Another tough test for the group. It’s clear this league is made up of teams that are physical, play with high intensity but also have quality. Teams are well organised, and do not quit. To get results we are going to have to raise our levels across the board and try and keep that level for the full game.
A brilliant goal from Teddy. Wonderful two touch passing from zone 1, cutting through them and the ball in the back of the net before they could blink. Great awareness, movement & accurate passing. They showed that they CAN play the way Harvey and Jay are guiding them to play which is great.
Some very good performances from Riley who put into practice perfectly what we have been working on, good tackling, head up quick, didn’t delay his pass, had good energy and attacked with confidence. Alice defended resolutely, and Archie was a strong physical presence in the middle.
However as a collective for some reason in the middle section of the game, same as last week we wilted a bit physically, allowed them to run through us too easily, and almost every single player either stopped looking to pass or just passed with a hit and hope. Again not much communicating or organising in defense. I spent a lot of time urging players to mark players, to support attacking players, this needs to come from the players themselves. Without being too critical we actually started to fight collectively again as the game went on and kept them pinned in their half however not much composure, shots from distance, from wide angles, no thought to play teammates in, and no surprise that when we did do that (see Arthur second goal on video) we scored.
The hope and the real positive is that the group have shown they can play to a pattern, they can compete with these teams, they can pass through teams, they have the players to mix it physically, and there are goals in them. However a lot of them they are still playing as individuals, still trying too hard to prove themselves, like they are still on trial.
What they mustn’t do is let their heads go down, stay positive, building a team takes time and not giving up is a big part of that collectively, on the pitch and off it.
Shrewsbury Town Weds night. Good to have realistic expectations, it won’t be easy, and it’s best to treat it as an experience, the result of the game shouldn’t matter at all. We think playing top level teams, tier 1 academy teams, will help get the group into better habits, out of the grass roots mentality and understanding the importance of team. They are a high pressing team, aggressive, move the v ball quickly, passes are short, sharp and accurate. However the group should be excited about the challenge, when Chester Nomads played them two players were offered trials including our keeper Harry who actually played some games for them. By the way Harry was superb today, not far off Riley for player of the match, made some excellent saves.
We should go into the test with confidence and see what we can learn from it.