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U14s Boys 23-24 So Far...

We would like to share words from Mark Tyler, U14s manager of our season so far.

'We are now well into our second season of Eastern Junior Alliance football and once again

have been located in a League that has a mixture of teams located in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex.


We currently sit top of the Under 14 Yellow league with seven wins, two draws and four defeats from our thirteen matches.

 Having started the season in rather indifferent fashion, we struggled to find some fluidity in our play, (particularly with the ball), however missed chances in games at Witham, Stansted and at home to Haverhill and Chelmsford proved costly.


Since then, as coaches, John and I have planned multiple sessions on forming/developing strong social bonds amongst the lads, and the squad have really started to flourish from working on individual and collective core moves (for example) that focuses on relationships and game understanding in groups of two’s and three’s.


We spent some weeks working on setting our teammates off of one touch, one / two’s / wall passes, overlapping runs, up back and through’s and John and I have really seen the benefit of the hard work the lads have put in at training starting to outpour on match days.


It’s easy to forget the lads are 13 / 14 years old and are just entering their teenage years (eeeeek), so the start of the season was quite challenging in terms of trying to rebuild those blocks of learning and understanding having had quite a long break from the conclusion of the previous season.


As well as arranging multiple pre-season friendlies, we also held an “in classroom / off pitch” get together with the players having sent out a expectations/needs and wants questionnaire to each player a few weeks prior. This questionnaire asked the players what they needed/wanted/expected from themselves, their teammates and their coaches, and the feedback was extremely interesting. John then collated all the information and we went through it with the players in the hope of strengthening our core values and team spirit.


I am pleased to report that we are currently six games unbeaten in the league, having scored 28 goals in the process, and having picked up a great point at Chelmsford last Sunday, we hope to keep this great going Sunday at home to Stanway.

We have a tough finish to the season where we play both Maldon and Tiptree and Stanway Rovers twice, with both teams also in with a shout of winning the league, so it promises to be an exciting end to the season.


Regardless of where we finish in the league come the end of the season, the most important aspect of what we do is to try to ensure we provide a stable platform for the lads to continue to learn and develop, as they progress towards the later years of their youth footballing journey.


The group have worked extremely hard this season and are now operating at a high level that enables us to be competitive in every game we participate in.

I certainly think our out of possession work rate has dramatically improved, and as mentioned earlier, with the ball, we are starting to form trust and a great understanding with one another, and this has been reflected in our recent performances away at Godmanchester Rovers (won 6-5), at home to Stansted (won 6-1), home and away to Saffron Walden (won 5-1 and 9-1 respectively), and Witham at home (winning 3-2).


This brings me nicely onto us now being able to host matches at Sawston which has been incredible in all honesty. It’s a privilege to be part of the Club and John and I feel very fortunate to be able to look after the 14’s at our wonderful new home.

This whole experience has also helped the lads hugely in a sense that we can now play football matches at one venue, we can now meet the 13’s, 15’s or 16’s before or after our game, and of course we can enjoy socialising further at The White Lion after our league fixtures also.


On the subject of socialising, ourselves (the Under 14’s) and Under 15’s plus around 30 or so adults are off to Holland at the end of March (over Easter) to participate in an overseas football tour which promises to be fun! Having travelled to Butlins last year with the lads, we are now aiming to go one better overseas! Wish us luck!


Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved at the Club for allowing us to be involved with the Under 14’s, big thanks to the Supporters Trust (Kate and Steve) for their continued support with tea and coffee, fundraising stand, unlocking the facility, locking up, looking after the changing rooms etc (sweeping up after us), and Alice of course for undertaking lots and lots of work behind the scenes.


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1 Comment

Mar 02

Pleased to hear things are going well

Tony Roberts

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