So into the first Plate game of the season and a lesson in how to handle and make ready for such games was more for the coach than the players. Certain Plate pre game preparations will now be done to a much stricter manner to ensure we know who we are playing!
Again we start in quarter 1 with a game to chase having gone down a goal early. Whilst frustrating, the thought is as always that we will get back into this.
The team set up for this game was to hit hard & early and then to allow some squad rotation for others in the final quarter. This however was not able to be done due to the changes and realisation as the game went on vs. our opposition on the day.
The 2nd qtr brought a very good reaction and a double in goal advantage brought some levels of control. Noah took his chance well having come in from the right with a good holding ball from Jamie as striker. A growing popular position for him by both coaches and parents, something that I personally have had to come to terms with having never thought of him in this position. This is a great credit to your coaching team (big it up as the street says), who believe in the spread of positioning where possible and the vision of Matt to where we can change things.
Jamie was reward later with a solid reaction to a loose high ball in front of goal from Michael, to raise himself above the goalkeeper to header home. The poor goalkeeper stood no chance to halt him and got clattered in the fall also.
Qtr 3 brought some close chances and again I have lost count of the goal frame getting in front of a well taken shot to hinder are advance in recent games. The qtr brought some real fight back from the opposition, with some real sweat and graft from the players to maintain the lead. It was clear that we needed to make some changes to the set line up to ensure we won this game.
The instruction to the team was get the goal so to distance the score and then we will make changes. Thankfully this is what they did and James from Noah helped ensure that we could make those changes. The qtr 4 quick alteration to line up was justified, with the opposition ‘looking like a different team’, with some physical, bigger bodies on the pitch.
On reflection post game and something I called all the boys together on Wednesday night to share, was that their performance was much better than I gave credit to them for.
I apologised and shared why I felt like this and how both Matt and I feel about our extended ‘football sons’. This I won’t do again in my heart felt approach, as the conversation (admittedly started by me ref Georges hair) turned to mine and the lack of, with 10 boys (and saw you Matt) having a good laugh. Moments like this banter with the team, I love and that’s why I do it.
Lessons for the team and reinforced at training are very simple. Shots off target, shooting from a distance, passes going wide, dribbles lost out of control, heavy touches, punting the ball back in the same direction, passes into gaps with no one in and opposition skipping past you, are all expected and that’s where the player needs to improve themselves with the help of the coaches. Thing like this will happen and are acceptable as shows players having a go and if they make a wrong decision it’s for them to try and adapt to a different decision next time.
What individuals must always try to deliver to in our expectation is to, train well, work hard, listen and show 100% commitment in support of the team in all minutes they play in a game, whether at the back, out wide or at the top.
Everything we know dovetails when this happens. Onwards in the Plate.