I am absolutely knackered .... Yeah I got my English lingo down pat now eh :) as most of you know my second home is Birmingham and I can't even tell you all how many times I have been there with my goalie gear and have NEVER even seen the rink in Solihul which is the closest rink to Birmingham !!! Yeah I know , how did that happen right ? It's not like I don't know anyone there playing hockey or I should say ice hockey here's to not confuse anyone with that other sport lol !
Karl McNelly hooked me up with some of his friends over the last few visits and one of the guys is a hockey buddy named Ritchie Longmore , he's a great guy even though he's a Baggies supporter ... I know trust me he is not inbred or anything lol ! Anyways football passion aside hahaha :) I asked him awhile ago to try hooking shit up and he came through ... Only problem was that I had to extend my trip by a day to make it happen and for me that is doable . I mean I've been dying to play here for years . He tried to get me in with the semi pro club Solihul Barons which would have been solid but I guess they had no room for a fourth goalie out there and I don't blame them so hopefully another time . So he got me on the ice with his rec club ... The Birmingham Rockets !!!!!
The Rockets are run by this woman named Gemma Albutt who is a really nice gal and she runs some mean ass drills on the ice too . Yes she made me skate lol ! Karl picked me up because Ritchie's car is in the shop . Our ice time was at 11 pm so he got me around 9:45 and we heade over ... The rink doesn't look like a rink when you roll up to it but as you creep along the side around to the back it begins to get the feel and look of a good old barn back home ! Now I've heard people moan that this rink is shit but honestly I liked it . The rooms were bigger then some back home even though it smelled like turd in this one ...(yuck) and the ice was pretty damn good aside from one divot near the end boards that a perfectly placed puck could slip under . I guess when you've played in some of the rinks I've played in across the globe you begin to know what's good and what's bad , I won't get into which rinks are bad but I've had my fair share of really shitty ice in my time ... So honestly guys you don't have it so bad .
Got my pads strapped on after I made some alterations to my new straps which apparently someone at my shop forgot to poke for me :( whatever lol ! Most of the group were quite friendly and there was some funny shit said in the room that I'm not gonna mention hehehe ! When we hit the ice Gemma took control , the guys are all keen to listen to her and you could tell she runs a tightly run ship . Only drill I didn't love was the 4 on 0 drill that lit me up abit but I can see how it helps the players ... It's unfortunate I was the target of desire and to be honest my fitness didn't feel so great since I've been here drinking and partying for almost a week now . I guess I should just get into better shape when I get home . The ice time was an hour and the other goalies were really cool and I hope to connect with them on Facebook and stay in touch . As usual one ice time makes it hard to make friends in such an immediate manner so I am hoping to get back on with this group in the future .
Just so you all know these guys and gals were no pushovers on the ice either with Karl running around gooning people lol! Honestly I didn't know he had that in him ??? Karl has definitely gotten better since he first moved out here !!! Playing full contact changes things and it's done wonders for my friend which I am very happy to say ... And for all my Villa mates I am happy to say that my mate Ritchie who I mentioned is a Baggies supporter didn't score any goals on me , but he had the last laugh when he told me last night was a clean sheet for The Villa and that is rare these days :(
I got back to my hotel at 1 am ... I have to be up at 3:30 am to catch my 6 am flight to Brussels which is where I am now as I write this ... I am knackered as I mentioned earlier but it was all worth it getting on the ice finally in Solihul with the Birmingham Rockets :) I hope to see you all again and best of luck with all your matches ! That was a fantastic last skate for 2015 ... Next ice time is in Benalmadena , Spain on a 3 on 3 rink .... Good thing I've been skating on a rink that size lately back home .... Time to squeeze in a nappy !