunities to close out the game in the final minutes and twice failed to do so. Loughborough again took full advantage, equalising and then regaining the lead with roughly 15 seconds to go. This proved too short a period of time for us to equalise, and so we came up short by the odd goal in 21.

Following the game, we have to remind ourselves that this was a friendly, and ultimately the most important thing is not the result but gaining experiences that will make us a better team in the long-run. One thing I’m hoping that all of the guys take from the match was the importance of controlled aggression. Aggression is necessary in Handball, but as we discovered to our cost yesterday it becomes detrimental if that boils over. Not only does it increase your chances of falling foul of refereeing decisions, but it also affects your ability to execute your skills and choose the right options in attack and defence. Far too many attacks were squandered due to wayward shots or misplaced passes born out of frustration. The fact that when we calmed down and concentrated on executing the plans we had been working on in training we launched a strong comeback should provide as much evidence as is needed of the value of controlling your aggression.

That comeback was probably the greatest positive to draw from the match, and it was also good to give a few guys there Coventry Handball Club debuts. Thankfully we have an immediate opportunity to put things right against Warwick next Sunday in our first home match.

Loughborough Women 16-14 Coventry Women

Two games played, two narrow defeats. However, given the circumstances of the game, we couldn’t have been more proud of the performance our girls put in. Some of the girls had never met before yesterday morning, and for most of them this was their first experience of playing an (almost) full-length Handball match (we played 25 minutes per half rather than the usual 30). Added to the fact that there was very limited opportunity prior to the match to work on tactics with what was an inexperienced, scratch team, to come so close against a well-organised Loughborough side was a particularly valiant effort. Our girls also had the handicap of no substitutes, which whilst helping continuity made the physical challenge particular daunting. Therefore for our girls to have actually won the second half, when in theory the tired legs should have started to show, was a fantastic achievement.

Performances like this make us even more determined to make the women’s sessions a success. With more regular practice together, working on the core individual and team skills, and a few more players to allow us to make substitutions, and the two-goal defeat could have easily have been a win. Therefore we’re really excited ahead of Wednesday’s women’s session (17:30-18:30 at Coventry Sports Centre, Courts 5-10) to start building on that first performance and start to form a highly competitive women’s team.

Thanks once again to Loughborough for providing us with two really close-fought matches which hopefully will prove hugely beneficial in the development of both clubs. We’re looking forward to arranging return fixtures next year!

 

New Deals for Women’s Sessions

Tonight we held the first of our now weekly women’s only sessions. Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who did show up, and we were pleased with the standards on display. However, we still need more numbers at each session to make sure that the sessions are financially viable. We’re going to work hard to recruit some new players of the coming weeks, but we’re also going to change our pricing structure for the sessions to help towards this.

The full price of the session will still be £3 per person, as always on a pay-as-you-play basis. However, for any new members, they will get their first session for just £1, making it an ideal opportunity to try the sport for any girls who have never played before. Our existing members (i.e. anyone who has been to a session before) won’t miss out either, as we will also be offering introduce a friend deals. For every new member you bring along to a session, you’ll get a session for just £1 yourself. So, bring two friends with you and you’ll get two sessions for just £1 each. Bring three friends and you’ll get three sessions for £1 each and so on. Hopefully these new price plans will help encourage lots of new girls to try Handball, and we’re confident that once they try it, they’ll love it and our numbers will grow and grow.

 

New Women’s Only Sessions!

We have now confirmed a slot for weekly women’s only sessions! These will be held alongside Warwick University Handball Club, and we think that this partnership will allow us to run a women’s session that will allow players at both clubs to improve by playing in a full-court, women’s only environment, and hopefully will help both clubs attract new players. Whether you’ve been playing Handball for years or never picked up a Handball before, all abilities are welcome. There’s no membership fee attached to the sessions, which operate on a pay-as-you-play basis. Therefore if you’ve never been to a session, why not come along next week, or even better, bring a friend along with you? The important details are:

Venue – Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre (CV1 5RY), Court 5-10 (for anyone whose been to one of our sessions, this is the other side of the normal hall

Day and Time – Wednesdays, 17:30-18:30 (university term time only)

Cost – £3 per session per person

Restrictions – Over 18’s only, other than that all girls welcome!

Kit – Bring normal kit for an indoor sports hall and a drink.
Sessions start next Wednesday (21st November), and with our first women’s match next Sunday (25th November), if you haven’t come to a session before, now is the perfect time to start!

 

Match Information

Matches are looming large on the horizon now, and we’re all looking forward to playing the men’s and women’s double-header against Loughborough next Sunday and our local derby for the men against Warwick the Sunday after. It is our intention that everybody who makes themselves available for selection will play in at least one of the three matches, however we can only make this happen if we know everyone’s availability with enough time to get everything organised.

Therefore for any of the guys looking to play in at least one of the two fixtures, we need to know your availability, preferably by the end of tomorrow (Thursday 15th). If you’re attending tomorrow’s session, you can let us know there, if for any reason you can’t make the session please send us an email (coventryhandball@gmail.com) before the end of tomorrow let us know your availability and we’ll make sure you’re selected for one of the two games. The details of the fixtures are as follows:

Sunday 25th November – Loughborough Away, 13:50 meet, matches finished by 18:00

Sunday 2nd December – Warwick Home, 12:50 meet, match finished by 15:00

Anybody interested in playing in the women’s match, we will be giving details of the match at every session between now and next Sunday. If you can’t make any of those sessions but would still like to play in the match, please email for further details.

Also there is a beginners/new club tournament currently being organised to be held in Oakham on either Saturday 15th December or Sunday 16th December. Matches are likely to take place between 12:00 and 17:30, so should be plenty of opportunities to play competitive matches against teams of a similar standard. However, I am aware that this is after the end of term for Coventry University, so I need to ensure we have the numbers to send a team before I commit to the tournament. Therefore if you will be available that weekend please let us know and we’ll see whether we are in a position to send a team.

Colin.