On Saturday 11th May our U10 travelled to St George’s Park, the training home of the England national team to contest for the JPL National Development Cup Final.
The players “smartly dress” travel together with their parents on the coach provided, to make sure that every effort was made to enjoy the fantastic opportunity presented to them.
On arrival the boys entered the dressing room and used their personal lockers to hang their shirt and ties up.
Now down to business: with the players changed they headed out onto the pitch for the warm up. The players showed a good level of intensity so we were in a good place and as such everyone was looking forward to the challenge.
Our opponents Sutton Coldfield Town was a big side, looking more like an U11/U12 side in parts, and with them came a lot of very vocal supporters!
First half started and went quickly. Looking back at the game, Sutton probably settled in quicker than us, however it was BIC who took the lead by capitalising on an error in our opposition penalty box when the ball fell kindly into Devonte Ferguson who guided it into the bottom corner.
BIC’s goalkeeper, Nate Cliff distribution was excellent and to be honest had maybe only one save to make in the first half.
Out passing lines were good along with our out of possession shape! A good first half without really reach the levels we have set collectively as in previous fixtures as a young team.
Sutton were rattled and in fairness the very vocal support raised the temperature of the game and had quite an impact in the second half.
Half time, BIC was 1-0 up and at the start of the second half Sutton flew out of the block’s and put us under a lot of pressure!
In a crazy 10 sec spell the game turned! Sutton won the ball in the middle third and with BIC too slow to engage a Sutton player smash the ball into the bottom corner of the net! 1-1! Even more drama was to follow! Straight from the kick off BIC loss possession and with a clear route to goal their striker punished us with another clinical finish 2-1 Sutton!
BIC changed shape and went for it, a couple of chances came, however in the last seconds of the game with BIC committing body in the middle and final third of the pitch Sutton grab a third to kill the game off right at the death.
The game ended 3-1 to Sutton and congratulations to them. On reflection we probably did not do quite enough to win it in normal time however I’m not sure Sutton did either, but that’s football. At the end of the game the boys showed lots of emotion which I have no problem with, because it shows they care! Never the less the players composed themselves and concluded the occasion by shaking all the officials, JPL Staff’s, & Opponents players & staffs hands with their heads held high! Professional to the end!
Never the less, lots of lesson learnt about my fantastic young players made up of a couple U9 playing along side some players that are yet to even become 10 years old.
MOM – Tom Howard
In the right place at the right time and defended with great technique in 1v1 situations – Well done Tom!
It was clear to see by all there that all players gave everything to the cause and worked tirelessly right to the end despite only just coming together this season. There was lots of positives and lots of good performances across the team however it was not our day this time.
I can’t tell you how extremely proud I am of everyone involved today because of your hard-work in created this fantastic opportunity and memory that I know will stay with you for years to come! Roll on next season!
Also a big thank you to the Junior Premier League for making the opportunity for this wonderful experience
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