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Juniors Round Up: 2023 Round 9

July 13, 2023

Around the Grounds

In Round 9 our Junior teams were pushing for some good efforts on the pitch and working hard to win games before heading into the 3-week break for the school holidays. The Coaches are all extremely happy with the efforts being put in by the kids on game day and we hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable break!

U6 Tigers

The Tigers Round 9 match was away against Pine Hills Kookaburras. The Tigers made a really good start with a few attempts on goal but were unlucky not to find the net. Defensively the Tigers did well to stop Pine Hills attack but the Kookaburras proved to be unstoppable.

A really good effort by the Tigers for their resilience to block out the score and keep trying but were unlucky this week for a scoreless loss.

The Player of the Day awards this week went to Asher, Ryker and Theo.

U7 Goannas

U8 Hornets

The U8 Hornets welcomed The Gap FC Sydney to Westside in Round 9 in what promised to be an exciting soccer match. The game started strongly by the Hornets, who wasted no time in asserting their dominance. It was James who opened the scoring for the Hornets, when a well-executed corner kick found its way to him, and he confidently placed the ball into the back of the net.

The Hornets’ goal seemed to ignite their spirits, and they continued to apply pressure on The Gap’s defense. The Gap attempted a free kick, hoping to equalize, but Salvi, who was goalkeeper in the first half, saved it with an impressive display of agility.

The Hornets maintained their dominance, particularly in terms of possession, throughout the first half. Their relentless efforts were rewarded with additional goals. Ned, returning from injury this week, showcased his striking prowess with 3 goals. Not to be outdone, Romeo, displaying excellent skill and finesse, delivered a remarkable goal that further solidified the Hornets’ advantage. As the halftime whistle blew, the scoreboard read 5-nil in favour of the Hornets – a testament to their exceptional performance in the opening half.

The second half saw The Gap come out with renewed determination. The Hornets’ 2nd half goalkeeper, Liam M, remained vigilant and made some crucial saves to keep The Gap from finding the back of the net. Despite the mounting pressure, the Hornets continued to create opportunities, launching numerous shots on goal. Henry, in particular, came close to scoring with a great shot that narrowly missed its target.

The Gap, to their credit, displayed an excellent goalkeeper who made several impressive saves, denying the Hornets from extending their lead further. Both teams showcased their resilience and determination as they battled it out on the field. As the final whistle blew, the Hornets emerged victorious with a convincing and well-earned 5-nil win. It was a remarkable performance by the Hornets, who displayed great teamwork, skill, and determination throughout the match. The Gap fought hard and demonstrated their own abilities, but were ultimately unable to overcome the Hornets’ dominance.

Micah was awarded Player of the Day this week, for his great work with throw ins, and for working hard in defence.

Shoutouts to Ben, James’s brother, who helped Salvi & Liam with some goalkeeper coaching, and also to referee Timo. Timo did a fantastic job of ensuring fair play and helping the players understand the rules of the game. His guidance and presence on the field contributed to a smooth and enjoyable match for both teams.

As we come to the halfway point of the season, the Hornets are looking strong, with 6 wins from 8 games. The boys have gelled well as a team under the guidance of coach Anthony. Go Hornets!!

U9 Falcons

The Falcons Round 9 match was away against Mitchelton United. The Falcons were pumped for the final match before the mid-season break and that became apparent in the first few minutes after kick-off.

The forward combo of Cooper, Ned and Ryan were relentless in their attack with each scoring a goal in the first half. The defensive line of Braxton, Jasper and Woody were superb as they neutralised any possible chance for Mitchelton to take a shot on our goal. The Falcons had a comfortable 3-nil lead going into the half-time break.

In the second half, Mitchelton made some line-up changes and a goalie swap in an attempt to come back in the match. The Falcons were playing without subs this week but made a goalie swap also where Ben came out to play forward and Woody moved to goalkeeping, and the forward line moved to defence and vice versa.

The Falcons continued their assault on Mitchie’s new goalkeeper. Braxton was unlucky to hit the crossbar while Jasper and Ben had a couple of shots on goal that were saved by the goalie. Similarly, at the other end, Mitchie started to get through our defensive position and managed to get a couple of goals. Woody made several key saves late in the match to keep the Falcons in the lead which proved to be enough for another Falcons win, the final score 3-2. The Player of the Day awards this week went to Braxton, Woody, Ryan and Jasper.

U9 Raptors

The Raptors had a great win over Bardon Latrobe FC in Round 9 sporting the new NAIDOC jerseys and topped it off with birthday celebrations for Patty after the game.

Highlights of the game can be seen in the video below.

U9 Raptors Round 9

U10 Brumbies

The Brumbies travelled to Toowong in Round 9 for their second match against Toowong FC and were looking forward to the match after beating Toowong at home 6-1 earlier in the Season.

The Brumbies were down a couple of players this week, having no subs with Lucy, Amber and Piper all away – so it was going to be a big ask for the girls to all play a full game each.

After going into the half-time break 3-nil down, the Brumbies played some great football in the second half to peg back 2 goals and nearly find the equaliser on a number of occasions.

Ruby, Lily and Chloe were all strong up front with Maia having a fantastic game in defence this week. It was a great team effort in the second half and the girls deserved the draw for all their hard work.

Freya and Quinn received the Player of the Day awards this week for their relentless effort throughout the whole match.

U11 Wolves

Finally, a home game for the Wolves! We weren’t sure what to expect from this game, originally it was scheduled to be a bye. A few weeks ago, we were advised that we would be playing Pine Rivers Athletic Phoenix.  In the original draw they were listed as playing in K1. Clearly their results hadn’t been great at that level, so they have moved down to K2. Prior to kick off we weren’t expecting Teo to make it as he wasn’t well on Friday night. We’d called in Benson as reinforcements from U11 Wallabies and Teo ended up being able to play, although he was given less minutes than usual to be on the safe side. This gave us a full squad and an extra sub!

After feeling a little deflated after last week’s North Lakes loss, we had great training sessions going into the match. We had been working on defending corners and taking balls out of the air. Before the match we got together in the changing rooms to get fired up for the game. The boys were ready to go, c’mon Wolves!!!

Straight off the bat you could tell the boys had the bit between their teeth, they were pressing super hard. You could also tell that the Pine team wasn’t expecting such intensity. As you would expect they had some talented players, but the Wolves were winning the ball back quickly and putting them under constant pressure. Jack had the best start to a game for some time. He was wearing a new set of orthotics as has been struggling with his heels this season, a common problem for this age group. It made a difference; he was winning a lot of balls down the left wing and making an impact in the final third. In general, everyone started well. Alex and Noah were cleaning up in the middle of the park, Maxi continued his great form defensively. The chances started flowing, it didn’t take long before Eli broke the deadlock to put us up 1 – 0, his 12th goal of the season. Then Jack belted the ball with his left foot off a goal kick, hitting the post and deflecting off the keeper to put us up 2 – 0. The Wolves are back! It was time to release the ball magician Teo onto the pitch. You wouldn’t have known that he had a really rough Friday night based on his performance, he made an impact straight away. He was giving their defense all kinds of problems with his ball skills and pace. Towards the end of the half, he carved up 3 of their players and smashed the ball in the back of the net to put us 3 – 0 up going into the break.

There weren’t many things to cover off at the half-time break, we talked about what was working well and to focus on maintaining high intensity and high pressing. With Benson being available it was also a good opportunity for James to have a run in midfield. We were ready to go for the second half after the usual 5 mins, but it seemed like the ref had lost his whistle. Their coach was giving them a lecture like they were about to sit down for their Y12 final exams or something. It was not fun to watch, obviously the teams not having a great season, felt for the kids. The ref finally found his whistle and had to blow it to get the second half started.

We started well, but obviously they were being more aggressive after being yelled at. At times it was getting a bit ugly with trash talk. Despite this the boys were holding their own. Dex was having another great day at the office on the right wing, he’s a master at holding onto possession and making runs down that side. At one point he skimmed the post from a long-distance shot. Finn had a solid spell in the CF role, and hit 2 awesome first-time strikes, both just missing. I’m sure it won’t belong before they start finding the back of the net.

Benson, Maxi and Sam were defending really well. Containing and keeping them mostly away from goal. Landon was solid, building on his improvements with long range goal kicks. They were pressing hard however, and we conceded a few corner kicks. This was the moment. Had the training paid off? We had practiced having 2 defenders cover the near and far posts on the goal line, then having Dex picking up the short in-swinger, Noah in the middle and Jack to cover the back. These boys are the strongest in the air. Then it was up to the other boys to cover any short or set play moves. It worked; we didn’t concede from any corner kicks. The boys were much more confident. Well done on implementing the training drills into a match scenario.

In general, we have noticed the step up in ability at this level in terms of heading the ball and dealing with balls out of the air. We had also been working on various ways to take the ball out of the air in training, head, chest, knee, on the bounce, etc. There was a big jump up in this game from prior weeks, Alex, Jack, James, Maxi all had great moments dealing with difficult balls out of the air. It wasn’t always pretty but the conviction was there, and it made a huge difference in midfield. James was also having fun in midfield, at one point making a great run better 2 players and playing a through ball. Not to mention his great work at CB as always.

We were still dominating, but they were creating chances on the break. Our intensity dropped in the last 10mins, not surprising as they had been going 110%. One of their strikers had really good ball skills and made a diagonal run with the ball, confusing the defense enough to create space for a shot and scored. So things got interesting. Their energy lifted and the boys backed off a little bit, just enough to give them time and space to start moving the ball around. They grabbed a second goal with only minutes to go. Nail biting ensued from the sidelines, but we managed to hold on for a well-deserved win 3 – 2!

A lot of positives to take away from this game and some learnings as well. From a coaching standpoint, more emphasis on putting the game to bed earlier, we had so many chances. Maintaining pressure to the end and working on our possession game. There’s still a lot of upside to be had with some simple adjustments.

It was a super hard pick, but Dex and Teo took out the Player of the Day Awards. Dex for his awesome work down the right wing and Teo for creating excellent chances and scoring an awesome goal. 20 goals, 4 wins so far and mostly home games to come. Let’s go Wolves!!!

U12 Warriors

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