The boys played a tough game on Sunday against London Wayfarers whose team included 3-4 Surrey players in their side. We knew from the start that this game was going to be tough but I was so proud of the boys and how they fought every minute of the game. We stuck to the 3 rules (velcro, use the width and ball speed) and the boys did REALLY well at playing as a team and sticking to the game plan.
The times LW scored were tough; very quick running and getting into spaces which stretched the defence and midfield and when I made the change to get Sam W back into the defence, then we had a solid platform.
Seb was our BU12 GK and played really well to keep out some of the opposition shots and his sturdy defence stayed on top of the attackers for most of their attacks.
A few remarks about the boys:
Seb W - great confidence to take on the attackers in all scenarios and my favourite shot stop was a one-footed right foot dive to defend a certain goal. He always had a smile on his face even when they scored and this was great to see. He is a top keeper and would be very happy to have him play again for us.
Ollie B - Ollie played well in midfield and defence. We even got him to play upfront to change the team shape and he played a consistent game in any position I put him in - thanks and well done for being able to play wherever we needed.
Ethan C - Ethan always has a smile on his face when playing and is a pleasure to coach. He listens to everything and played very well in midfield and forward positions. He made some great quick passes to the team members and this helped us get behind the defenders.
Henry C - MY LEFT HALF STAR! - He has become a specialist left half and does exactly what I asked for. His defining moment came when their quickest attacker ran at him at pace and Henry managed to stop him (not the ball!) and this broke the game down and allowed the defence to regroup. He offered no condolences for flattening the attacker and the attacker never went near Henry again so well done :-)
James D - James has fantastic ball control and did really well to dominate the left midfield. He made some really strong passes into space and this helped the team get nice and wide.
Alastair D - Alastair played mostly midfield and distributed the ball well to the forwards to drive the defence onto the back foot. He and I spoke before the game and he stuck to the game plan and did not try and dribble out the midfield which was great to see how he can keep the ball moving quickly and play one/two touch hockey.
Ethan P - Ethan had one early minor blip of passing the ball from a 16 yard hit across the goal and from that point onwards he played really well. He ran his socks off and marked VERY well. I am sure he slept well on Sunday night!
Alfie S - Alfie played well on the right side and made some crunching tackles. He timed the tackles really well and then kept the ball on the strong side and did not do ANY left-hand reverse stick hits. He knows what I mean with this as he tends to run with the stick in his left hand. He also marked (VELCRO!) very well and stopped the attacker from getting the ball.
Patrick - Patrick played forward for us and received the ball in space (thanks to the midfield NOT running with the ball!) and then got caught by the opposition's strong defence. He was often isolated because we defended so much but when he got the ball, he tried to hold this up and wait for the midfield to get there to help him. He provided his brother and father with some fine entertainment when forgetting that this was hockey (NOT RUGBY) and almost tackled the player without his stick! Everyone knows I like the team to get more physical on the pitch to dominate the game so I did enjoy his approach to making the life of the defender really tough!
Sam W - Sam and I had spoken before the game about how he needed to play and he did superbly well. He has such a good jab tackle and made some long runs with their fast forwards and channelled them all the way to the sideline and often won the ball. He timed the tackles perfectly and did not give away free hits as he has done in the past. WELL DONE SAM! He also kept his head up when he lost the ball and shows great determination to get back and recover the ball.
Toby T - Toby is an excellent midfielder and distributes the ball well. He may have felt a little intimidated in the first half being from a younger age group but he became more confident to receive the ball and then make the right pass out wide.
Finlay C - Finlay played well across all areas of defence and midfield. He marked REALLY well and kept their attackers from receiving the ball.
Overall = The team played their hearts out and I was so pleased to ask them if they enjoyed the game at the end and I got a resounding YES! from them all. It was a great team effort and I am looking forward to taking this team again into a different league that has a more balanced level of opposition.