Meet 12:20 at Futako Tamagawa Station | KO 1pm at St. Mary's School.
The first round of the Footy Japan Cup against TML Veterans Albion Old Boys who earlier this season humbled the Lions in their second welcome to division 3.
This fixture is at St.Mary's in Futako Tamagawa which is much more pleasant and convenient for most of us to get to. However a factor to pay attention to is the St. Mary's pitch is a little on the small side and this plays very much into Albion OBs home advantage. Albion OB are a team of older players and while that limits Gareth Bale 80 yard sprints down the wings, they know very well have to pass the ball around, position correctly and execute very good set pieces. From playing a team like Vagabonds, there are similarities in that many goal attempts can be expected to come from crosses, corners onto well timed headers. On a small pitch there is much more opportunity to do this, as well as restrict space of opponents looking to use pace. So despite the difference in Divisions, at St. Mary's AOB need to be treated with due respect.
While previously BEFC have viewed the Plate as a good opportunity, since last season we have turned our attention to the Cup, and wanting to pit ourselves against the stronger TML teams. Now we are in Division 1, we want as many games against Division 1 teams as possible and that means going for the cup. Some teams do care, some don't, we won't know what Albion are thinking in terms of the competition or if they just play match by match.
For us one major issue we have dealt with is lowering our game against teams we perceive ourselves to be better than. So while we normally perform great against Division 1 teams and other threats, there is a habit to begin playing really poorly when faced with a team lower in the rankings.
This is a bad habit we have to kill from our mentality. We should be practising playing to our own speed and level that should not be influenced by the opposition. It makes us immune to being influenced by an opponent. We want to influence their game. So when we play Albion OB we have to play this hard, like they are another Hibs, FC International, Pumas etc, because the next fixture we have to stay at that same level too.