Saturday 13th October 2012 @ Braemar Road
All Birmingham Mini-Soccer Championships
Erdington and Saltley have never made much of an impression during this prodigious tournament over the years. That is, up until today! We entered two teams into the competition (Greens and Blues) and both teams should be immensely proud of their efforts. I certainly am!
Team: Connor, Josh F, William, Alex F, Ethan, Karter, Zane, Cedric
Man of the Tournament – William
Results: 0-0; 0-0; 0-0; 0-2; 0-1
Gutsy. Brave. Determined. All of these adjectives could be used to describe the performance of the Greens! From the first whistle to the last whistle they battled their way through each game and showed off the odd glimpse of sheer class too. Did anyone see Cedric’s flick through ball? Wow! Messi would be proud of a pass that good!
In goal we had Connor McGuinness making his debut. The Brokvale pupil pulled off a number of world class saves, such as the point blank save against Kings Norton in game three. The crowd couldn’t believe it and stood there gasping in amazement. Then there was Willam at the back. Without doubt, this was his best ‘game’ for the district this season and he remained composed and calm throughout the tournament. Throw into the mix the hard work of Ethan, Karter and Alex, plus the last ditch defending of Josh F and you have a heroic performance. We must also not forget the touches of class provided by Zane and Cedric. The only thing missing was a goal or two, although if it wasn’t for an unbelievable save by the Harborne keeper we would have got a goal.
Nevertheless, the Greens should all hold their head up high. What a great spirit! What a great bunch of lads!
Team: Alex T, Michael, Jayden, Trey, Josh, Ellis Jay, Bailey, Sahib
Man of the Tournament: All eight of them!
Results: Group Stage: 1-0; 2-0; 1-0; 0-0; 1-0; 0-0 Semi-final: 1-0 Final 0-1 (after extra time)
Where to start? First of all I think I need to have a lie down because I’m emotionally drained! What a day!
At the start of the season I set out to reestablish the Erdington and Saltley district after several years of non-existence. My ambition was to get 35 children to the trials. I got 70. Then my ambition was to play good football. We play awesome football. So then I changed my ambition. I wanted to win a game. We done that weeks ago. I then decided that I wanted Erdington and Saltley football to be placed back on the map. Well the lads have certainly achieved that ambition! What a day! What a team!
Qualifying from Group 2, the Blues collected a huge total of 14 points (more than any other team) to win the group in style. No goals conceded and unbeaten. Now that’s how to take care of business! This meant a semi-final encounter with South Birmingham, only a week after suffering a 4-2 defeat to them. However there were no nerves on show as The Ton snatched an early lead thanks to a breathtaking, free-flowing move down the right. The defence stood strong for the remainder of the game and qualified for the final. It was the first time that South had not qualified for the final in eight years. This stat alone shows the magnitude of The Ton’s achievement!
Sutton Coldfield were waiting for us in the final and we knew they were going to be strong after both of their teams qualified for the semi-final. A nervy first half saw few chances, until the dying seconds when Trey burst through the Sutton defence and put his shot inches wide. It was agonisingly close. A lesser bunch of players could have dropped their heads at this point, but not this group of heroes! The second half saw Sutton come the closest to breaking the deadlock but their efforts were to no avail, thanks to some great defending and super goalkeeping. This meant the game went to extra-time, the first half of which was also goalless. The crowd grew edgy. The air was filled with tension and nerves. Both sets of fans knew one goal either way would surely seal victory for either team. With the final few seconds approaching, Sutton scored. Heartbreak for The Ton. Nevertheless, the boys lifted their heads to throw one final attack at Sutton. The final whistle blew. Jubilation for Sutton Coldfield. Desperation for The Ton.
During the pre-final team talk, both Jermiane (Ellis Jay’s Dad) and I had told the boys to make sure they had no regrets at the final whistle. They did just that. . . and more!
I am so proud of this group of young men. We should all be! What a team,
Well done Blues. Well done Greens. Well done Erdington and Saltley.
Up the Ton!