With Easter upon us and a break of 2 weeks in football, I organised this game with Paul (Warriors coach) to help the boys let off some steam in the sun shine and to simply have some fun. As Matt’s often says to the boys (or so he says it’s at them), ‘calm down’. Far too often all of us can take this game to seriously and as long as the players do their best and know that they have done their best in the team position they have played, then that’s all that can be asked of them. This game for the Vikings was continue to test some recent successes, try some new ones, but ultimately let the boys play a proper game. This being the first thing they ask for on a Wednesday night. There was only 1 ask of the Vikings and that was to play & pass the ball and work as a team. What we did not want to see was a mass excitement at the opportunity to score against a mate. Yes, it was always going to happen that way, but the aim was still to treat this game as an opportunity to put some of those recent learnings in practice. Build the play from the back and not just route 1 it and someone hit it hard against Dominic. The 1st qtr proved more the latter, but the opposition were keen to spoil it and within that team, there are some very good defenders, not shy of a tackle, especially Emmanuelle, who made some very important stops. The qtr end saw us ahead with goals from Wills (assisted by Jamie), Noah (defender) and Jamie (Noah). This continuation of formation from the previous games, again showing some very good strengths. The 2nd qtr brought one of the long awaited highlights of the season, with George bagging his first goal for the team hitting the ball directly on target after a ball across from Jamie. Opportunities have arisen before, but not full filled for him & the delight on his face and the team celebration was nice to see for him on this personal milestone. That’s everyone now on the score sheet! A further goal in by Jamie after a shot by Noah and a penalty miss by Harry, meant that we implemented a new strategy for the 2nd half. With allowing Warriors more attacking space, we wanted to test the team ability to park the bus, defend and break out. This being only fair to the Warriors who were under some pressure and were here to enjoy the game also. Warriors striving to get a goal was awarded to Josh, who we know can hit a ball hard and direct. Positioned in the danger area in front of goal he managed to react first and sweep the ball in for a resounding cheer. The 4th qtr, brought shots on target for both sides and further opportunities snatched wide, but remained as is. The coaching learnings were that we can mix certain players up front, the Central Midfield is still a difficult position to most to adapt too, but that are wingers often do an outstanding job is closing down attacks and then transitioning on to the offensive. Defensively all, played an improvement. With letting loose our keeper to become a striker for the last half of the 4th, summed up the point of the game. Let the boys play and often in a spot they may never again. Ultimately it’s was to have fun and I think this showed in the in the handshake line up at the end, from the smiles. Thanks all you parents for your continued support in making these friendlies happen. One more next week vs. Wokingham at home (SUNDAY) and the last league game also at home, on the 18th April.