Mat has already blogged below about our performance at the World Championships in Berlin where we finished up 7th overall, but I wanted to add my own take on events, particularly since the Worlds marks the end of my first Cosmic spell, or rather the start of a short sabbatical. But before I get all teary-eyed, let's just savour that fact for a moment - 7th best in the World. This is a huge achievement for a team who have been playing together for only 15 months, and it's a big slap in the face for all those who predicted that no European teams would make it into the top-10. As it turned out, 5 European teams made it to that final stage, so the whole European bike polo community has a lot to be proud of. It was a thrilling tournament giving us the chance to play against some teams we hadn't encountered before as well as some old rivals. And no tournament is complete without a Cosmic/Rotten Apples encounter, and Berlin's 20+ minute Golden Goal battle was one of the most intense and emotional moments I have experienced in any sport, let alone bike polo.
Last December I moved to Amsterdam, and this forced Cosmic into a long-distance relationship. Yet despite not being able to practice regularly we have continued to develop as a team, and to continue taking our polo to new levels. We've managed to finish up the 2010 international season with a great string of results behind us. Now however, with London's Winter League 3 on the horizon, the time has come for me to step aside, and for Mat and Todd to have a regular 3rd with whom they can train and practice as a team on a regular basis. Snoops is the ideal player to take up the Cosmic mantle, and though it'll be a very different team, I expect it to be every bit as successful as the original Cosmic3.
From the Greif Masters in Karlsruhe last February, until the World Championships in Berlin last week, Cosmic reached the final of every single tournament we entered. Included in this are victories at the EAST Festival, Cycle Coo and the UK Championships in London. Cosmic have made lots of friends all around the world, and I consistently hear people refer to us as the most exciting team to watch in polo.
Several of these tournaments featured Cosmic debuts from members of the London polo family - with Emmet, Hassan and Snoops all riding under the Cosmic eye. Which leads me to this thought. Unlike many teams in polo who insist on never using substitute players, Cosmic are not bound by always having to play as the same three players. There have been 6 Cosmics in 2010, all doing their bit to advance the Cosmic cause, and for us it is much more important that the Cosmic team represents, than keeping the line-up rigid. Cosmic is about strength of the triangle, and the fluidity of our game allows for different players to make up the 3 vertices. The Cosmic family is going to continue to grow and grow, both in London and further afield.
For now, here's to everything we've achieved over the last year - it's been one hell of a ride.