This was the final game of the season for the U12A’s on a Friday evening at Cawley Park and it was nice to see them sign off with a win. It was end to end stuff from start to finish and given the two teams track record in these match ups it was surprising there wasn’t more goals.
Tarrawanna started the brightest and Brody Armour had to be alert to keep out several early shots at goal. As the half wore on Russell Vale gradually got their act together and Tom Curran, Harry Benn & Baxter Bowler Prentice all had good shots from the edge of the box. However it was left to Christian Baade Mortimer to open the scoring via his knee (what the hell they all count) and it was no more than their pressure deserved. Tarrawanna then tried hard to get back on level terms prior to the interval but the Cobras defence stood firm.
At half time both teams switched keepers, in our case it was a straight swop Brody Armour for Harrison Benn. Russell Vale saw more possession in the second half and once again had opportunities to increase their lead. Jordan Errington, Baxter Bowler Prentice and Christian Baade Mortimer all went close before Blair Dunn took advantage of a poor goal kick and scored via a deflection. Soon after it was almost 3-0 when a Blair Dunn effort rolled across the goal mouth but there was no one there to tap it in. Although Russell Vale had the better of the second half Tarrawanna did manage to pull a goal back towards the end of the game and at 2-1 it made for a nervous few minutes. Afterwards I was very pleased as Coach to see the U12A’s hadn’t lost their spirit despite a difficult season. Their rendition of the “Mighty Cobras” in the centre circle left everyone with a smile on their face.
As it happens this is the first season in over 10 years of coaching at Russell Vale that one of my team’s has failed to make the play offs but ironically this U12A side are the “best footballing side” I have ever coached. It has been a tough season for the Cobras and they had a lot of problems to overcome. First they had to adjust to the quicker pace and the physical aspect of Division II. One or two players adapted straight away, some took a little longer but overall I feel it was a good learning experience for them. Also losing our No.1 keeper Ethan Johnson early in the season (injury) and then a month later Hayley Waller (Vietnam) didn’t help with team stability but that’s football………that’s just how it goes sometimes. I’m also to blame for cancelling well over a dozen training sessions, so next year I will make sure any operations or coaching courses are done in the off season.
On the plus side we did pick up a lot of plaudits from opposing coaches for our style of football and at the start of 2013 I would have taken sixth place so there’s no reason for anyone to feel disappointed at finishing seventh. I have no doubt what soever that if these little Cobras maintain their enthusiasm, continue to work hard at training and play football the right way, given time they will be more than a match for the hoof ball teams that finished above them this year.
I’m happy to Coach again in 2014 if the players still want me but keep in mind we will need a new Manager because Renae is going to take a well earned rest. She has done a brilliant job over the last few years and will be missed. The Manager’s job is not something I would relish having to chase up all the parents, give me the kids any day.
I have heard the usual rumours about players leaving…….again that happens but normally when they are in their teens. Hopefully all the players will return in 2014, it’s great little club and well run.
I’m going to kick back now and watch LIVERPOOL, recommend you check out “No.10 Coutinho” he’s something special.
Until next year have a great summer!