GHC Under 12 Boys competed in the Surrey Plate competition that took place at Surbiton HC on Sunday 26th February. Overall, four Under 12 Boys' teams participated in the Surrey Cup (2) and Surrey Plate (2). We are thrilled to report that one of the two Plate teams progressed through their pool to the knock-out stages and won the Surrey Plate 2017!!!
Team – Joey, Tom N, James Mundy, Ted B, Joe H, Barney, Tommy, Sam W, James D.
- Pool matches: we played 3 games in the pool stages and won them 6-0, 3-0 and 2-0. The boys stepped up in ALL aspects of the game and the coaches laws prevailed….”Velcro, Ball Speed and width”…
- Highlight: it was a proud moment for me when opposition coaches and umpires commented on the boys' determination and attention to playing quick hockey; that was the success to preventing any opposition to make any real danger to Joey in goal.
- Memorable Moment: there were some great goals scored by the team and one in particular was from a 16 yard hit and we only had five touches before the ball was swept into the net by a player sworn to NEVER have the confidence of a reverse shot at goal (Tommy HF!).
- Quarter-final: we then progressed to the quarter finals and played the so called legends of Surbiton and we easily swept them aside 3-0.
- Semi-final: we then played London Wayfarers in the Semi Finals and won this 2-0.
THE FINAL – THE SHOWDOWN! – 0-0 (AET) – Golden Goal winner!
This lead us to the final where we played the Wimbledon B side whom were notorious for their 'firm' (aggressive!) play and each one of my centurions stood up to them and NEVER gave up!
We set out a strong defensive structure and I will single out ALL the players that showed that they have taken all the advice given to them during training and listed to Sargent Major Dunleavy on the side-line barking the orders….
- Ted B – What a difference he made to this team. He stepped up in front of countless attackers and smashed them back with ease. He drove the ball upfront and tracked back if we lost the ball – WHAT A GOOD PLAYER IF HE LISTENED TO US MORE OFTEN! ;-)
- Barney – This was my central midfielder with the heart of a lion. He played every game for me and was by far the engine of the team. He played beautifully in the midfield in both attack and defence and drove 3-4 of the bigger Wimbledon players off the ball and showed them who was boss. HE WAS MY MAN OF THE TOURNEMENT!
- Tommy HF – He played upfront for the team and got himself into some fantastic positions to receive the ball and allowed the midfield players to join him and pepper their goalkeeper (WHO SAVED AT LEAST 8 SHOTS FROM US IN 15MIN!)
- James D – this is a lad who is in the recovery stages from being ill and gave me all he could throughout the tournament and even in the final was able to dig as deep as he could to help the team. He played SO well on the right midfield driving the ball around the defence and passing to his team members!
- Tom N– solid defender who now believes in himself. He doubted his ability before…… and this game was the start of the next level for him…..
- Sam W – Very solid player on the left side showing up the opposition with some wide play and speed on the ball to keep the opposition track back the whole time to catch up with him.
- James M – James helped me perform a multi-role position and did it with fine honour! He played defensively and took down a few of the attackers and then played on the right midfield and drove the ball wide and allows us to easily break them open!
- Joe H – Joe has struggled with being too upright and he knew that he had to perform well to be able to stay on the park. He did everything I asked him to do (ok he did take 3 reverse hits on a row and missed them all) but he learnt after that, that he cannot make basic errors like that again and from the second game onwards, he played safely and made some fantastic crosses from the left side across to the team mates! NICE ONE JOE!
- Joey – Joey saved himself for the final and drew shrieks of delight from the 2,300 travelling fans as he saved over 10 shots with such confidence that it must have rattled the attackers. On the of the saves was a top right corner save which drove the fans wild! He was by far the man of this match with this sterling effort and a 100% clean sheet!
The Golden Goal – We went into 5 minutes golden goal and we somehow managed to get Barney off the floor after he collapsed after a full width run from our base line to the end line! We managed to get the ball to the left side of the pitch and one of the players got the ball onto one of the attacker's foot on the goal line …. A PENALTY FLICK WAS AWARDED!!!!
Time for Tom N, our experienced, cool, calm and collected character to step up and steal the show……. He took his time and got composure and slotted the ball into the netting and WON US THE PLATE!
A few words from the coach:
This was a team effort of HUGE proportions! At our last practice on Friday night we spoke about the belief that we could win the Plate. We all did the things we needed AS A TEAM and we did it!
I was so proud of the boys as there was not one bit of moaning or back chat. What a lovely bunch of boys to coach and there was only positivity on the pitch and it showed with their ability to play together. I look forwards to taking some of the players up into U14 next year BUT I know there are a few players from this victorious that will challenge for the A side in U12 next year!
Bring it on........