What can you say about a team that faces a stern test of character yet comes out of that test with their heads held up high – TRULY MAGNIFICENT.
I have coached teams for many years and I can honestly say that I cannot think of a prouder moment in my coaching career. Here was a Roselea team that was playing the team coming second on the table – they had scored 39 goals and conceded 18 and had only lost twice this season. A formidable opponent. Added to this was we had 9 players including Alex from the under 13/3 who kindly turned up to play for us before his game. Guess what they had 4 reserves so they could keep rotating players to keep them fresh!!!
I instructed the boys that we were going to play defensively and try to hit them on the counter attack. I had to emphasise that we were we not to chase them down in their own half especially when they were playing out from the back. We need to conserve our energy levels.
Our backs were truly wonderful – they repelled attack after attack. Lachlan and Matthew held firm in the middle. They both read the game very well. Brendan worked tirelessly to tackle and harass opponents. Yet somehow the opposition managed to score a couple of sloppy goals. Massimo was in goals and made many a fine save. He was also acting as a sweeper in behind the defence.
I switched Matty, our smallest player, to the backs and he came up against kids 3 times his size. He tackled and tackled and stole the ball many times. What a performer – continues to amaze. Alex, likewise, was up against a man mountain but he didn’t shirk the task and many times went around him to start attacks.
At half time we were down 2-0 but these boys just didn’t give up. Taylor and Isaac were working so hard in midfield and initiated most of our attacks. A couple of quick passes and a through ball and we scored – 2 – 1. What happened next was amazing – we did it again and scored 2-2. Now we had them rattled. Lucas worked really hard pushing up in attack and then charging back to help our defence.
The opposition later came through and a deflected shot found the back of the net. 3-2. Did we have enough in the tank to score again? Well I can say that we tried our hardest with even Massimo, our goalie, taking a calculated risk and sweeping upfield with the ball to start attacks. Alas it was not to be.
After the game I spoke with the opposition coach who commented that we had a great team and our position on the ladder didn’t reflect how good the team was. He thought we were easily a top 4 team!!!
Just think of what we can do with a full component of payers – wow!!!!
Thank you for the chance to help out – I coached some of these boys last year and it’s a privilege to work with such a dedicated group of young men. For a team that came together this year, you are playing some great football. Your attitude and aptitude to the game and your team mates are fantastic. Congratulations.