2008 and the Rockets are roaring back into action.

Those lads keep on growing, as does the size of the field and the size of the team.

Last year we moved to a 2-2-2-1 positioning and the introduction of a mid-fielders strategy worked well.

This year the field is bigger again and it's 9 a side so we're playing a 3-3-2-1 layout.

I stuck my hand up for coach to hold our wee crew together when Willie stepped down as his son Corey had decided that oval balls were more fun to play with... Thanks for all your hard work, Willie.

Me, I have to say being assistant coach was a lot less pressure.
So rather than let everyone down (now there's confidence for ya) I've enlisted their help, as there's some serious skills other parents can impart.

Now we have Carl and Louis taking fitness training, Kevin imparting Best of British Football Finesse, Mark helping run small-sided games, and me... er, "What are you gonna do, Charlie?" was the somewhat Mark-ed comment if I remember rightly...
"Um, dunno... Bellow from the sideline on Saturdays I guess..."

The way I see it, everyone has something to offer, and we'll benefit the most, both individually and collectively, if we each do what we each do best. Similarly the team itself is now at the point where players need to really develop in the position they are most suited to... Specialist skills and specialised tactics become more important as things progress.


When and where are we playing? And what are the results to date?
Click here for 11th Grade 4th division fixtures at United Soccer 1

Then you need to...

In the top menu scroll down and select "Team report", wait a mo, then in the next menu select our Ranui Rockets team.
Kinda like this:

Grading games, 2008

Well we never got most of our practices in thanks to the council's tendency to close the grounds at a whiff of moisture.
But as Mark re-Marked, "Who needs practices anyway?"
In the grading games, for the first time ever, the Ranui Rockets emerged UNDEFEATED!

Foo eh?!!!

In fact, the one team that was moved up out of our division, the one team that had won every game - WE BEAT!

Hoo ha!

Here's the results of the grading games showing who we played and the scores - and after that, some pics courtesy of Margaret, John's mum. Oh yeah - funny how we are the "away" team on our home ground in the first game...


But hey -

Go Rockets!

Rockets in action -

A few pix from grading games 2008 (in no particular order) -

Click on them for a bigger version - use "back" button in your browser afterwards.

Right: before each match we have a brief team talk. A few key pointers, then sort out positions.


Right: Kevin, our ref and a skillful coach, offers some last minute advice to Ambush Alec, one of our key defenders.


Left: Tairan and Isaac kick off at Albany Domain, playing Albany Kingsway.

Right: Go Johnny go, go!
Pace and precision...
What more's to be said?
Blitz 'em, bud!

Right : Tairan the terminator.
Mr Boot. Power.
This kid has a kick like a mule!
Not that mules can play footie, but trust me, if Tai's on the field that ball's gonna go ballistic!
      Left: Go Joe!
One of our prized discoveries from last season, Joe seems to be everywhere all the time... Mr Zing if ever there was one. Got a gap? Joe will fill it.
I love this kid's commitment!

Left: Joe takes a throw.
Mid-field wingers take the throws, hiff it up the wing to your forward, over the head of any defenders who are marking. Two feet on the ground...

Each position has similar specialised skills they need to master...


Left: Isaac takes another throw.
Wound up like a catapult, then WOOMPF!

Must've taken him a while though cos the guy behind him aged somewhat and even grew a beard...


Alex Parkin does some markin'...
A new addition this season, Alex is a real nice polite kid and keen as mustard. Used to play goalie in a past life elsewhere but he's adapting quickly to position-based thinking out there on the field.

Glad to have you aboard, mate.


Left: "Markin' Parkin" and "Ambush Alec" foil an attack.

Winning isn't just scoring goals - it's stopping the other guys scoring too!
Good defenders rock!


Right: Founding member Tricky Tim is back, his ball control skills as honed as ever. He scored one particularly amazing goal in these grading games and has set up many more with his excellent crosses from the wing.

Rory looks on from his defender's position. Another new Rocket with a boot like a sledge-hammer!



Right: there's Roarin' Rory again, slammin' that ball towards the enemy like a cannon full of fury.


Watch out fellas...
That cannon ball's a-roarin'!


It's "Keep-em-out Kamell".

In defense, timing is everything, and this guy has it sussed. He's hard to get past. Like an ambush specialist he patiently waits, Mr No-Nerves under attack, picking when to pounce, then BLAM!


Left: see that ball at top right of the pic? It's heading in the right direction thanks to good defense.


Bye bye ball...


Left - Liam the Legend can deliver the goods in any field position.
Attack, midfield, defense.
Heck, even goalie!

Joe, as always, has snuck into the picture, and at speed. But like I said he seems to be everywhere all the time...


And who's that in the goalie jersey?
Alistair "Fingers" Findlay, is who!
Mr Magic Mitts, no less.

A good score for the Rockets and a poor one for any team facing him!


Jett is another new Rocket.
(ok, that sounds a bit wierd...)

But this chap deserves his name cos he's FAST and full-on!

Tim anticipates the cross...


Firas, another newcomer, gets aquainted with playing mid-field.
He can put on quite a burst of speed to disrupt an opposition attack when he sets his mind to it.

Effort yields success and success yields satisfaction. Yours, Firas!


Spurred on from the sidelines, a veritable barrage of Rockets assails the enemy. In full flight they hurtle toward their goal, smashing through defences en route to the target.

As with any Rocket barrage, there's an ever-present roar and there's flashes of brilliance...


Sometimes when even a barrage can't find the target, precision guided munitions will.

You've met the i-Pod, i-Tunes and the i-Mac...

Well here's i-saac, i-rocket.
i-seek, i-sprint, i-strike, i-score.


And what else begins with "i"?

When it needs doing, it needs doing FAST! John shows how - KA-POW!!!


Left: and speaking of Johnny ka-pow showing us how...


Hint: get REAL close before taking the shot! Then look for the corner of the goal.

Below: here comes Timmy like a sidewinder missile, a Rocket launched from the wing... he comes, fast and furious, homing in, closer, closer...   BLAM! Gotcha!


OK, line up and shake hands.

"Good game... good game..."
(well we haven't lost yet)


That's a glimpse at the grading games... On to the Real Deal!

Go Rockets!