U13 AYL – Bathurst Cup
The boys and their families all arrived enthusiastically Friday evening ready for a day of soccer the following morning.
After only two trial games previously together as a team the boys were all very eager and ready to get out there and put together what we have been training for – looking very smart for the first game in their SSFA Game kit.
Game 1 – the boys didn’t let their coaches or parents down with a strong win over Woden 5-0. Every one of the boys played out of their skins to get our first win as a team.
Second game was against Wagga Wanderers, a much tougher opponent than the first match. After all the excitement of the first game we seemed to relax a little bit and Wagga scored a quick goal in the first minute. We fought back but found ourselves down 3-1 at half time. After a good halftime chat and some soul searching from the boys we came back to win the game 4-3.
Our last game for the day was against our hosts Bathurst. By this stage of the day the boys were feeling the results of playing multiple games in a 12hr period with a bit of exhaustion and a few niggling injuries setting in. After a hard fought game against a very determined opponent, we managed to come away with a 3-2 win.
The boys efforts for the day placed them at the top of Pool B and undefeated so far.
Our Quarter final was against Blacktown District FA. The boys turned up with the same enthusiasm as the day before although a few injuries left us one short and with a few walking wounded. The game started well with us dominating most areas of the park. Unfortunately Blacktown scored right on half time and led at the break. Second half Blacktown came out a little stronger and scored again to put themselves 2 nil up. Our boys fought back strongly peppering the Blacktown goal but their Goal Keeper was too good for us on the day. We did get a goal back in the last five minutes to make the score 2-1.
Unfortunately this ended our Bathurst Cup tournament for 2017. Though the boys were disappointed each player can be proud of how they played and conducted themselves throughout all of their games. Having only played two trial games together previously it was obvious how well the boys have come together as a team. Both coach Craig and Andrew can be very proud of this and also by getting their team to top of their pool and only just missing out on progressing further in the tournament was a great achievement. Bathurst was a great opportunity for all the boys as well as their families to come together and get to know each other as we move into the 2017 season.
Congratulations goes out to the SSFA U14 boys for winning their tournament and also the U15 boys for getting through to the Grand Final and only missing out in a Penalty Shoot Out – SSFA should be proud of all the teams for their efforts over the weekend.
Bring on the 2017 season……
AYL U15 Bathurst
This weekend saw the official start of the AYL season with the staging of the Bathurst Cup. The last 2 years the U15 boys have reached the semi final stage of the tournament, so the boys were given the goal of winning this years trophy by our coach Geoff Holden.
The schedule saw our team having to play 2 games on the Saturday and if successful 4 gruelling games on the Sunday to claim the title. The boys started well with 2 wins on the Saturday a 2-0 win against Belconnen United and 10-0 win against an overwhelmed Bathurst Districts. Sundays games were also successful with a first up 1-1 draw against Blacktown FA and a 3-0 win against Orange FA.
The results meant Sutherland finished top of their pool and faced WNSW Mariners in the semi-final. The game started badly for the boys and they were down 1-0 after only 2 minutes of play. In the 2nd half the boys rallied and began to play some really good football and fought back twice to level the scores 1-1 then again 2-2 at full time. After a scoreless golden goal extra time the team was faced with a penalty shoot out, which they won and moved into the final against Football South Coast.
The final was also a close game, with the boys now running on empty after 5 gruelling games and some boys playing with niggling injuries. Sutherland dominate the final with most of the field position and the majority of shots on goal. For the second time in 2 games the boys headed into extra time and finally a nerve racking penalty shoot out after the game finished at 0-0 at the final whistle.
Unfortunately the boys luck ran out in the lottery of the penalty shoot out and South Coast won the trophy. Despite the loss in the final the coaching staff could not be happier with the teams effort and willingness to fight for each other, with no subs left because of injury and exhaustion. The boys finished the weekend undefeated in games with 3 wins and 3 draws. The coach singled out 2 players – Nicholas Bush and Michael Mackey who were outstanding over the weekend. Well done boys.
Congratulations also to Stef , Brian and the U14 AYL team for their great tournament win.
AYL16’s – Bathurst 2017
The records will show that we lost 3 games and won 1 but this is not a true indication of the type of football the boys played in Bathurst. This is pre-season and we continue to build on the practices at training, using short passing and quick movement to break teams down. In most games this weekend we dominated possession and we looked good when in control of the ball.
Once we put the results aside, there are a lot of positives to be taken out of this weekend. For instance, in our first game we conceded a goal from a defensive lapse and some ball watching. As coaches Stefan and I are looking at how the team responds when confronted with adversary. In this game the team responded by beginning to play long balls looking for a quick fix, this was not the answer, at times we struggled to regain possession and then the game looked scrappy from there. On Sunday once again we went down a goal against the run of play however this time the teams response was much better. We kept playing our game and this was a true indication of the type of football this team is capable of playing.
It’s a game style where we keep possession, we frustrate the opposition and look to play the ball forward quickly. If forward options are blocked the team is quickly realising that to find better options going forward switching the ball helps to open up new options by stretching the defence.
A lot of our efforts at training have been working on playing out from the back and our backline. We have moved on and started working with the midfielders but unfortunately, we haven’t been able to devote much time to our forwards. This was shown on the weekend, we would get the ball up to the attacking third at regular intervals and then we left our forwards to figure out the rest. Boys don’t be too hard on yourselves soon we will start work on the attacking third and then the game will become so much easier for you.
Although things did not go our way this weekend, the team played some nice football which more than made up for the results. Stefan and I are proud of the way you have developed in a relatively short time and we both look forward to working with you for the rest of the season.
Regards Coach Dragan Blazevic