The TVFC under 14 Boys team kicked of their 2016 season with a home match against one of the perennial powerhouse club Fortuna 60. Following the departure of half of last year’s squad into the under 16 team it was a much different looking team that took to the pitch.
This year the team welcomes new players in Darcy Lewis, Finn Vardon-Phillips and Hardy Kenny to the club. We are also delighted to have Drew O’Brien playing again following a year’s absence.
The entire team made an impressive start to the year with all squad members contributing towards an excellent team performance.
Goal keeper Luke Ibbotson was before the game encouraged by coach Mark to “own the backline” and to be loud and clear in his calls. It was clear from the warm-ups that Luke was ready to play and he made numerous great saves during the game and regularly cleared the ball to the half way line with his thumping kicks.
The team has a brand new backline this season and many associated with the team were intrigued as to how they would combine and play as a defensive unit. By the end of even the first half all questions had been answered. Strong and smart play from Connor Ibbotson and Jackson Clerks were the cornerstones of the defensive unit. Both players defended grandly for the entire match and the communication between the back four was evident for all to see and indeed hear. Flynn George added some speed and strength to the contest. Whilst Hardy Kenny simply stared as left back, winning contest after contest for the day.
With the backline on top and working as a unit the midfield, whilst familiar faces, played a very different structure to past seasons. Nic Tammes, Michael Judd and Jacob Holmes move the ball beautifully at times. All three boys read the game well, have great ball control and link up nicely in the middle of the park. Jacob’s “off season” of indoor soccer has taken his game to the next level. His ability to find space in any situation is simply outstanding. Nic’s touch is amazing and his “bag of trick” continues to grow. Whilst Michael directs play superbly from the middle of the pitch and his peripheral vision is second to none.
Up front there were many different players taking their turn. Drew O’Brien adds pace and clean feet to the team, Aedan Rothmeier brings another dimension to our front end as the only true left foot striker on the list, whilst Jack O’Connor has an extremely powerful boot given the opportunity to shoot. Darcy Lewis in his first game for the club made great position up front and troubled the Fortuna defenders greatly. Whilst Finn Vardon-Phillips made a positive start to his season during his first ever club based soccer match.
The scoreline at half time was 0-0 and again at full time 0-0. Coach Mark Judd was delighted with his team’s performance. Given this was the team’s first match of the season playing together there is a great deal to be optimistic about. Mark was most impressed with how the new looked backline, including keeper Luke, played for the entire match. To keep a clean sheet for the entire game was a great achievement for the defensive unit. He felt that the midfield shows a great deal of control and creativity too and with time will adjust to the new structure for this season. Up front there are many new boys who will take time to learn their roles within the team. However, the strikers worked hard all day and generated opportunities to score, which is very pleasing.
The final word from the coach is that we will be practicing throw-ins all next week until we get it right (lol).
BK’s Player of the Day was awarded to keeper Luke Ibbotson for a blinding game in the goals.