For those that don't know, (LOL) I play paintball. Since 2000, I have partaken in Tournament paintball. It has always been fun times, although there have been some instances of bad politcs, bullshit calls, various anal ripping arguments and what not.
I started playing for Phoenix in 2001, we won our first tournament in 2003, at the end of 2004 some of Phoenix retired and stopped playing. In 2005, some of Phoenix joined Hybrid to play XBall in Australia. We played in NZ and 3 times we went over to Australia. I stopped playing at the end of 2007 on a high note, go out with a bang they say. Hybrid won the last event we went to, down in ChCh. Fantastic event and really good times. With various people getting married, buying houses or having kids, Hybrid stopped playing. I played a bit here and there on a casual basis, sold my guns and various paintball gear.
In 2010, I was asked to play for Arachnids in Palmerston North's Race 2 series. I did so for a few events, but unfortunatly I was there during change and a few bad calls left a bad taste in my mouth. Shit happens, so I left Arachnids to it. In the middle of 2010, Phoenix asked me to play for them again. We went to Rotorua for the NZPPL event, it was a laugh, loved playing for them, but they weren't really ready to be a force on the field. Too many old folks looking for a good time!! I was asked again by Arachnids to play in October at the NZPPL Waikanae event. That was another great event and I was ready to really get back into it again. The last event I played with Phoenix, we went to Auckland for the Greater Auckland Open, this was another Race 2. We had some good games and some bad. But the one thing that really stood out, was the fact we didn't have a solid team. We scrapped together our team at the last minute basically. It does get frustrating when that happens.
2011: The Real Deal! Ryan asked me to play for Phoenix for 2011. Having a team that wants to win is something that I need when playing with people. In agreement, I committed to Phoenix for 2011. I had input on training, the team selection, running the team and if Phoenix wasn't putting a team into and event, I can play for another team. The first event of the year for Phoenix was decided early on. We'd goto Ashburton in the South Island to support the Southern Series, after Flashpoint have supported NZ ball for so long (11 years and counting).
The first event for me was going to be with Arachnids, who requested I play for them again down in Dunedin. We roadtripped down, thanks to Scott who had a ferry ticket for his car. Taking down Martins DM11, wearing my HK Army top, I played mainly the Snake, which although isn't a first, it certainly wasn't my normal play style. Had a few stupid moments, but overall it was a fantastic event and it might sound egotistical, but being asked to play for a team isn't something everyone gets. Its good to feel wanted!
Phoenix's first event, down in Ashburton was a bit hectic. We had to pick up a player less than 2 weeks out when Ev had to stay home and Marty blew out his back. Marty still came down to play, but only in the back centre. Luke filled in for Ev. So we had 5 players, in a 5 man tourney, it was going to be tough. 4 guys and a cripple, not the best way to start. However, Clown Monkeys came to the party and offered us a new player. She hadn't played a tourney before, but she had been practicing with the best ChCh team for 6 months. She got a few games on the saturday, learning from Marty and working very well with Ryan on the field, on sunday she certainly pulled our asses out of the fire a couple of times. However, a Cripple and ringer and a newbie wasn't going to be enough. We came in at 8th place, not bad for what we had, but not in the top placings.
Back home we had some serious discussions. It was time to get real. The next event was only a few weeks away. We needed a plan, in fact, more importantly, we needed a team. I left it upto Ryan to sort it out. He had a few people that really wanted to play for a team, we didn't have time for trials etc. Funnily we had 2 people keen to play, but they were picked up for Hybrid. I told Ryan if he didn't have a team, I'd look elsewhere for one. The weekend came and went, monday morning we had a team. 3 new guys we picked up, Jono, Kieron & Gareth. All chomping at the bit to play paintball. Exactly what we want for Phoenix.