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Gentlemens Practice
Division 1a, Xpert International
Manager: Gphoenix
Champions...
If a single picture could sum up Gentlemen's Practice winning the Xpert International championship it would have been of their usually stone faced manager Gareth Phoenix at the final whistle crumpling to his knees in tears as he finally realised what he'd been promising the GP faithful for the past 18 or so seasons finally coming true. He said for the past 8/9 years that he would some how win the big league trophy and bring it home. Monday he finally came through on his word and delivered just that.

As news filtered through that Internazional Milano had surprisingly gone two down away at Todu Bias the noise picked up at The Amber Couldron and it continued to grow as did Gentlemens Practices lead over Os Xiripitius. At the final whistle Phoenix's men found themselves 8 points clear with just two games left and the crowd erupted upon winning the league a week earlier than anyone expected.

Phoenix was understandably almost lost for words after our Xpert Daily reporter eventually got through the obvious crowd of players, backroom staff and fans...

Phoenix: I'm still trying to comprehend it all. When I picked these kids all those years ago I said they had what it takes to go all the way. We lost a few on the way but the core remained and learned from some tough ends to seasons where we've lost out on promotion on the last day on two occasions. It hardened them and me. Three seasons ago we missed out promotion from Division 2 to Beards United who went on to win Division 1 and then The Xpert International which was an inspiration in itself.

After that loss we were all sat in the changing room and we promised ourselves we wouldn't let it happen again. It brought out this incredible strength in them that made us get through a qualifier the following season after another last day heartbreak. The lads went on to a 3-0 win over a cracking team.

The next season we won Division 1 at our first go whilst having to see off Xpert Champions League side SonicMaster (who after 5 attempts over the past two seasons still haven't beat is in open play. 2W & 3L).

No one even mentioned us as contender pre-season but we knew we'd be giving this a go to win and came up trumps.

We'll be doing the same with the XCL next season which will be obviously so much more difficult even more so now our element of surprise is gone.

But today is about the fans and those lads out there on the pitch. They've given everything and I still think they have more but that's part of being the gaffer and for next season. I however have to get back to work tomorrow as we have two game left to play and you can be damn straight we will go out to win them both.

2019-07-12 09:05 2101 Views Reporter: TonyBrazil

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