13TH September 2020
Much of our preseason has been about trying to get the boys to be right on it from the first whistle, and as some of you would have seen in training we’ve been trying to add combinations to our attacking play. We have also been working on a new 3-3 formation with Harry or Frankie playing centrally and trying to allow either full back to attack with the other boys moving round to cover the space.
I have been asking the boys to focus on always be courageous and determined, as although the result is not always the most important thing at this age what is important to me is that we never give up. I also want the boys to focus on building a friendship and togetherness that alone will beat teams by itself. If we do all stick together over the next couple of years we will have built a strong unit that others will be envious of and will always want to be a part of. I think we are heading in the right direction!!
This year our aim is for us to build up to competative 9vs9 football next year and so we may need to increase the squad towards the end of the season a bit, so that we are ready for the demands of next season.
Today our first game of the season was against what we could consider to be our nemesis in Greenfields. First game we played them last year was at home on the second week, they beat us on that occasion with Caleb and our defence being under constant threat with Caleb standing strong in goal. Oscar scored for them in the last minute when we had the famous ‘2 minutes extra time, where did that come from - gate’. The 2nd game last year we lost 9-2 over at Pelhams on a cold morning on a 3 aside pitch. This made me even more determined to shock them!
The boys warmed up well and we spent more time going over the plan for the game than we normally would. The main things we said to the boys were about ‘being brave on the ball’ and also ‘when we did’nt have the ball, to find the player we should be marking and get tight’.
We started with Caleb in goal, Finley, Harry and Ronnie in the back 3 and Frankie, Harvey and Joe in midfield. I thought we started excellently today and from the start we were putting pressure on the ball and not allowing some of their better players the time they wanted. We had a chance very quickly in Ronnie winning the ball and playing it through to Joe who was playing on the right side. Joe went 1-1 with the goalkeeper and calmly slotted past to put us 1-0 up after 3 mins. Some more great work from us soon after this with Caleb making a save and then quickly starting a break where the boys very nearly pulled off the drill we had been practising in the week (which I’d offered to buy them all their favourite chocolate bar if they scored with it), this ended with Harvey shooting and the goalkeeper saving, subsequently palming it out for a corner.
We then went 2-0 up, the resulting corner was fired in by Frankie and expertly headed in by Ronnie. Caleb was then called into action and made another smart save. We then made a change early as Harvey picked up a knock on his foot so Jack came on up front on 10 minutes. This was undoubtedly the best 1/4 we have played since me and Mark have taken over, just for the intensity alone. Also for the organisation of the boys and togetherness and attacking the ball as a team!
At the 1/4 break we made a few more changes and Charles came on for Ronnie and Brooke came on for Frankie. Caleb made a great double save at this point to deny Greenfields and this then led to some end to end action until Greenfields got back into it. On 19 minutes the ball broke for their left winger Lewis, and he rifled the ball into the top right corner giving Caleb no chance. Within 3 minutes we went 3-1 up with the best solo goal of the day. Joe broke through midfield and dazzled 3 of their players and finished by slotting home from close range. Great goal!!
At half time we changed it around again but held the same formation. We talked together about the importance of not letting them score again and as a team we went out and defended so well together again. The support they were giving each other was excellent! Caleb made a flying save to his right to deny their forward and they also had a header just over. Another smart save down low with some defensive pressure and Caleb dived at their forwards feet. Again we were close to breaking through on goal but it just didn’t click allowing us to get a 4th.
After 3/4 Harry came back on with Charles complaining of feeling sick and Harvey came off with an injury being replaced by Finnley. Brooke also came off being replaced by Jack.
We were under pressure towards the end but we defended resolutely and they couldn’t break us down. Myself and Mark were so pleased with the boys efforts and despite some great performances, Joe was given MOTM for his great individual goal and also his constant battling, breaking down play and also starting attacks.
Other teams will take note of this result, and so they should!
Great start to the season!!!
We only do positive! Up the Gore!!