Bathurst Cup 3rd & 4th February 2024
Over the weekend, and in 38-degree heat, the Sutherland Strikers AYL teams journeyed to Bathurst to participate in the Bathurst Cup. This tournament brought together a diverse range of teams, spanning from NPL to grassroots levels. It provided a valuable opportunity for each of our teams to foster camaraderie and unity, serving as a crucial bonding experience as they prepare for the forthcoming season.
AYL13 Tournament Reports
It was an early start for our AYL13s as they readied themselves for a 6:50am kick off on Saturday. The air was fresh and the fog was just lifting as they kicked off for the first time as a newly formed team.
Up against Northwest Sydney our boys came out strong and held their own taking most of the possession but unable to score finishing in a 0-0 All draw. The boys enjoyed the next 3 hours listening to music and bonding as a team before hitting the pitch again. The heat had started increasing and our boys came out firing against Bathurst FC. Dominating the game with some amazing runs down the sideline and 2 solid goals from Carlo and James to seal the deal. Winning 2-0.
As the day went on the heat increased and the boys took to the pitch at 2:10pm for their 3rd game against Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL 2). They got caught off guard with a quick goal from the Rangers which got the boys fired up. They lifted their defence and the attacking started to improve but alas no goals came of it. With the Rangers coach screaming at his players from the sideline our boys continued on to hold them out into half time. The second half our boys conceded an unlucky goal however dominated and held possession for the remainder of the match.
After a cool off at the Aquatic centre our boys retuned to the pitch for their 4th and final match against Hanwood FC. Our boys were tired and hot, kick off was 6:50pm 12 hours after their first kick off but they dug deep and gave it to Hanwood dominating most of the game. Hanwood scored an unlucky goal in the first half and our boys gave it everything. The second half the ball remained in our possession but again we couldn’t find the net going down 1-0.
What a fantastic weekend of football and such a great experience for our boys. Looking forward to this season with this amazing group of players.
AYL 14 Tournament Reports
The U14s kicked off their Bathurst campaign with a 0-0 draw vs Southern Tablelands. The slow start was unsurprising, given the boys
time on the park together as a new team but they picked up the tempo in match 2 with a resounding 4-0 victory over hosts Bathurst. Ryan opening his account with 2 well taken goals and both Kacper and Max H joining in on the fun with a goal a piece.
Match 3 saw us take on a robust and physical Mt Druitt side with our boys taking the lead on the stroke of half-time thanks to a runaway goal by Kacper. The boys sustained incredible pressure in the 2nd half, eventually conceding a late goal and walking away with a well earned draw.
Match 4 against North West Sydney was another physical match but it was a more dominant display from our boys with goals from Kacper and Lucas culminating in 2-0 win. Zachary kept another clean sheet with some great saves, capping off an impressive tournament with only one goal conceded.
Despite narrowly missing out on the finals, the U14s’ undefeated run highlighted their grit and teamwork, laying a solid foundation for the season ahead. Special shout out to all the parents and extended families who made the weekend such a supportive and enjoyable experience, to Xiao and Tyler for stepping in to coach the boys and to Kacper our top scorer – plenty more of those this season please!
AYL 15s Tournament Reports
The AYL15’s kicked off their Bathurst Cup weekend with a team dinner at B Town BBQ. The boys were all handed their kits and the season was underway.
Our first game on Saturday morning was against Mount Druitt Town Rangers. We were expecting this to be a tough game with our opposition formerly NPL1. We started off a little slow in the first half of football played together as a team. We were down 1-0 at half time. The second half, we saw the boys really come out firing, our defence was impenetrable and we finally scored from a direct penalty and finished the game at 1-1.
The temperature began to rise and our second game against Inner West Hawks saw us dominating for majority of the game. A great goal to Kai and we were ahead 1-0 until the last minute of play when an unfortunate hand ball resulted in a penalty. Jay did an awesome job to get a hand to the ball but unfortunately, they levelled the score and we finished the game at 1-1.
Our third game of the day was against Nepean FC, who finished undefeated in our pool. It was a tough 3rd game of the day in very hot conditions. The boys played a really strong game and it was great to see how well they have gelled already. The scoreline of 5-0 was not indicative of our performance.
After a long day at Proctor Park, the team and their families enjoyed some more time socializing and bonding with a pizza dinner in
the Bathurst Adventure Playground. Somehow the boys still had energy to burn on the flying fox and playground!
The rest of our pool started Sunday with a 6.50am kick off but we were lucky enough to enjoy a sleep in and leisurely start, followed by a 1210 kick off with our last game of the tournament against North West in super-hot conditions once again. We finished off the weekend with a 0-0 draw.
A big thank you to the coaches for their time and commitment to our boys and to all the families for making the trip to Bathurst and supporting their sons in their footballing. We are all excited for a big season ahead!
AYL 16s Tournament Reports
The U16 Strikers trip to Bathurst Cup marked a significant milestone, with the boys taking to the park for the first time as a team at competition level. Despite the daunting prospect of facing NPL teams physically stronger than them, the tournament offered some valuable learning experiences.
While the U16 Strikers secured only one victory during the tournament, the tough competition provided ample opportunities for the camaraderie within the team to show, with each player contributing their strengths to the collective effort and will enable the boys to grow stronger as a team moving into the 2024 Season.
The boys’ determination and positive outlook as the weekend progressed have been encouraging. We look forward to building on these experiences and improving as a team in the weeks to come.
We’d like to thank all the coaches/ players and parents for making the trip to Bathurst, none of this would be possible without your support!