Each year this competition seems to hit a new record number of players. This inevitably places increased pressure on our facilities, and more particularly upon our staff. I would like to thank them in advance for everything that has been done to prepare for the tournament. We are – all of us – indebted to them.
Of course, all athletes compete to win, and I am sure many of you will try your utmost to do so, but for most of us throughout our sporting careers we have also had to learn how to lose. This is by far the hardest, but also the most valuable lesson, because it is how we are able to react to failure that will largely determine future success, not only in sport but also throughout our lives.
A clear objective in any game should be to gain the respect of the opposition, this requires each of you to play fair, work hard and always stay positive!
Win or lose, what I can guarantee is that everyone involved in the tournament will take away memories that will last a lifetime.
Enjoy the next two days, and give of your best and then – no matter what the mathematics tells you – walk off the pitch with your head held high.