Sherwood Football Club - Youth Football in Nottingham - Under 7's

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Match Reports Green

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Long Eaton Festival, Sherwood FC Greens U7s 16/05/15

The field full of cars that greeted us at the venue demonstrated that this was no small-scale affair, and it was confirmed when we collected the fixtures sheet showing 24 teams competing at U7s level (with another 24 due to compete at U8s).

After a bit of milling around being organised, the teams entered through Long Eaton's impressive* stand, to a cacophony of raucous cheering. Credit to the organisers for getting more than 170 seven year olds out onto the pitch in some semblance of order. This theme was carried through the day, which ran like clockwork. Credit too to the supporting parents, who were great.

*Impressive given Long Eaton's first team compete in the Midland Football League Premier Division alongside household names like Boldmere St Michael, Shepshed Dynamo, Kirkby Muxloe, AFC Wolfrunians and vegan favourites Quorn. Long Eaton came third this season - more detail for those who are interested, here

Tim had the notebook and a mathematically rigorous plan for rotating our squad of six across the five scheduled twelve-minute games giving everyone almost equal game time. The beautiful flexibility of the plan became apparent early on when we accidentally fielded the side intended for the final match in the first match.

Missing three influential players in Oliver, Alex and Freddie didn't faze the boys, and we hit the ground running against a strong West Bridgford Colts Black team. The teams were evenly matched and had to work hard, but it was a quality Diego goal that settled it. I think the Greens deserved the win, having made more chances despite a few occasions when WB were attacking into our half devoid of defenders. Note to coaches: give George more opportunities to play up front, especially if he's going to do it anyway!

The second game saw Stapleford Town on the receiving end of a masterclass of passing and driving football. I think the final score was 5-0 to the Greens, with a free-scoring Diego catching the eye of a scout. It's definitely worth noting though that this was a genuine team effort, in which all the players contributed, showing great confidence and no little skill.

Edwalton Cavaliers brought us back down to earth with a bump. The Cavaliers were a decent side, but it was disappointing how we seemed to have lost our collective mojo and (whisper it) actually gave up, occasionally seeming to shepherd the Edwalton attackers toward our goal. In fairness, maintaining effort and motivation over such an intense schedule is not easy for a bunch of seven-year-olds, and perhaps they didn't deserve the nearest-thing-to-a-telling-off they've ever had that followed this game.

There was a short break during which the boys attempted to regain some energy and focus by scoffing bananas and mucking about in the stand, while the organisers used the previous results to seed the teams for the final two matches. Having won two and lost one, we were expecting a stiff test at the sharp end of the tournament (sorry, festival).

What the scientific seeding process threw up first was a game against Long Eaton Blue. The home team were determined but no match for our heros, whose confidence and will to perform had returned. The Greens triumphed 3-1 (bear with me if I got the scores wrong - it was an emotional day!), passing superbly and once again looking organised and well-motivated.

The final game was a continuation of the theme. A good Teversal Red side were dispatched 3-0, with Greens mixing up solid defending and running with the ball, with the slick passing game that so pleases their fans.

I didn't take notes of the scorers in each game, but there were several points worth mentioning:

A great team ethic was demonstrated by the boys with everyone willing to do a stint in goal. Charlie, as usual did more than his fair share and looked solid,

Two similar goals, both first time shots at the end of at least three passes, one from Charlie and one from Rory were genuinely top drawer.

George scored another goal similar to his last, in which he pressured a defender in possession, robbed him of the ball and calmly finished off the self-made chance. In fact, George was a revelation going forward, and his drive coupled with Charlie's guile caused our opponents no end of problems.

Diego was better than ever, scoring a hatful but was also involved in plenty of team moves, using a range of skills that clearly stood out, but it's worth noting that he wouldn't be able to showcase this aspect of his game if his team-mates were standing around watching Diego strut his stuff (as they've been known to do on the odd occasion). For this tournament they all worked exceptionally hard.

Joe demonstrated some excellent control and distribution (some of the best we've seen from him) and Rory - always so good at hanging on to the ball - showed his football brain to go with great feet and had a cracking day, consistently finding his team-mates with incisive passes.

[Biased parent alert!] Perhaps the finest moment was in the final game when William, coming out of his shell and out of defence, ran the length of the left hand touchline and crossed to find Joe sliding in like Ian Rush to finish from close range. Majestic! The boys were delighted to have scored a 'Match of the Day' goal (whatever that means?)

I'm sure the slump against Edwalton will serve as a learning experience, and otherwise the lads had one of their best days yet. Well done chaps!

Finally, once again, huge credit to the organisers for putting on a great day.

 


 

Priory Celtic Green v Sherwood FC (Blues and Greens mixed team) 26th April 2015


A great effort from the Greens/Blues mixed team on a sunny day over at the always welcoming Priory Celtic Green, made for a fitting end to the season.

None of the boys seemed to have a problem playing with new team mates. There's great team spirit within each of the four teams, but on the evidence of last weekend's games, there's also a genuine unity across the whole of Sherwood FC U7s.

With Blues and Greens shorn of several regulars, tempted by the lure of playing on a proper football pitch, the four Greens and three Blues seemed to gel with no problems (despite the coaches struggling occasionally with names), and hit the ground running to perhaps edge the first quarter.

Fearghus was especially adept in a sweeper role, impressing this coach with great positional awareness to thwart Priory Celtic attacks, and ability off both feet to get Sherwood moving forward.

The coaches were blessed in particular with three players happy to play the last man role so important at this level. Fearghus, George and William each inspired confidence in snuffing out Celtic breaks when called upon, and critically always had team mates making up ground to back them up, or offer passing options.

One crept through in the second quarter though. There was nothing Louie C could do after a Priory Celtic passing move bore fruit and prompted a strong finish from within the area. Louie was otherwise totally solid taking his turn in goal for the whole of the first half.

Sherwood then had a good spell and grabbed a couple of goals in reply, with both Aaron and Louie C featuring strongly, carrying the ball and looking to thread it through to team-mates. Goals came from George (a cool finish under pressure having broken through the Priory Celtic defence) and Alex (a strong shot on the turn, while holding off defenders).

Aaron was in goal for the third quarter, and kept a clean sheet, handling the ball confidently on a few occasions when needed, hopefully not causing his mum too much anxiety. Right across the pitch there was excellent commitment and concentration from Sherwood, making Priory Celtic really work for their chances.

It was turning into a great match by now, with both teams fully committed but fair.

Early in the final quarter, Rory (despite having volunteered for a stint in defence!) found space in front of goal, as he is so good at doing, and volleyed the bouncing ball with his weaker left foot into the top corner for a cracking goal, but at 3-1 down going in to the final quarter, Priory Celtic showed great character in battling on, forcing a goal that gave Alex no chance.

Now 3-2 up, Sherwood needed all their concentration and significant effort to remain on top as it was end to end stuff for a while, with Alex called on to make a couple more good saves.

Both Aaron and Fearghus, the latter given licence to push forward later in the game, had good chances to score in the second half, and despite narrowly missing, both would have richly deserved a goal in return for the application and commitment shown. William, as well as being solid at the back, showed quality with a couple of runs down the wing, and caused problems for the opposition with his long throw. Rory was a constant threat and comfortable holding the ball, thus giving the team time to re-group. Louie C, after his strong turn in goal, brought a cool head to outfield play and was notable in his desire to pass constructively. Alex had plenty of momentum going forward and was tough to dispossess as usual. George had one of his best games of the season, tackling tirelessly and increasing in confidence going forward.

It was a really open, evenly-matched game, against a Priory Celtic Green side that we've seen improve hugely over the course of the season, and coaches and parents were incredibly proud of the lads.