This season we have seen the steady development and progress of a team who VISTA Coaches had identified would need guidance on understanding roles/responsibilities and how their individual strengths would contribute overall to the team’s success.
The initial challenge in the early stages of the season was to get players to work collectively in training and match situations, our coaching in pre season focused on the teambuilding process (e.g integrating new players into the club) and introduction of team tactics to be used for 9v9 format.
The U12’s consists of a very exciting group of players with potential to attack opposition with speed and from a range of areas on the pitch. The team showed its potential producing very good performances against opposition clubs in their respective division but needed to work on sustaining concentration over longer periods of matches in the first half of the season and getting a better balance between attacking and defending.
The players attitude and resolve when faced with difficult challenges during the season was very impressive , the squad were committed in training and displayed a willingness to work hard to continue implementing themes and ideas we had worked on in our sessions , as the season progressed they were showing signs that they could come with solutions ad solve problems as a group.
Coaches observed that players were now showing better understanding of their roles and responsibilities within the team, more prepared for physical demands of the game and confident in their technical ability which contributed to very creative and intelligent football being played, the team throughout the season had received recognition for its style of play from opposition clubs and observers who have followed the teams progress have commented on how the team approach the game. Better results were achieved due to improvements in our defensive organisation and attacking play.
With confidence growing with each game and players aware of their team mates strengths the team learned to control and manage games better producing football of very good standard and scoring excellent team and individual goals.
Towards the end of the season the team was entered into the Gold Shield competition organised by the Selkent League, giving the team the opportunity to play against opposition from other divisions and regions in their respective age group. The players responded brilliantly to the challenge of having to secure the top two positions in a six team mini league format to guarantee a place at the final, we were especially proud as a club to see the players had developed a camaraderie and team spirit from experiences as a collective during season, this gave the team the platform to develop consistency in team performances and go unbeaten throughout the group stage of the competition.
Our final game vs Hayden Youth for the Gold Shield trophy was yet another match in which entertainment and drama was a feature! After finding ourselves 2-0 at halftime the players were brave and pushed each other to get back into the game. With ten minutes remaining in the match the team found another gear and scored two quick goals in succession to even the match up. Both teams desire to push for the winning goal resulted in a final twist which unfortunately did not work in our favour, with more space for both sides to exploit and both defences being stretched to their limits we conceded a late own goal to our opponents. Our players were understandably upset at the outcome, many were excited at the opportunity to the end the season with a trophy and a winners medal as a reward for their hard work and effort this season. The coaches and players have worked and discussed throughout the season of how to deal with disappointments and learning from experiences. As club we are very proud with the way our first competitive youth team represented us this season and adopted the clubs principles on and off the pitch. Going forward the team must build on their achievements this season by continuing to work together, setting themselves even higher standards for next season as individuals and from a group perspective also.