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30 November 2009

Pure Football Academy 1 V 2 Sporting Duet (Under 14's) Match Report


U14’s Match Report – Sat 28th November.

Although we drew with Bethwin C 3 weeks ago,  it was a far better team that we faced on Saturday.  This was the same team who beat Bec Utd 4-2 and Bec Utd beat us 5-1!  That shows an enormous improvement in a short space of time and I think this was by far our best performance yet.
When we played Bec Utd, we conceded 3 silly goals in 5 minutes.  In our last 2 matches we have stopped conceding those silly goals.  We are now a much much better team and Saturday showed just how far you have all come.  I think you should all feel very proud of your performance on Saturday.  Yes we lost and yes it hurts when we lose a match in the last few minutes but as far as I could see everyone played well and everyone tried hard.
We won a lot more loose ball which is so important.  We must keep fighting to get to the ball first and before it bounces.  We defended well with Usamah putting in a herculean performance at the back.  General fitness is improving.  You should all feel confident that our fitness training is already starting to pay off.  Imagine how much fitter you will be later in the season. Our 4-4-2 formation was a real threat with Kasim moving up front and scoring a sweet goal almost immediately.  We frequently attacked their goal and before long we will start to see these attacks bearing fruit.   No one should feel disappointed with their performance. Yes we made mistakes but our mistakes are getting less and less and our positives are going from strength to strength.

Things we can learn from Saturday’s game.

We must always make sure we defend the line at corners.  If we had had someone on the line we might not have conceded that 1st goal, however to be fair to them it was a quality corner and a great header.
Communication.  WE are starting to mark much better at corners and free kicks but we must use our brains and communicate.  Its no good having Junaid marking someone twice his height at a corner.  Let JUnaid mark a small guy and one of the bigger players mark the all ones.  This is about players using their brains and talking to each other.
We must still get back and defend more.  When we lose possession,  every player with the exception of 1 of the strikers should be fighting to get back  behind the ball and turn and face the opposition.  If we do this we will make it very hard for the opposition to get easy goals.  Of coarse people will always score against us but we don’t want to let in soft goals simply because there are not enough people around to defend.  And you know what?  Watch the best strikers in the world and count how many times a game they are there right on the goal line defending for their team, clearing headers and making tackles at the back.  That’s WHY they are the best. Not just because they score goals, but because they help to defend as well.
We must be smart.  In the second half they started attacking down our wings.  Time and time again they came straight down the wings.  When we see this we have to adapt and think about how to stop it happening.  Yes that is the coach’s job but it’s also up to the players to make small adjustments to their positioning.  This does not mean leaving your position completely, just keeping more eye on the danger area.
We have to learn to get the ball to our attacking players sooner.  We are building a good defence and that means we can start to concentrate on our attack play.
Very importantly.  At least half of any sport is in the mind.  Ask Steven Gerrard if he gave up when Liverpool were 3-0 down at half time in the Champions League Final of 2005.  He could have just thought about the humiliation and embarrassment of being 3-0 down in front of the whole world.  But he didn’t.  He came out and led his team to one of the most talked about and historic victories of all time.  Never let a goal get you down.  Just because they score, so what.  If they go 2-0 ahead, well we only need one goal and suddenly it’s all to play for again.  Don’t drop your head when we let in a goal.  Start again as if it’s 0-0, and fight to get a goal.
Overall, I am very proud of our performance on Saturday and I think we are building a team which has the potential to be very good.   We always knew this first season was about learning as so far we are getting better with each game which means we are learning.  If we keep doing this, we will start winning more and more matches.   Competition is hotting up for places and we now have 19 registered players in our squad.  People who work hard on the pitch, train hard and behave well will be given priority. 

If we don’t do the basics right we will probably lose more games, but if we keep improving the way we are and we keep working on the basics of fitness, marking, getting back to defend and working HARD HARD HARD,  then I think we will start to see more and more results in our favour insha-Allah.

Man of the Match – Usamah.

Coach Rahim


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