A sunny morning should always bring the best out of all of us and this was certainly true in the team’s performance. With no substitute available the boys were asked to focus and be strong for the full 48 minutes, as we could not afford to lose anyone physically or mentally. The team has a good mix of brawn and pace and as mentioned to them all in training, they all need to be use all their body and not just their boots in a game. This year there is a much more physical presence in opposition and other the last few weeks, the team has done well to step up to this challenge. In this game where there was a definite elbow on Michael, a late tackle on George that left him hobbling, several fouls on Noah and many bruised legs on others, the spirit to ‘suck it up’ and get on with it was exceptional. Not only did they take it, I know some will give it back (in the rules of the game), as Jamie did in a tackle that up ended the attacker and out the game. This is all now part of the game at this age and the boys are adapting well in accepting it, whilst dishing some out. When on the floor recovering, the player is asked to compose themselves, breath, think what they need to do next in the game and show the opposition that there is no stopping you.
The game itself was a very even matter and could have ended 3-3. The opposition of some size height, were able to move the ball very well and quickly, let’s not forget that they recently came down from section B. The 1st Qtr conceded goal came against the flow and was achieved via a quick and accurate break. However, heads remained high and procession even.
The 2nd Qtr brought a determination to go toe to toe and this was rewarded with a second chance shot for Michael to bag a long awaited goal. This was unfortunately soon past with a further conceded goal a few minutes later. Not closing down and getting tight the cause, which I am sure Matt will have a plan to rectify on Wednesday night.
The 2nd half remained an end to end encounter which brought many opportunities for us. Michael hitting the post and Wills getting in on a hard low shot that was only just saved by their keeper. Both of these exciting to see come out of these 2 players and the accuracy of our shots was much more improved.
Considering no sub and hard fought challenges, the entire team dug deep for that inner strength whether in focusing the mind, getting up after a knock or stretching their body to cover as much of the pitch as they could, even though tired.
Work needs to continue on communicating on the pitch, especially in defence, not creating gaps behind and in front of goal and moving the ball direct to opposition danger areas.
Despite the result, if we play with this approach, we can’t go wrong.