We have had a mixed start to the pre-season matches.
Against Bulli I felt we deserved something from the game but I guess Bulli’s previous season’s experience in a higher division has taught them to be ruthless with any mistakes, plus they had obviously picked up a couple of new players since we last met. I look forward to improving on the 2-1 defeat when we meet them during the regular season.
The result against Division I – Corrimal was really only going to go one way, without our regular keeper it was a case of damage limitation. However we did learn from the game that to compete with these types of teams we will need to be faster and more aggressive.
In both games I felt we showed glimpses of our “pass & move” style of football but lacked any consistency, still it’s early days.
In the charity 7 a side comp held at Bulli we were going to field two teams but due to withdraws had to shuffle the 11 players available to compete in the six games. Once again we were without our goalkeeper and although we lost the first four games we managed to salvage some pride by winning the last two, albeit against lower opposition. It was a blistering hot day and considering the Cobras had played the night before against Corrimal they can be forgiven for not performing to the level they set last season. However the most important thing is Bulli managed to raise a lot of money for a very worthy cause.
There are only two training sessions left (Wed 27 Mar & Wed 3 Apr) until the season starts on Sat 6 April. As usual the FA are going to leave it until the last minute before advising the fixture list……..so watch this space.
I know the players did incredibly well last season winning both the League & Grand Final but we all have to be realistic at what they can achieve this season. Russell Vale are up against teams that are already established in Division II or came down from Division I so the pace of the game is going to be faster, more competitive and technically higher. Some of the players will take longer than others to adapt so it’s important not to put too much pressure on them in regards to results. That said I’m confident they will hold their own in Division II but once again it’s going to be a big learning curve and as always my main aim is to ensure they enjoy their football.
Lastly due to Hayley Waller’s departure to Vietnam in July, I have selected Harrison Benn to Captain the side and Jack Donnelly will remain as Vice-Captain.
It’s worth mentioning that we as a team owe Hayley (Miss Messi) a huge debt of gratitude for her performances over the past couple of years, she has always led the team by example. For me it was an unusual situation coaching a girl but certainly a no brainer when I originally made her captain. Technically she is way ahead of her peers and a pleasure to work with, our loss is certainly Vietnam’s gain. I’m sure like me you will all wish Hayley and her family the very best of luck in Vietnam.
“Right – now let’s all do what we can to make sure the U12’s have an enjoyable season!”