We lost this weekend. We had a chance to silence some critics and keep our 4 point lead at the top of the ladder. We lost badly 4-0 to a Western Knights team that deserved it more than us on the day.
At half time as we were walking in 3-0 down. I heard the words ‘how are they top of the league? They’re shit.’
That hurt alot.
I wanted to take the fat McDonalds addict, present his face to a cheese grater then serve it to him in a burger just like the one he had for breakfast.
That’s how much it hurt.
It still hurts. We are still top by 1 point but the team in second has a game in hand. And everyone will start writing us off again.
I can just hear it now. ‘Canning have shocked everyone but now the crack’s are starting to show…’
I started thinking about why this weekend’s loss hurt so much and realised it was because of how badly I wan’t to win the league. I wan’t it so badly it’s an obsession.
What are the reasons that I wan’t this?
I want it for Bergs. For his simple humour and the way he goes about the game. For his addiction to cheese pizza. For the choice he made to come to Canning when he could have played anywhere in WA’s top league.
I want it for Joshy. The fittest, fastest, strongest guy in the team. A guy who I wasn’t sure about at the start of the year because sometimes I thought he wasn’t serious enough. A guy who has changed the way I looked at him through brilliant performances then through sacrificial roles for the team that I know he didn’t enjoy.
I want it for Stevie K. Quiet, unasuming, talented and 100% committed to the cause. He makes up for his small frame with toughness and determination. He showed that when he got dropped this year. He trained harder the next week and the week after then got his place back. Then he did his knee in the first ten minutes of his return. I know he’ll be back again.
I want it for Sammy. A hard worker and a real club man. A consistent performer on and off the pitch. Never misses a session. The first guy there setting up the goals. The last guy there kicking the ball for that little bit of extra improvement. The guy writing the match day program with the ‘players to watch’ – because he wants to for the team.
I want it for Simmo. A young and extremely gifted youngster with his all of his playing days ahead of him. A gritty midfielder who mixes ability on the ball with hard work and the will to put his body on the line. A rare and admirable combination in a young player.
I want it for Mark. A guy with all the assets to make him one of the states most formidable central defenders. Great in the air, great at ground level with the confidence of a seasoned pro. A quiet fellow most of the time until he feels strongly about something which he speaks out about. I wan’t him to know the feeling of achieving something as a team.
I want it for Danny, Marks brother. Injured in a friendly by a dirty tackle after coming through a tough pre-season. Written off for the year – he worked his way back 12 weeks later. Then missed another 4 for being too passionate on the sideline. A relentless runner who chases lost causes and plays with his heart on his sleeve. A match winner on his day and a prolific goal scorer on any other.
I want it for Deano. Blessed with all the talent and toughness in the world. Could have made it at the highest level in Australia but has been crucified by several horror injuries. Again putting it all on the line and coming back for another crack knowing what is at risk. Throwing his lot in with the rest of us for a common cause and maybe even a bigger one for him personally.
I want it for Laurie. A guy who was nowhere at the start of the year but blossomed and shined after being given the chance. He took the opportunity with both hands and kept his spot through determination and being committed to getting better at his game.
I want it for Tommy. For each and every week that he worked his ass off at training and then sat on the bench and watched for the whole game. For the example he set to the rest of us by training as hard as he could and eventually earning his spot. For the fact that he earned everything he got and it would be great to earn this as well.
I want if for Girado. A quiet chap who is up and down on confidence. When confident, could destroy anyone with his pace and skill. When low on confidence, discounts his own potential. Someone who could gain so much self belief from achieving something that is so damn hard to achieve. Who knows where that would take him.
I want it for Jonno. The reserves keeper. Very young and at times can say quite stupid things but still one of my favourite guys at the club. Loves a chat, loves a joke and always brings a smile to your face. This guy drives from the other side of Perth every Tuesday and Thursday for training and never misses a session. Last time he got his chance had a cracking game.
I want it for Aly. Went through every piece of gut wrenching running with us in pre-season and unlucky to be playing reserves every week. Just wants to play and is as much a part of the team as anyone at the club.
I want it for Emlyn who’s been at Canning through the tough times and the good. Tough, uncompromising and surprisingly a little bit nasty. The kind of guy who would have your back in any situation. The guy who makes you feel a little bit safer and never fusses about the hard graft. The guy who shows the way with quiet leadership.
I want it for Stevie G. Our captain at 37 years old, still putting in 100% at every training. A great leader and an inspiration to the youngsters and veterans alike. Playing in his last year and deserves a big finish fitting of one of the long standing keepers in WA over the last 17 or so years.
I want it for the VanDongen brothers. Playing in their 11th year at the club. Born and bred Canning City. Blue is in their blood. They left the WA premier league to help revive a struggling Canning and in one and a half years have Player/Coached the side to be top of the ladder with 5 games to go. They sit at the foundation of all the success Canning City has achieved. Two of the hardest workers I have ever seen play the game. The ultimate role models for any young player. Extremely bad losers just like me because they want it so badly. Still inspiring me with every minute I play on the pitch next to them.
I want it for my mate Duncan Hind. Another Canning City stalwart. Had the size strength, ability and composure to play in the A-League. Won a premier league title in his second ever year in the premier league before a horrific injury ended his playing days at 21 for good. Now he is our coach and watches every week while the rest of us run around even though he is younger than most of us. God knows for any player how hard that would be to do. But he still does it, week in, week out, so that he can play a part and be involved in the club he grew up at.
I want it for all the reserves players and coaches who rock up and commit just as much every week. For the committee and countless unpaid volunteers.
And I want it for me. These are almost definitely my last 5 games ever. I’ve never been an overly gifted player. I’ve always just been a hard worker and a hard trier. I pride myself on the fact that I worked past my limits in almost every game I ever played. Now I’m tired. I don’t know how much I have left to give. But I do know that whatever is there will be fully spent over the next 5 matches. I know that at the end of it lies either heartbreak or complete euphoria. There is no middle ground for someone with one last chance to finish on a high.
None of us get paid unlike the rest of the teams in our league. We are all playing for the shirt.
No one saw the pre-season we put in. Otherwise they would know and respect the effort that went into what we have achieved this year.
Maybe we will lose the next 5 games. Maybe we will win them all and still finish second.
Or maybe, through hard work and strong desire, the tiny little dreams that only a handful of people will remember really can come true.
There is the most minuscule possible gap between success and failure. Maybe we will all find that inside of us.
And should we be able to reach the top of our little mountain…
There will certainly be no shortage of FUCK YOU’s for anyone one who chose to write us off.
I know I’m proud to be a part of this no matter what comes.