U16 AYL Grand Final Match Report : SSFA 3 v Football South Coast 2 (Extra Time)
On a beautiful sunny day at Valentine Sports Park , the top two AYL teams faced off in the much anticipated U16 AYL Grand Final, it was 1 v 2 the way it should be in a finals series.
The fixture is always a torrid affair with honours split during the competition rounds with one win a piece and one draw, however FSC got the better of Sutho in the major semi-final sending us into a do or die Final against Manly, which the boys won in the final minutes of extra time after a scorching volley from Ethan sent Sutho through to the BIG SHOW.
On Sunday we started off at cracking pace with Sutho dominating the first 20 min but as with most quality sides FSC held firm, even shocking Sutho by scoring first. FSC 1- 0
It didn’t last long as we hit back through a Bailee header after a great free kick from Bushy. The Sutho boys were still dominating but the FSC boys didn’t give an inch with both teams increasing the physicality to the point of boilover.
Our boys held their composure and played some inspiring football with every player contributing 100% but FSC struck again and it started looking like it might not be our afternoon. 2-1 down with about 10 min to go and we needed something special.
Ethan turned on edge of the box sailed past two defenders and deftly flicked the ball into the right corner of the net – SFFA 2-2. Game on.
At full time with the scores still locked its extra time, there’s an air of calm about the boys ….this could be ours, only 20 left in our AYL careers, the parents are all going crazy the crowd is pumped.
With half time looming Ethan drives hard into the box and as expected the FSC defender flies in and takes Ethan out, the referee doesn’t hesitate…..PENALTY.
On the stroke of half time Jett calmly steps up….. sends the keeper the wrong way…… Sutho 3-2
The remaining 10 min seem like an eternity by now the parents can barely watch as FSC pepper our goal with deadly free kicks but Daniel is equal to the task and tips a number of shots over or onto the bar, the boys stay strong, hold on in the dying seconds and the U16 are Football NSW AYL Champions.
What a fantastic year, what away to finish our AYL careers.
Thank you to Jon and Stu for their expert guidance, when Craig was unavailable, thank you Geoff / Ethan and Tony for your guidance in past years, to the wonderful parents who celebrated every victory and picked the boys up after every defeat, thank you for all your support.
To the master coach Craig who guided our boys through the toughest season of their lives, we couldn’t have done it without you…thank you, your pre game talk was inspirational and really touched the boys.
And to the 17 wonderful young men that provided us with so much entertainment and some frustration, you played beautiful football but above all played in a way that made us all very proud. Thank you boys and congratulations. Champions forever. Darren
U13 AYL Grand Final. SSFA V Central Coast FC. Loss 1 – 2 (extra time)
Well that’s a wrap for the 2018 Season!
Unfortunately, today wasn’t our time but the boys should hold their heads high. They have shown so much heart and courage and we are all so extremely proud.
The boys have developed in many ways, on and off the field from the first training session to the Grand Final. They are an awesome bunch of kids that train incredibly hard and play for each other. They have had fun doing what they love, and after all, that’s what it’s all about.
U13s can be a difficult transition with many of the boys learning to adapt to playing on a full-size pitch. Also, learning the nature of representative football and all the responsibilities and expectations that go along with the privilege of playing for Sutherland Shire. The boys have handled all of this in their stride with maturity and respect.
A very big thank you to our parents this year. Having supportive parents to assist with driving the boys to training and games is important to the team’s success. It’s been heartening to see so many parents allow their kids to simply enjoy themselves because they recognise that more than any trophy, the life skills team sports develop are the real payoff. Thank you also for your help with BBQ and Canteen duties as well as the field setups. You have shown a wonderful community spirit!
To our Coaches Stefan and Brian, the boys and parents thank you for giving so much of your time to develop our boys’ abilities on and off the pitch. The Coaches have encouraged the boys to listen and work hard. They have instilled in the boys the importance of respect and fair play for their teammates, the opposition and officials. Also, for introducing them to experiences that will shape their development into future years and give them important life skills.
Thank you to Stefan Blazevic and Stuart Blake for stepping in to assist our boys to prepare for the finals, keeping them calm and focussed.
Finally, a big thank you to Jon Long and Jeff Stewart. Our team has been blessed to be part of a Club with such an emphasis on sportsmanship and player development above results. Your help and guidance throughout the year have been greatly appreciated.
Cath Beardsley (Manager)