In 2017, the Vikings Handball Club started the first time ever with 3 teams into the season. Thanks to massive efforts in recruiting we were able to field 2 men teams and 1 women team.
The first tournament of the year, the North Island Championships, the Vikings selected to two even men squads to play the tournament and focus on the development of the players. And the efforts paid off with one team winning and the second team coming in on 5th place.
The women team combined with the Massey University team and managed to come in on 3rd place.
Another first was when the Vikings entered two men teams into the Wellington League. This was a great opportunity for all club members to gain valuable experience but also for some players to take up more responsibilities. While the season went very well in general and one of the Vikings team made the final as expected, a loss in the final was not the wanted result and rather disappointing. Though with the defeats in life you apparently grow and it fuels your eagerness to comeback and proof yourself.
On the other side there was our women team. As the years before we lost some valuable players but we also gained some new players. Unfortunately we lost our goalkeeper one day before the season started and had to improvise quickly.
Big shout out to Michaela who volunteered to be the goalie for the season!
The season itself had up and downs but the girls came very nicely together at the end of the season and played themselves into the final. Unfortunately they couldn’t overcome the opponent in the final, placed 2nd.
The highlight of the season supposed to be the New Zealand Club Championships hosted in Wellington. The men team had everything they did all season long, aligned to this tournament. Besides missing some key players, they showed throughout the pool rounds that the were definitely one the teams to watch. But then a couple of injuries at the end of the pool rounds and a bit of bad luck made our semi-final performance one of the worst games we played all season – unfortunately in the wrong moment. The win the small final was only a small consolation price.
The women team was there to learn further and especially our younger players showed some great improvements. On a side note – a couple of mothers of our players were so excited to watch and eager to join that they ended playing a few games and showed some great talent.
After all the season was actually a huge success. Almost all Vikings players made huge progress in their development and seeing that the U21 men national team had 9 Vikings players and one Vikings coach representing New Zealand at the IHF Trophy showcases exactly those improvements. Getting not the finals wins were working towards too hurts a bit and the disappointment in the players faces was devastating. But the silver lining is that in the defeat is also a huge learning process and that will make each player hungry and excited for the upcoming challenges.