Last one for the year. And this is the sweetest one to write a report on regardless of how foggy some of the details for the game were to me. Sorry for it being so long.
Firstly what a day. The weather was perfect and the girls arrived to game with a steely reserve but at the same time inhibiting some nervous emotions. These nervous emotions were also present in me. It was great to see the big contingent of Kensington supporters that came out in force to help the girls win. It was even better to hear the encouragement, the cheers and roars of appreciation for the girls.
I assigned Isabella E as the teams captain for this grand final match in recognition for her fantastic year. I was a little surprised that she did not feature in the top 3 best and fairest award so thought it would be fitting to give her this form of acknowledgement.
Prior to match kick off I eyed of the opponents and saw that they were all glammed up with ribbons and make up. From this point on I pretty much knew that we had the game won as our opponents minds were elsewhere. As coach the girls asked me at training if they could to the same. I just thought by doing so provided a big distraction to what they were trying to achieve for the day.
The girls were given their final instructions, a reinforcement of the team rules, to stay in formation, to talk to each other, to beat their opponent, to play football and most importantly to have fun. The game began with Kensington dominating the play.
They were suffocating their opponents by giving them no time on the ball. Jade playing in midfield was tirelessly working harassing the ball carriers. Likewise Destiny was doing the same in the strikers position and in addition she was making some direct runs at their defence. She was chipping away at the defence trying to break them down. Just past the midway of the first half the first goal game in typical fashion. Del was given the ball in an advance position on the left side of the field where she was able use her skills and pace to get around the defence. Expertly she did what she has done on so many occasions throughout the year, she got behind the defence, ran at pace at the keeper, creating a one on one with the keeper and powered the ball into the net. The first half was dominated by us with some telling forward runs by Alicia and Hollie. Hollie in the first half made an amazing run weaving her way past 3 defenders. Unfortunately she ran out of puff and could not get around that last defender. The defence of Hampton was very strong and hard to get through. Alicia was influential on the right hand side of midfield. She harassed, tackled and intimidated her opponent. Jamie and Hannah came on halfway through the first half. It was Jamie’s best performance for the year, anything that came into her area of influence she made it hers. Hannah while playing in defence made some telling tackles. However in the second half she shone while in goals. More on her latter in the report.
On a relatively hot morning the girls began to tire towards the end of the first half and started to fall back and defend. While tired they forgot to put pressure on the ball carrier and that led to Hamptons first shot on goal. The shot came from their striker following a cross from the right hand side of the park. Eloise in goals for the first half dived forwards and clutched the ball. In the second half Eloise was solid in midfield controlling the tempo of the game. I enjoyed watching her make her runs forward and then stepping on the ball.
The second half followed the same script as the first. Gen and Emma came on at the half time break to take their positions on either side of defence. And both of them did not put a foot out of place. When the ball got passed them they chased back hard to put pressure on the ball carriers. After the break again the girls dominated the first half of the second half and as the girls tired the opposition began to ask questions of our defence. Towards the end of the game the wave of attacks were relentless.
Midway through the second half Del through some individual brilliance again used her pace and skills to get a one on one with the keeper. Again she gave us what we needed a much need goal to go up two nil. From that point on with the our girls legs getting heavy the opposition began to ask us even more questions. Kristina was solid for the whole game in her defensive midfielders role. She nullified their main weapon, their tall attacking central midfielder. Kristine, Shreya and Keely and Isabella were all fantastic in defence. Hardly anything got past them for the whole game.
Now we come to the last ten minutes of the game, the wave upon wave of attacking by our opposition. The desperate and sometimes not pretty football to get the ball out of the danger zone anyway possible. On two occasions I recall Hannah running out of her goal line and diving on top of the ball to keep our lead safe at 2 nil. Also the save of the game, no actually the save of the year, the save that left me thinking how did she do it. From what I can recall the ball found its way to Hampton attacker just outside the six yard box. She send forward a thunderous shot. Hannah with her cat like reflexes deflected the ball skywards above the crossbar. The ball started its downwards trajectory towards the goals. It hit the crossbar went back into play where our defence cleared it out. That amazing save, I still don’t know how she did it, happened with ten minutes to play. If they had scored that one it might have changed the result and momentum of the game.
I was so relieved when the final whistle sounded to mark the end of the game. The girls were ecstatic and it was great to see the smiles on their faces. They did us all proud. How good was it to hear the club song. What a fitting performance to end of the year. What a gritty, determined and fighting performance to keep the opposition scoreless. Especially when our energy was sapped from us in the last ten minutes.
Keely after the game was a bit down on herself as she told me she only touched the ball twice in the time she was on the field. I told her that she had done her job. That’s all there was for you to. You did what was asked of you and now that you all the girls have done your jobs you are the Champions of the Under 12 Joeys. Enjoy it as it might never happen again.
As I mentioned at the presentation night I wish I could have played every girl for the full game. Unfortunately as we have so many in the team it was fair to give everyone at least half a game.
Now if I had to give a “girl” of the match award it would be extremely difficult to choose between all of them. They all did what they had to do. They all followed the team rules . They all tried hard and had fun. However 4 girls had performances that stood out and had to be recognised. It was hard to decide who was most influential on the day.
I have to give special recognition to these four players:
Del for two goals, her tenacious tackling, her spirited attacks or her selfless defending.
Hollie for tireless work in the midfield, for her vision, distribution and attacking runs.
Isabella E, I know stopper is not your favourite position on the field but without your reading of the play and your shutting down of the attacks I think the result would have been different.
And the girl of the final has to go to Hannah for defensive tackling in the first half and her fabulous performance as goalkeeper in the second half. I still do not know how you kept that shot out.
Well done to all the girls and to Isabella G who could not be with us for the final. All of you are now part of Kensington Junior Girls Soccer club History. You as a team have now given the club two flags. Its first two premiership flags ever. What a massive achievement.
I hope to see you all next year for another shot at a flag. If anyone has got any photos they would like to share around with the group please do.
Once again thank you all for the terrific year.
Champions Under 12 Joeys.
Last Modified on 23/09/2013 15:13