Sports Dinner 2014
Bill Shankley the legendary Liverpool manager famously stated: “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.”
As an intelligent man it’s most likely the case that Shankley was not being entirely serious when he spoke these words. None the less, the sentiments expressed by Shankley hint at how important it is to keep our affairs in perspective. Enrichment activities form an important part of student life at MPW and the College football team is often a fine showpiece for us. As a community we view our sporting and cultural endeavors as an opportunity for our students to develop their leadership, initiative and tenacity amongst other things. Overcoming challenges as part of a team can be character building; all the more so when negotiations with other team members are sometimes required to get things moving in the right direction. When the dust has settled it can be so easy to put things into perspective but when involved in a game passions can run high and sometimes cool heads are needed. Our football team of this season have a lot to be proud off. As always they carried themselves with real dignity and attempted to rise above some of the more annoying provocations that can emerge during competitive encounters. Unfortunately, our main rivals MPW Cambridge just had the edge over us this season, and to their credit they currently hold MPW Challenge Trophy. Our goal for next season is clearly to regain this trophy but rest assured that any team representing MPW Birmingham will play by the rules and if they are good enough to win then they will do so in a fair manner.
Such considerations are important to the ethos of the College and speak volumes about the way our students behave both inside and outside of the classroom. As a football team our players look out for each other and as long as players are willing to work hard all ability levels are accepted. Our Tuesday football training sessions are great fun and whether sunshine or rain there is always a good turnout. One area we do need to work on is fitness and our manager James Bourne has already intimated at some training exercises for next season to boost fitness.
Our Sports Dinner was held at the Blue Piano restaurant in Edgbaston and whilst we celebrated the achievements of all the players’ three special awards were handed out. The Club Man award went to Dan Preston whose at times selfless commitment to his left back role and willingness to be competitive whilst retaining a sense of fair play made him a very strong team player. The runner up to the player of the season award went to Hamza Khalid whose sterling efforts as our goalkeeper brought much reassurance to outfield players. Player of the season went to our skipper Zach Johnson and this was a double sweep by Zach as both the players and management nominated him. Zach is a formidable central defender who plays with the heart of a lion and if he attacks his studies at university like he does when he is heading a ball then we predict a first class honours degree is on its way. Despite being super competitive Zach has a calm head on his shoulders and he gets the balance right between encouraging his team mates and telling them to buck their ideas up.