The TVFC Under 16 Boys took on top of the table Fortuna at Trafalgar Recreation Reserve on the weekend. Following a comprehensive victory over Traralgon City the previous week and a good week on the training tack, the Victory team was well prepared to challenge the number one placed team.
The games started with Trafalgar fielding a full strength 16 man squad and Fortuna with only 10 players. The numerical disadvantage proved no major concern for the visiting team who had scored twice in the opening fifteen minutes and it could have been more had they not missed a penalty early in the half.
The Trafalgar team found the physical brand of football produced by Fortuna somewhat confronting. In recent weeks the games played have been comfortable and controlled ball movement. However, they were now confronted with a physical contest at every play. Truth be told is was quite an educational experience for several of the slight build and bottom aged Trafalgar players.
To their credit the Trafalgar boys battled on but the backline was cracked open on numerous occasions when the speed and talent of the Fortuna strikers was on display. Josh Porter and Lachlan Burke had their direct opponents covered well, but poor Stuart Beckley and Lachlan Smith had their work cut out trying to defend the top of the box.
Toby Budd and Michael Judd supplied good ball to team mates and provided a link between the backline and strikers. Unfortunately Toby had feet concerns due to his choice of footwear and couldn’t return to the pitch in the second half. Jacob Holmes also was playing well until he too suffered a game ending injury to his heel. With two of our better ball players forced from the ground our structure certainly was stretch and slightly disorganised. The halftime score was Fortuna 3 Trafalgar 0.
The Trafalgar lads kept their heads up and for the first 15 minutes of the second half played some good team oriented football. The lads started to string some passes together and certainly look more structure and organised.
With several players injured it was a good chance for the less experienced members of the team to get some valuable game time against one of the best teams in the competition. Unfortunately for TVFC, the experienced Fortuna team took full advantage of the less experienced opposition to pile on the goals in the final 30 minutes of the match.
By the games end Fortuna had ran away with a convincing 8-0 win. Trafalgar had played out the game to the final minute, but had been shown what the next level of football looks like. A valuable and timely experience for the Trafalgar lads, who until this weekend had not lost a match. So with plenty to work on, the team now knows where the bar has been set and what they have to do to reach the standard of the top teams in the division.
Jump & Climb award went to Toby Budd
BK’s Award went to Lachlan Burke
Better players for Trafalgar: Toby Budd, Lachlan Burke, Joshua Porter, Michael Judd and Calum Stewart.