In what was the single best display from a Boyer led team in 2015, the Herston Hatchet’s triumph in a narrow 2-1 victory over strong opposition from the Titans.
It was a crisp, starry night in Grange, North Brisbane. Fans made their way to their seats, eagerly awaiting the first tie of the season, players played keepy-uppy with each other near the touchline and visible exhalation rose from the mouth and up to a furrowed brow from the visibly nervous recently appointed, player cum head coach of the Herston Hatchets – the Frenchman Pierre-Nicolas Boyer. He realised more than most, that an impression would have to be made on the Hatchets’ faithful fast if he were to have an extended stay as commander-in-chief, and to his delight, his team did not disappoint.
The Hatchets lined up in a somewhat conservative 4-4-2 formation, perhaps intelligently chosen by Boyer and Demik, due to the lack of preparation afforded to the Hatchets in pre-season due to “contractual disputes” over the teams new training grounds. There were little signs of rust in the machine that was Herston Hatchets that night, the players found the perfect destructive marriage of flair and urgency in the first 20 minutes. Their well-targeted, high-energy pressing and aggressive attacking was simply too much for an lackadaisical defence. Neat and tidy football from midfield maestros Sonesh ‘Son-don’t-shine’ Amin and Michael ‘Glorious Leader’ Alim led to a clever, dinked ball played through the middle and into the box which found the feet of the ever effervescent striker Matt ‘Budgy Smuggler’ Burrage, who turned skilfully in the box, but was, in the words of the enigmatic referee, ‘saandviched’ between a stubborn Titans defender and goalkeeper. Seemingly, in an act of defiance, he managed to slip the ball across the face of the goal. The loose ball was pounced on by right winger Adam ‘aesthetics bro’ Irelandes who used his incredible strength, garnered from hard, gritty strength training over pre-season, to muscle his way through the hapless right back to finish into an empty net. A poachers goal, but a beautiful (aesthetic) one.
What followed next was a largely uneventful 15 minutes, the Hatchets happy to sit back and let long time defensive stallwart Bjorn ‘Zadkovic’ Burgher and new addition Nick ‘I like to touch’ Rigby soak up any pressure the Titans were able to muster. However, cockiness quickly turned to remorse as a play out from the Titans goal mouth left Burgher stranded as his defensive team found themselves too high up in the field which allowed the Titan FC forward to slip a ball to an onrushing midfielder who had a whole continuum of time and space to slot cleanly past a visibly frustrated Jakob Campbell. 1-1. Game on.
A frazzled, graying Boyer flicked eccentrically through notes during the half time talk whilst simultaneously calling every player a coward. What happened next was nothing short of a tactical masterclass the Hatchets changed formation – they more aggressively pushed forward, playing a flexible 3-5-2 with wingers overloading the flanks to deliver carefully placed crosses towards the Herston attackers.
The gambit paid off for the young** manager 15 minutes in to the second half; clever running from Janzekovic on the right allowed him to get behind the defense and cut a ball back into the box. He found Kimesh ‘Eveready Bunny’ Chetty who had to contort his body awkwardly but managed to ricochet the ball into the back of the net. 2-1 Hatchets! From here, the heroic Hatchets were able to close out game, intelligent defensive pressing didn’t allow titans any meaningful time on the ball. The game finished to cheer and songs from the Hatchet’s camp, no doubt the fans singing were offering a semi-banterous smackdown-in-song of the thoroughly outclassed Titan FC. A sublime spectacle to behold.
Next for HH is Bayern Neverlusen, who, from early scout reports, are better at football than picking team names that make sense. Keep checking for updates from myself on team preparations, injury status of current players and totally unbiased opinions on the upcoming HH season.