To put it mildly, it’s been both an eventful and interesting week in the Jets camp for a variety of reasons!
A week of real challenges for all of us, with a few negative aspects - but eventually we finished on a real positive.
The first, and in many ways the most difficult challenge has been for the players and the coaching staff to adjust to playing without Matt [Schneck] , who from day one has been one of our key players and one of the most popular guys around the club – and that’s players, staff and supporters!
On a personal level, I have so much sympathy for him. Like so many top athletes in a variety of sports, he was taking a dietary supplement bought over the counter in all good faith, which turned out to contain a substance which was on the UKAD [the anti-doping agency] banned list – although it appeared under a different name. But the rules are the rules and the matter is now in the hands of our solicitors who will now try and bring the case to what we hope will be a prompt and fair conclusion.
The next challenge we faced was in Guildford last Saturday evening, where, to be brutally honest, we played poorly and deserved precisely what we got from a more determined and more energetic Heat team. We arrived home around 3am on Sunday with no time to lick our wounds or feel sorry for ourselves as the new, much improved from early-season, Plymouth Raiders were on their way to the Northgate just a few hours later.
The team’s response to these challenges was nothing short of excellent. They stayed together, played together and they got the job done! They truly are an exceptional bunch of guys - There is never any complaining or finger pointing with them - just a desire to put the work in and do the best they can. They produced a very good performance against the Raiders filled with energy, passion and teamwork and in many ways was the perfect reaction to what had been a difficult week for all of us.
There is no doubt about it - Life will always present setbacks and challenges for everyone. How people react to these is what differentiates between the winners and the losers. – and there is no doubt in my mind about which side of the line this team is going to come down!