Much as I felt proud for the boys in defeat last week I felt proud in the performance this week for its classiness.
Several of the team had their best games for our club since I’ve been watching: Tobias, Felice, Tom, Edward, and the rest were at least as good as we’ve seen and expected before. Altogether it made for a very enjoyable match to watch with both sides attempting and succeeding in playing proper football from the back, and through the midfield.
What’s great to see is how quickly they learn...even if sometimes it’s never 100% clear if the coaches’ well intentioned ‘coaching’ is being received. Either way the lads are learning through playing, and increasingly communicating with each other football thinking rather than the other fun things in their lives that make them giggle but make me wince as opposing attackers take advantage of the lapse in concentration. Today that didn’t happen.
Ultimately it’s all about fun but to start to see their joy through playing well, and doing it together as a team is great to see.
Of note today were the numerous passing moves often in neat and progressive triangles but with a fair few razor sharp through balls. The tackling was intense (and from every lad) and our defending was robust, often jockey’ing the attacker rather than a desperate lunge, winning the ball back through pressure. Often then - whilst we took risks at the back - we were composed dribbling and passing from our own defensive positions. Not good for my nerves but both encouraged and encouraging to see. They are brave and playing with freedom.
If I compare what I see now to even two months ago they boys have moved on enormously - all to their credit. Compare it to a year ago and they are collectively transformed and have so much more potential yet.
What’s great too is the competition for places...with a few more who don’t play regularly knocking on the door. More of that to see in our intra-Whites tournament tomorrow.
Thanks too to Ralph for playing, supporting on and off the field, and being a big part of the collective positive attitude.