U11 Boys-Weekend 3/23-3/24

Mascots of association football club Stoke Cit...

Mascots of association football club Stoke City F.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The boys had two games this past weekend. Unfortunately, I was unable to coach them on Saturday and Ben Crawley, our Head Coach took them. It is always difficult for another coach to take a team that he is unfamiliar with as he can’t make the minor adjustments because of not knowing the players. From what I can understand, it was 2-0 against us at the half with the boys playing OK but second half with some changing of positions, the boys didn’t do so well. Final score was 0-10.

On Sunday, I was able to coach them. I can always tell if the boys are “in the mood” based on how they approach the pre-game warmup. Today they really applied themselves and tried very hard to do things right.

We started the game a little early at the Referees request which was fine by us. We had a long discussion before the game to outline how we could do a better job of defending the mid field. I selected Hank and Dominick to start there and explained to them how they needed to play and it began to work very well. Each successive pairing all followed their instructions and during this game, we were in command of the midfield for most of the game.

We started our usual back line of Alex, Leo and Taylor and these three make a very useful combination when they play together. I thought that Alex had an exceptional game at full back and the goal he scored was almost as good as the one that Peter Crouch scored yesterday for Stoke City. It was a wonderful shot. Alex has been working on improving his kicking game and he has developed enough of a foot that we had him taking the free kicks today. Well done Alex.

We scored three goals in the second half with Alex opening the scoring for us and at one point we led 3-0 with the other goals scored by Ian with a well worked individual piece of dribbling and my mind has gone blank on who scored the third one.

I had to make changes to give the players a chance to play in other positions and to give them a rest and during that time, the other team managed to score 2 goals on us. I strengthened the defense and we managed to hang on for the rest of the game to win 3-2. I told Leo that I would give him a run at a different position but he was playing so well in anchoring the defense especially when I had already made changes, that he played at sweeper for the whole game. Apologies Leo but look at it from a different way. You got to play the entire 60 minutes.

Jack played his usual stalwart game in-goal and made a couple of very good saves to keep us in the game. Both Ian and Hank had opportunities to put the game in the comfort zone but neither could take advantage of what were relatively easy chances.

All in all, a very good result. The opponents today, Hays, are a genuine D2 team who are on the same level as us. I wish that some of the teams we play against placed in the divisions they should be in instead of dropping down a division to beat up on other teams and win trophies. There is no honor in that.

All of the boys were eager to play and I had a devil of a time trying to get them in the game. It seemed that as soon as they came off, they wanted to go straight back in. I tried a 10 minute rotation system and put in four boys at a time. In the end, it was a bit of a shambles so I will not do that again.

I am very pleased with the boys progress as a team. Most of them are really advancing their skills and getting a better understanding of how to play the game. Their hard work is starting to pay off.

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