The final festival of the season was the final game in the under 8s for many and in all minis teams for lots of the under 10s. The day saw some excellent hockey, baking temperatures, and excellent cakes.
The under 8 B team was another very young side managed this week by Neil. The team started with an excellent 0-0 draw which showed their tenacity and grit. Without the dribbling of Rocco and the tackling of Finn, Kate and Lauren the team found it harder to get into games this week. This was even with some notable performances from ringers like Thomas, Martha, Theo and Millie, a few of whom benefited from the EPO of age group sport ’le doppage de l’annee’. Josh again battled bravely putting in some fine performances. Flora, Iris and Maisie showed real improvements again and excellent attitudes. Georgie’s quality running with the ball was diminished through illness but she contributed well as always. The standout player of the tournament this week was Beatrix, who played superbly. Playing less like one of Potter’s whimsical creations but more akin to the magic potion empowered Gaul’s of Goscinny and Uderzo she drove her team on excellently.
The under 8 As two weekend in hockey rather mirror Arsene Wengers Arsenal career. Invincible last weekend playing confident, free flowing and excellent hockey. This week weakened by the kryptonian effects of suncream, the heat and the cakes the team was far less consistent. They started excellently with two wins and Finn’s first goals of the season. The day then saw less excellent team performances and as many of the team struggled for consistency. Theo, so often Vierra, was today more Wilshere, flashes of inspiration but limited by a near fatal scratch on his knuckle. Finn, like Giroud, goals then not so many goals. Pippa Pires like class and skill but Ozil esq also. Toby Letchford showed magnificent and powerful dribbling. Sia played some of her best hockey of her season with excellent hard work. Maisie made her A team debut and did really well in attack. Millie and Toby were superb, like Thor and a Valkyrie, never gave up, passed well and fought all day. Like Wenger the players should be judged on the whole range of their achievements not just the last bit, and I bet no one made him wear sun cream, the team have got better all year and have been a pleasure to coach. Keep practicing over the summer, come along next week for some end of season fun, come back next year.
Coaching the under 8s is lots of fun but I’m going to stop doing it next year. Anyone who thinks they’d like to take it on or do s bit to keep the team running, let me know.
Under 10 A Team
The Havant under 10 A team were an absolute pleasure to coach and testament to Andy and Jonathon their normal coaches. The team won all their games with minimal input from me. Older spectators were reminder of Havant’s halcyon years of 1990s domestic and European dominance. The defence conceded only one goal as Wilf and Marna tackled bravely and passed well. There marking was so good one Brighton player accused Wilf of stalking, after asking what this meant he was rather pleased with this back handed compliment. The attack and midfield were superb. Many of the best attacks came down the wings through George and Charlie who were absolutely superb. Lucia and Robert played really well in a wide number of positions. Theo and Holly provided the majority of the goals with brilliant link up play, sharp finishing and dribbling. My player of the tournament is Hanna who was a disciplined and consistent central midfielder. The game of the day was against a very physical Brighton team. The team did not react to the pushing, shoving or indeed shouting. Kept playing excellently and scored a superb goal after Garcia esq dribbling from Charlie, a Sixsmithish drive from Holly and a volleyed finish even Imran Sherwani himself would have been proud of. Having seen many of this team play under 8 B team hockey 3 and 4 years ago, and not often win, it was a real joy to see such excellence and success today. Well done all. Kids, look up the old hockey references!!
Under 10 B Team
On a blisteringly hot day we had our last festival of the 2017/18 season and ended with some very hot and tired Under-10s.
The Bs started out with Evie, Robert, Thomas, Esme, Martha, Catalina, Frankie, Olivia and Megan, with Robert swapping to the As and Peter swapping over to the Bs after the first match. We also lost Frankie part way through and so played the rest with no subs.
It was tough day with some really hard matches, but the team played their hearts out again, and as with the previous festivals, got better with each match.
Thomas, Peter, Megan, and Olivia were fast on their feet, covering the ground between defence and mid-field quickly and with strength, retrieving the ball and moving it on with some really good passes.
Catalina made some cracking saves in the D, without which the score-line would have been very different.
And Frankie, Esme, Evie, and Martha made sure we had players near the opposition’s goal. There were lots of good attempts at goals, and it was largely bad luck that kept the ball out.
Unlike the Havant festival, we didn’t post any wins, but we did finish on two draws – a 1-1 and 0-0.
The faces at the end said it all – hot and tired. We could not have asked for more. I’m not posting a ‘player of the match’ today – they all deserve it.