After 3 weeks of trials and 4 training sessions we were finally here at Valentines Park to take on the best players and regions from across NSW. The boys were excited and so were the coaches to see how the training would transfer to a game situation. We had a nice balance of players from the Sutherland shire and Wollongong with Sutherland Sharks, Football South Coast, Rockdale Suns and MacArthur Rams all represented. We worked hard at training on keeping the ball and moving our opposition around with patience in build-up so we could provide a good platform for our front 3 to create goal scoring opportunities. The boys were already very quick at winning the ball back so we added some defensive shape to make teams play where we wanted them.
We started well in our first game and totally dominated with the ball and it was great to see the boys were all on the same page considering the limited time they had together. This set the tone for the tournament and we dominated teams with our possession style of play. As the week went on you could see both on and off the field how the boys were bonding and enjoying each other’s company and some pre game dressing room moments were very amusing. The one team to give us our only defeat was metro west who had a big, physical side who played to their strengths … but the boys held their heads high knowing we were there to play good football…. Highlights of the tournament were witnessing probably the quickest, technically advanced game of football against Metro North that I have seen at this age, a credit to both teams, and a goal against Metro East after a 22 pass build-up that included going back to the keeper on about pass 12. This happened in the last minute of a great win and seeing the parents and players enjoying that moment after the game was worth more to us than any trophy or medal and made us so proud as coaches to see it all come to life
I’d like to say a big thankyou to Steve Meadows for being a great assistant coach and keeping our starting line-ups and subs running like clockwork and all the behind the scenes help and game tips for the boys, and Adam Pascoe who gave up his time to help with the trials. Also to Jeff Stewart, John Whiddet and Jon Long for all your help in organising all the things we required. To the parents, thank you again for your trust and support throughout the whole process, you were all fantastic to deal with and the nice feedback at the end of the tournament was really appreciated. And finally to the 14 players, your great attitudes to training and the tournament was fantastic and some of the football you played was brilliant and will be remembered for a very long time. New friendships were made and a lot of fun was had which is just as important and I’m sure you will all cross paths on your football journeys. I look forward to tracking your progress through the elite football pathways and hopefully big things for these future football stars. Well done boys