9th Grade Development Team at Digger Douglas Memorial

Yesterday, the ECB 9th Grade Development Team participated in the Digger Douglas Memorial Junior Tournament held by Onehunga Mangere AFC. The weather turned up  cold and sunny with a lot of eager kids representing 9 clubs with a draw of 12 teams.

We got off to a good start with 2 wins in closely contested games before losing 1-0 in a match where we appeared to be the better team. The goal was against the general flow of play. We went on in games four and five with convincing wins  of  4-1 in each and putting us clear at the top of the pool. This sent us straight to the cup final against Three Kings the winners of the other pool.

It was exciting for our boys to challenge for the cup and despite some nerves we were in a good close contest at the half time mark, score at 0-0. The second half started much the same as the first until Three Kings got one past our defence and goalie which had been good for most of the day only letting through 3 goals in pool play. A few minutes later we conceded a second goal from a lucky long strike.

Unfortunately our boys confidence dropped as a result. The subsequent pressure led to a defensive mind-set with desperate tackles and nervous passes. A third was scored as a result of desperation and too much play in our own half, and with it any hope for the cup. However, our boys left everything on the pitch and gained valuable experience for next time!

It was a great to see this team make a cup final as a result of all the training and efforts made each week. As the 9th grade development team which includes some 8th grade up and comers, they showed once again that they are capable of matching any of the #1 sides from other clubs on the day.

This I believe shows a good depth of talent currently being developed in our junior ranks. We look forward to the remaining tournaments ahead.


Paul Rodgers

ECB 9th Grade Development Team Coach


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