Old Streetonians coach aims to rediscover winning mentality

Old Streetonians

Old Streetonians - Credit: Archant

Old Streetonians coach David Bailey remains optimistic that a single win can transform his struggling side’s fortunes after five straight defeats.

Streetonians, who were relegated to London North-West Division Three last year, have continued to find life difficult during the current campaign and lie third from bottom of the table.

Although Bailey’s men were comfortably beaten by the league’s top two sides (52-7 against Harrow and 22-5 against Finchley), their other three reverses have been far closer affairs.

In the most recent of those, Streetonians surrendered a 21-point half-time lead against Fullerians and eventually went down 34-24 – supporting the coach’s view that a losing mentality is still lingering from last season.

“The other side hadn’t really touched the ball in the first half, but in the second half we just lost our shape,” Bailey recalled.

“If you’ve totally outplayed them for 40 minutes and then lose, that suggests it’s a mental thing.

“Last year we had that feeling of struggling against players who were much better than us and, when you lose that winning habit, it becomes a mindset.

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“But they’re all clever chaps and I think we’ll just get a win, then the conscious will overtake the sub-conscious and we’ll start winning regularly.”

Streetonians spent three seasons at the higher level (London North-East Division Two), but increased travelling costs – many of their opponents were based as far afield as North Norfolk – took their toll.

And, as Bailey points out, the nature of Old Street’s location, drawing players from areas such as Islington, Hoxton and Shoreditch, often makes it difficult for him to field a settled side.

“Because many players live in London for their careers, we don’t have a consistent side, unlike a town such as Ipswich,” the coach added. “We’re constantly changing because people aren’t always available.

“We did very well to get where we got to and we hung on there, travelling all over East Anglia, which was really tough. We don’t have that now, but we’re still throwing games away and that needs to change.”

Streetonians resume their league campaign away to Datchworth on Saturday.

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