As a coach I am always looking for what I consider the perfect game every time a team under my guidance takes the field. To me the “perfect game” involves players making position off the ball, talking to one another and stringing together a sequence of unstoppable passes from the defensive end of the ground right to the attacking box, finishing with a clinical goal. This is the type of game I look for every week.
14 and 15 year old boys on the other hand dream of “shredding” their opposition 1 V 1 and taking the ball the entire length of the ground, finishing the run with a 40 meter look away Rabona goal. Clearly, trying to achieve both the coach’s dream game and the teenage players dream game is somewhat impossible. This is the challenge of coaching an Under 16 Boys soccer team.
Trafalgar’s round 10 match against Sale United Green was a match that the Victory boys were expected, on paper anyway, to win comfortably. The relative positions on the ladder were Trafalgar 3rd and Sale 6th and recent form would suggest a probable win for Trafalgar. However, as we have learned throughout the season, the moment you think you “should win” a game, is the moment the team becomes complacent and delivers a sub-par performance.
The theme for the day was defensive pressure. It was therefore extremely pleasing when Jacob Holmes capitalised upon a pressure resulting Sale turn over in the box to give his team a 1-0 lead early into the first half. Jacob, Michael Judd and Nic Tammes worked extremely hard to not allow Sale to run the ball out of defence easily. This pressure in turn rushed the Sale defenders and provided the Trafalgar midfield with many opportunities to collect easy possessions.
The starting midfield of Kai Kondo, Hamish Brace and Josh Porter worked well together and met every challenge head on. Josh thrived on the opportunity to play in the midfield and gave 100% for the entire match. Kai used his excellent stamina to carry the ball well down the wings and Hamish provided good service for his strikers.
The Traf boys were doing their best, effort wise, yet lacked proper structure and on the pitch communication. Central defender Lachlan Smith was the only TVFC player offering instruction to those around him, the rest of the group offered very little verbal support to one another. So by the end of a somewhat frustrating first half Trafalgar took a 1-0 lead into the break.
The second half delivered much better ball movement and transition along the pitch. There was an increased intensity and the lads played with a great deal more determination. Wingers Nic Tammes and Jacob Holmes took the game on and displayed some exceptional skill. Both boys dominated their wings and were ably supported by the left and right defenders and midfielders, who made use of their hot form extremely well.
With better service to the strikers cam better scoring opportunities for the TVFC front men. Logan Winter hit his straps in the second half and looked extremely dangerous. Prior to the second half TVFC had shots on goal from Logan and Michael Judd that hit the cross bar. Both boys could have had a pair of goals each by half time. However, it was Logan who finished off the Trafalgar field dominance with some lovely striking. He score a hat-trick in the second half and put on somewhat of a clinic. The Trafalgar team running out eventual winners with a convincing 4-0 score line.
As coach I was happy with the way the boys lifted in the second half and scored freely. However, Sale threatened to score on several occasions in the second half and played a considerable proportion of the match in their attacking half. Accordingly, the team has work to do at training in the upcoming weeks to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Overall a good win for the team and a good performance following the Queens’ Birthday long weekend break.
BK’s Award: Jacob Holmes
Jump & Climb Award: Lachlan Smith
Better players: Lachlan Smith, Jacob Holmes, Nic Tammes, Lachlan Burke, Logan Winter & Monty Rahama.
Report by Coach Mark Judd