U16 II Squad:
Mohammed Iqbal (GK)
Kumayl Gulamhusein (C)
We started the tournament optimistic as we took our place on pitch 5, our ‘home’ for the rest of the tournament. We were placed in one of the hardest groups, yet that didn’t deter us and we were determined to give everything we had; and that’s exactly what we did. We started off with a good game against Watford where we lost but defended well and held our composure. We proceeded to play HABs where we unfortunately narrowly lost 3-2. We felt we were deserving of a win as we had an unfair disallowed goal in the last seconds of the match. However, we kept our heads up and all the boys put in 100% for the last two matches, where we managed to bag a couple of goals through the ‘in form’ Hasan Kanani. At the end of it all, we were described as the most committed team with the hardest group but we still managed to display our capabilities against players better and more experienced than us. It was a great team effort and we hope to learn from our lessons in gameplay and movement, and move forward in anticipation of matches to come.
Kashif Fazli: one of the heroes of the night. Our lack of a goalkeeper meant that one of us had to step up and effectively save the team, and that’s exactly what Kashif did. He put in a solid performance making some brilliant saves on the way.
Imran Dewji: Imran was versatile in the centre and front, proving himself to be a key player in the team and scoring a disallowed goal. His work rate and attitude was faultless.
Ali Malik: Ali, a naturally skilfully player, weaved in and out of players, making some creative darting runs and also remained committed to the games even when we were down.
Mohammed Iqbal: Another player who started in goal for us who decided to take the responsibility for the first game. He gave everything he had and more as he glided past players on the side where he played in the remainder of the games.
Hasan Kanani: The standout player in our team and our top goal scorer on the night. His efforts were impeccable as he fought for the ball constantly, creating chances whenever he could out with his skillful dribbling .
Kumayl Gulamhusein (written by Hasan Kanani): Our captain who never gave up and taught us that no matter what the result is we have to give our best. He was our main defender who kept strong against much bigger players and controlled the game from the back, not letting any players get past him. He was the backbone of our team and the key player for us who always stuck to his position and gave 110% throughout every game!
We, unfortunately, lost our matches not only due to the opponents’ commendable performances but to faults in our team as well. We need to work on our game play, passing through players and moving forward with creative runs to score more goals. We hope to continue improving as we have, and later look back on this experience as a stepping stone to success.
We would like to give special thanks to Javed uncle and Riyaz uncle in helping to motivate our team and structure our substitutions. We would also like to thank the Stanmore administration team for procuring this opportunity for us and the tournament organisers for a great well run set of matches.
Written by: Kumayl Gulamhusein