On Saturday, 6th October the team from London began the challenge for the National Cup of 2018/19. The newly formed squad travelled to local neighbours ULU London and came away with a swift and easy win 0-3 (9-25; 13-25; 20-25) to take them into the next round of the Cup. The match and also the upcoming season was evaluated by IBB Polonia London Head Coach Simon Loftus.
How do you think pre-season training went?
It has been quite good, the players are trying to buy into my ideas and philosophy. This takes time and we start to see some of the ideas becoming consistently expressed by the team. We could have done with some more matches but we are where we are.
The team went to Belgium for some scrimmage games. How did the team compare against the opposition?
The Belgian and Dutch leagues are of a really good standard and the trip was perfect for showing the team of what is required to play at a high level. We competed quite well but it was clear for everyone to see we have a long way to go to beat this level of teams
The first game of the season saw a very strong victory. Does this indicate the season will go smoothly? How did the squad perform yesterday?
It was a straight forward win, but I don’t think it reflects the standard that we will be up against in the Super League. Our intensity dropped after the first set and there were a lot of changes which didn’t help our rhythm. We have 2 weeks to smooth out some of the issues before we play Richmond Docklands. The new format of the league means that it will be very difficult for us as any loss could have a huge impact on the standings.
Which aspects of the game are you most happy with?
Things are still a working process but I’m happy to see some of the aspects we are working upon in practice appear in a match situation.
Based on the result, can you be confident in the winning the Cup and Championship?
It’s far too early to say, I think that there are some really strong teams in the league this year and the likes of Essex, Malory and Sheffield have some great athletes and as such we just need to concentrate on getting better every week.
Over the next two weeks, the London club will focus on trainings and prepare for the start of the new Super League. The next encounter will be on 20th October away to Richmond Docklands. The first home match will be on 27th October at 4PM. More information is available here: https://ibb-polonia-london-sheffield-hallam-tickets.eventbrite.co.uk. The next round of the National Cup will take place on 10th November at the home venue where Simon Loftus team play against ONYX. More details as they develop will be available on the usual social media forums.