It’s that time of year again. The smell of war is on the warm summer breeze (present weather accepted), we have gathered our thoughts, strengthened our ranks with new members to the tribe, rested our livers and our voices and we are once again prepared to embark on an epic journey. A journey that will take us as far as Umbria, the Frankish empire and Stockport! That’s right. I am an Exeter Chiefs fan!
This imminent foray into our second season in the greatest league in the world (The Aviva Premiership) is one that, I believe, we are ready for. Last year came as a bit of a surprise to many, and that was off the back of having very little preparation time with the Championship ‘final’ final only taking place in late May. Our second disadvantage of last year was that when we were able to start offering contracts to players, in the hope of luring them to Sandy Park, it was almost too late as the cat had already got the cream. So, what did we do? We created our own brand of rugby to rival those already established in the promised land with the resources that had served us well over the years. The advantages of The Chiefs being massive underdogs are;
1) Many teams used 2010-11 as a consolidation year, expecting their two games against us to be guaranteed points for them
2) Everyone underestimates the power, pride, passion, work ethic and tradition of a small but aspiring rugby club located in a rugby hotbed such as Devon
Needless to say we had a great season and I am proud to be able to call myself a fan of a club that is, and will continue to be, the envy of many of the ‘Big Boys’ who dine at the top table. They may have been there for years but you can’t buy heart, loyalty and morale. One of my favourite lines from a song in my favourite musical (Les Miserables) outlines this and will, one day, hopefully come into fruition: “so never kick a dog, because he’s just a pup . . . you’d better run for cover when the pup grows up, and we’ll fight with twenty armies and we won’t give up”
This year has seen many additions to the Chiefs tribe and a couple of welcome returns. We will, no doubt, be stronger and have greater strength in depth than last year. The difference being that this year, we won’t be a surprise and people will see the smoke signals. I am sincerely hoping that Rob Baxter and the boys change it up again and cause even more headaches for our opposition and I, for one, would be delighted if we can replicate the success of last year.
Many teams will be running on depleted stock as the Rugby World Cup occupies the first weeks of the season and a few may lose a few to that . . . BUT. . . let’s not get complacent, let’s treat all games as equal, let’s take advantage of every opportunity as you can only play the cards that you have been dealt.
Wild horses couldn’t keep me away from what is going to be another rollercoaster of a season.
Myself and ten thousand other braves will fight for the same cause.
Come and join us ‘cos one thing is for sure, it’s gonna be emotional!
Member since: 22nd June 2011
Having worked for over 10 years in the Hospitality and Catering Trade, I am able to bring a fresh outlook on how customer service can effect how our, family run, Insurance Brokers operates.