Schultz Stars for Cobras
By James Hamper
Cobras 6 – 1 Cheam M3s
Craig Schultz scores a double hat-trick!
POM – Craig Schultz
Goals – Craig Schultz x 6
DOD – Craig Schultz
Well this was certainly a day all about Craig and so it only makes sense to dedicate this match report to him.
Craig was born in the Eastern Cape in South Africa a long long time ago. From an early age he showed great promise with ball in hand and most weekends could be found in the nets, practicing his first love, cricket. However, when the squalls came in from the sea and the covers were pulled over the pitches, he needed an alternative ball sport to keep him out the house in winter. Although quite heavy set, even at a young age his weight was in the wrong place to take up South Africa’s first sport of rugby, and so he found himself drawn to hockey.
He developed quickly in the game and represented the famous Selbourne College at the highest level before progressing to provincial (county) first team level. However, coming from a lesser South African province, the strength and depth just wasn’t there to put forward a team to really let Craig’s talent shine. With the likes of Kevin Grant captaining South African schools (he was much lighter then), Greg Nicol and Trevor Mallinson dominating the university scene (and playing some hockey), Craig was left to drift into obscurity in the shadow of these bigger names, his unfulfilled potential left to waste.
Until one day, years later, after consoling himself with way too many pints and developing a beer belly so large that it has changed his centre of gravity and created a gait known affectionately as the “Craig stumble”, he found the Surbiton Cobras. Finally, here was a team with the talent and structure he had been looking for all those years ago. Agile youth to do all the running, wise experienced heads to control the midfield, and a captain who could see the diamond struggling to get out the rough and would keep starting him when so many others thought it a bad idea.
The first season was quiet, a couple of goals poached at the back post but not much else. He needed time to learn how to control the ball when you can’t see it under your stomach. A couple of tweaks in the offseason and a new stick, courtesy of Rob Lane and WCP, and he was ready. Finally, in one glorious afternoon on 16th November 2019 it all clicked!
There aren’t really enough superlatives to describe the game without descending into cliche but for the 60 odd minutes or so he was on the pitch everything he touched turned to gold. The vision to be everywhere all at once. The range of goals from deft touches at the back post to power strikes from the shortie, he had it all. A career of being the ugly sister and now finally Cinderella was going to the ball!
It could have been perfect, but unfortunately life isn’t a fairy tale and the cold hard reality is that when Lloydy is your umpire it is better to keep your mouth shut.
I suppose when you have taken all the spoils it is only reasonable to pick up DotD too!
Well played Craig.