Sweby sets sights on securing promotion for ambitious OPMs
OPMs face a crunch top of the table Davis Wood Hockey League clash with rivals East Devon at Exeter tomorrow.
It's a game OPMs club captain Jason Sweby believes could have a massive bearing on the course of the Southern One championship.
OPMs top the table with 32 points from 13 games but are still only two points ahead of second-placed East Devon, who lost 4-0 to the leaders back in October.
Following relegation at the end of last season, yo-yo club OPMs won the opening six Southern One matches this term and have not looked back.
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Sweby explained: "Last season was a shambles, results-wise, although in fairness more than half of our defeats were only by the odd goal.
"It was the first season I can recall playing when I was turning up to games just expecting to lose.
"We had just forgotten how to win."
Last term OPMs lost 15 of their 22 league games and tasted victory just three times.
This season has been a completely different story.
Sweby said: "We have led the division from day one. It's crazy really because we are the same team, it's just that we have a different mindset.
"We've added one new player – midfielder Jon Williams – but that has only been recently.
"The team that started the season was the one that finished the last one.
"We did start with a bit of a new formation but recently have switched back to 3-4-3 and we are still getting the results."
OPMs, skippered by Alex Peacock, head to Exeter – East Devon play at St Peter's School – buoyed by a 9-0 home win over bottom club Plymouth Marjon B.
Sweby said: "East Devon are always a formidable opponent at their place. But we were all talking about it at training on Wednesday night and saying if we can win this one it puts us in a very good position, five points clear."
OPMs aim is not just to win the game, admits Sweby.
"We want promotion and we want to go up as champions. Then we want to consolidate in the next division up (Conference South) because that's really where we feel we should be playing our hockey."
Weather permitting, Plymouth Marjon men's firsts are away to Cardiff University in the Premiership, while PGSOB, Plymouth University and Plymouth Marjon A are all at home in Conference South matches.
PGSOB are set to host Yeovil & Sherborne (RMB Stonehouse 12.30pm), Plymouth Marjon A are against University of Exeter D (UCP Marjon 2pm) and Plymouth University take on Bodmin (Lipson Community College 12noon).
In the West Clubs' Women's Hockey League, Plymouth Marjon have an 11am Premier One start at Bristol University (Coombe Dingle Sports Complex) while second-placed Caradon visit leaders Bude at 2.30pm in a South Division clash.
Mannamead host Truro (RMB Stonehouse, 10.30am) Plym Valley are at home to Penzance (Lipson Community College 10.30am) and Plymouth Marjon A meet Falmouth (UCP Marjon 12.30am).