Excellent Eights Earn Experience
A young U8s team travelled to Sutton where they gained some invaluable tournament experience.
The relatively young squad of 10 players arrived at Bishop Vesey's school making up for their lack of match experience with extreme excitement and eagerness to get stuck in. So much so that most of the squad were already gathered around a spare goal going through their improvised warm up long before the coach made his appearance.
After a slightly more structured warm up it was time for the first game. Straight in at the deep end for the Sils with an opening fixture against hosts Sutton's A team. A resolute defensive performance held the more experienced side goalless until mid-way through the 10 minute match when Sutton found some space in the circle to jab home and take the lead. Sils pushed forwards to equalise but were unable to convert. A couple more goals from Sutton secured a 3-0 win for the home side.
With the assurance that Sutton would be one of (if not THE) strongest sides the youngsters turned their attention to Atherstone Adders. The lack of rest between games didn't seem to affect the Copt Heath crew who continued to tackle clean, hard and early. Neither team was able to break the deadlock so Sils left the pitch with their first point and clean sheet of the day.
Next up were an Edgbaston side who were 2 short of a full team. In a bid to get more pitch time Sils donated a couple of players to the oppo and the game got under way. Sils soon took control of the game from the onset scoring three unanswered goals, plus two more sadly disallowed for shooting from outside the circle (queue quick white board session on where to shoot from!).
Halfway through the tournament; one win, one loss and one draw left the crowd of expectant parents wanting more!
Next up Stratford White and Stratford Black either side of a 10 minute break. Both sides were strong, skilfull and well organised. The scores of 0-3 and 0-5 respectively to the teams from the Shakespeare country did not do justice to the "non shall pass" attitude of the Sils who battled to the last second of both games.
So only two hours in and it was time for the Sils last game. Although not known at time a lot would ride on this clash with Sutton B. A win for Sutton would propel them to 4th and condemn Sils to the bottom of the table of 7 teams. Any other result would reverse the positions. As both teams had 2 subs eager to play their part the coaches agreed to a 9-a-side match. Despite the 36 tired legs both teams played with great energy and either side could have taken the win. Only a minute remained when Sutton drove into the Sils circle and shot on target...
Goal? NOT A CHANCE!!! The Sils kicking back cleared the ball off the line for a Sutton corner. Just enough time left for Sils to turn the ball over and clear up the pitch before a well received final whistle. A final 0-0 result and the Sils' 3rd clean sheet had delivered a very impressive 4th place.
In hindsight having apprehensively decided to honour our commitment to an U8 tournament with three players aged 8, six aged 7 and one 5 year old; we can now report that the day was a complete success to be repeated as many times over as possible.
- 6 players making their match debuts
- Lots of smiles, no tears and no tantrums
- Daniel and William's tactics boards session outshine the coach
- Brilliant concentration from all all morning
- James Wilson: owned the midfield with strength on the ball as well as surging skillful runs up the pitch
- Emily Cox: eagerness to try out every position and so close to a goal but ruled out for being inches outside of the circle
- Lottie Gardner: hat trick hero against Edgbaston
- Molly Hallworth: super tackling in all parts of the pitch
- Isla McLoughlin: confidence beyond her years picking her favourite position
- Daniel Ward: unrelenting tackling followed by well guided clearances
- Archie Tchakhotine: ground gaining runs topped off by that last minute save against Sutton B
- William Clouston- Smith: determined performance throughout and selflessly playing for Edgbaston denying Sils a couple of goals
- Harry Baden: tackling masterclass including some reverse stick jab tackles many adult players would be proud of
- Delphine Tchakhotine: debut aged 5 3/4 showing energy beyond her years
Everyone left having enjoyed a top morning of hockey, eyes gleaming from the successes, cheeks puffing from the exercise and tummys full of the many snacks (some healthier than others) consumed during the gaps between matches.
For those statos amongst you (it takes one to know one) let's sign off below with the final table and the individual match results. Bring on next season!
|Sutton Coldfield A ||6||4||1||1||13||13||5||8|
|Sutton Coldfield B||6||0||4||2||4||2||10||-8|
|Pitch 1||Score||Pitch 2||Score|
|Sutton Coldfield B||v||Atherstone||1||1||Old Sils ||v||Sutton Coldfield A ||0||3|
|Stratford Black||v||Stratford White||3||0||Atherstone||v||Old Sils||0||0|
|Stratford White||v||Sutton Coldfield B||0||0||Edgbaston||v||Sutton Coldfield A ||0||4|
|Stratford Black||v||Atherstone||6||0||Edgbaston||v||Old Sils||0||3|
|Sutton Coldfield B||v||Stratford Black||0||4||Sutton Coldfield A ||v||Stratford White||2||1|
|Edgbaston||v||Sutton Coldfield B||1||1||Stratford White||v||Old Sils||3||0|
|Edgbaston||v||Stratford Black||0||7||Sutton Coldfield A ||v||Atherstone||0||0|
|Stratford Black||v||Old Sils||5||0||Stratford White||v||Atherstone||2||1|
|Old Sils ||v||Sutton Coldfield B||0||0||Stratford White||v||Edgbaston||1||0|
|Sutton Coldfield A||v||Stratford Black||0||4||Atherstone||v||Edgbaston||1||1|
|Sutton Coldfield B||v||Sutton Coldfield A ||0||4|