Wednesday 18th February 2015 @ Heartlands Academy
Erdington and Saltley 2 – 4 Colron
Team: Harvey, Ilani, Harvey, Kye, Kane, Cameron, Samim, Oakley, Pharelle, William, Jermaine, Kian and Tion
Scorer: Jermaine x 2
I ended my programme notes with a quote, and I’ll begin this match report with another:
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
If the greatest ever basketball player (and one of the greatest sporting talents in the history of the whole wide world) said this, it must be true! These words should be at the forefront of our minds when we think about tonight’s game. I could see the disappointment in the eyes of the lads and this shows just how far we’ve come in the space of ten games. We’ve developed a great team bond that the boys were genuinely disappointed to lose. However, as Michael Johnson said, every setback is an opportunity to learn.
The game could have started better for The Ton, after we fell 2-0 behind within the first ten minutes of the game. Although in fairness we had hit the post after one minute! Once the initial nerves had settled, we dragged ourselves back into the game and ended the first 20 minutes far more assured and more composed. Adam (taking the place of Tonn for today) and I told the lads that we had to have more conviction in the things that we did. Both in terms of the tackles that we were making and the passes we were choosing.
The second twenty was in stark contrast to the first. The Ton took on all of the advice that they were given and came out fighting. Consequently we had far more of the ball and created more chances. Although football is often far from fair, and Colron took a 3-0 lead against the run of play. Goalkeeper Harvey, trying to play the ball out from the back, played it to defender Harvey who immediately found himself under pressure. The Colron player won the ensuing battle and crossed for his teammate to finish. At this point it would have been easy for the lads to drop their heads and bemoan the fact that nothing was goign their way. However, rather than take the easy option, they rolled up their sleeves and went for it again. Good work down the right from Kane and then Pharrelle, allowed Jermaine to dart in on the back post and finish on the half volley.
The third and final twenty minutes was very similar to the second – The Ton having lots of the ball and creating a number of chances, only for Colron to hit us with a sucker-punch. Once again, despite now being 4-1 down, The Ton picked up their heads and gave it another shot. With ten minutes left on the clock, Jermaine rifled home his second of the game to give the lads hope. Alas it wasn’t meant to be. At the end of a game in which we created a number of great chances, hit the woodwork a couple of times and had a shot cleared off the line, The Ton lost 4-2 to a very talented Colron team.
As a teacher, I’m all about the learning! What can we learn from today? There wasn’t a whole lot wrong with what we did but we could have played with a little more conviction. This basically means making your mind up earlier and sticking to your decision. On the football pitch this would mean winning tackles that we go in for. Making passes that are open to us. Where would Michael Jordan have been if he didn’t learn something from every defeat, every miss and every upset? I’m not sure, but I’m certain he wouldn’t be known as the greatest every basketball player the world has ever known! We’ll dust ourselves off and come again.
Finally, lets remember one thing…we’re 8, 9 and 10 years old. We’re kids. This is schools’ football. It’s not professional football and neither is it the World Cup final. We play for fun and for self-improvement and nothing that we saw tonight will change that!
Well done boys! I’ll see some of you on Friday when the Under 11s take part in the Daniel Sturridge Cup, and the rest of you in a week or so. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your half term and remember to smile!
Man of the Match – I thought Ilani did a great job, playing at the centre of a back three for the first time ever. Not only did he fill in for Sam, but he is also in Year 4 let’s not forget! Tion also did well, especially when dropping back into defence. Jermaine bagged himself a brace and was positive throughout. However, Kane sneaks it this week, after putting in a committed midfield performance and battling from the first to the last whistle.
Up The Ton!