Saturday 29th August 2015 and Sunday 30th August 2015 @ Odd Down, Bath
Bath International Cup 2015
Team: Harvey, Sam, Brandon, Kye, Ilani, Harvey, Rio, Samim, Tion, Jermaine, Cameron, Blessing, Pharelle and Diago
D 0-0 North Somerset
L 1-0 Everton
L 1-0 Rayo Vallecano
D 0-0 B93
L 4-0 Chelsea
D 0-0 North Somerset
D 0-0 B93
W 5-1 Mastshuggets BK
W 4-0 FC Vilnius
W 2-0 Bath
First of all I must start by thanking everyone involved in this weekend – BWB03, the Premier League, our parents and our kids – because without them none of this would have been possible. Also before you ask Bath, yes we would love to come again next season! In fact, we insist on it!
Prior to the weekend we were heading into the unknown – we’d never been away as a team on an overnight stay and actually hadn’t played together as an under 11s team before! So to say we were excited is an under statement!
The inaugural Bath International Cup opened on Saturday with 12 teams from across Europe competing for the title
Chelsea, Everton and Swansea from the Premier League were joined by BWB, Erdington and Saltley and North Somerset from the ESFA, whilst B93, Rayo Vallecano and BK Skjold and BK Masthugget flew on the day before from Scandinavia and Spain.
The teams were split into two groups with 5 games each to be played. The teams finishing first would progress to Sunday’s Champions League, and the other 3 would go through to the Europa League.
The main thing to characterise Saturday’s efforts was the amazing team spirit and unrivalled work rate. We couldn’t have asked the lads to battle any more. At times it wasn’t pretty , but the calibre of the opposition meant we were up against it from the first whistle. Nevertheless the lads showed commitment, bravery and determination during each game and walked away with their heads held high and reputation as a team enhanced.
Saturday’s results meant we found ourselves in the Europa League and up against five teams from four different countries.
The morning started slowly for us, with the lads looking tired from the previous day’s efforts. Despite the lack of zest, we still kept clean sheets in both games, although by this point our goal drought stretched back seven games and 140 minutes.
In the third game of the morning the boys found their shooting boots, putting five past their Swedish opponents, although as a team we were still not reaching the heights that we’d achieved the previous day. Honest words were exchanged between the lads and a promise was made to “smash it” during the final two games of the day.
Like any athlete at the top of his or her game, the boys peaked at the right moment! Game four saw us square up to FC Vilnius of Lithuania and win 4-0, with the urgency and fluidity once again returning to our game.
That meant we went into the final game of the day knowing it was effectively a final. The winner of the game would lift the cup, although a draw would also have been enough for Bath. From the first whistle the boys looked completely focused and united in their determination to win the game. Two goals from two Birches Green boys (Rio and Samim) was enough to claim the victory needed to lift our first piece of silverware as a team.
More important than the win was everything else that we got from the weekend. The lads bonded as a group, got to experience other cultures and languages, visited a university and made new friends, particularly with the Chelsea boys who they struck up a bond with during meal times.
Tim, Dean and everyone connected with Bath and the Premier League deserve a huge amount of credit for their efforts. What a weekend! Thank you so much!
Now roll on Saturday 19th September and the start of the Birmingham season!
Samim x 3
Tion x 2
Cameron x 2
Kye x 1
Rio x 1
Harvey x 1
Jermaine x 1
Man of the Weekend: It has to go to Harvey (GK). He pulled off a number of world class saves and kept us in games on the Saturday, particularly against Rayo Vallecano and Chelsea.
Up The Ton!