On the day of January 8th, our SJFA U12 team had a fantastic opportunity to play a match against Hillingdon Abbots. The match was played in Rickmansworth School, and was the latest of our external fixtures. All of the team were very excited about playing in the match. We would be coached by Nazir uncle, who usually gets his tactics spot in.
The U12 team was selected by our coach, Fuad ‘Pep’ Musa. This is the squad he picked:
- Qaim-Ali Ravji (GK)
- Ali Hadi Govani (C)
- Muhammad Baqir Lilani
- Ali Khatau
- Hassan Merali Dewji
- Husayn Yahya Merali
- Jameel Walji
- Mohamed Mahdi Janmohammed
- Shahid AP
- Yousuf Datoo
- Zia Dewji
The match was played in consisted 3 thirds, each lasting 20 minutes long and alternating sides. This would be a real test for the team’s stamina, especially when tracking back, as it is a big pitch.
The game started with our kick off, with SJFA starting with real intent and purpose. The team continued to battle but was unlucky with a corner and, the ball was called over the line – but we’d need goal line technology to check it properly! The U12 team kept their heads and continued to fight for the ball, encouraged by the parents and our coach. Unfortunately we were pegged back several times by their team, especially by their talented left midfield who was fast and powerful. Our defence and midfield managed to contain them for the majority of the quarter
We had a few chances, with Hassan shooting wide, and unfortunately we conceded a penalty. It skimmed Qaim Ali but still ended up in the back of the net. The end of the first third called for a time out, with the score 5-0 to Hillingdon Abbots. After a quick pep talk by the gaffer we were out again with Yousuf and Jameel about to make their debut.
The second third we played much better and attacked and defended with a spring in our step. Nazir uncle could definitely see an improvement in our game, and he was very happy. Unfortunately for Qaim Ali, his penalty area was more like a swamp then a pitch and he had a hard time coping with it and getting a grip on the ground. SJFA managed to make a stand on the game, and were managing to sweep up more passes, and intercept any loose balls. The Abbots were still dominating us however. We had a few chances where he could really push up, but weren’t able to finish them. The 2nd third ended 4-0 but we played much better and Nazir uncle was much happier with our performance.
He decided to change it up and placed Husayn Yahya and Ali Hadi in attacking positions, and put Ali Khatau in defence. We are really trying to get a goal. Right from the very start there was a much more attacking sense from SJFA and we pushed up much further, after several calls from the dug-out.
We had a few chances and Ali Hadi drove up from the start down the left midfield, and created a few chances but it didn’t materialise into any goals. Playing as a three, Jameel, Zia and Husayn Yahya tried to attack down the centre, with a few wide shots. A chance came as Husayn Yahya was fouled down the right hand side, giving us a free kick. Hassan gave a brilliant cross, but Husayn was not able to head the ball goalwards. Due to committing numbers down the field we were constantly hit on the counter, and it was due to our defenders and keeper that we didn’t concede more than two. A definite improvement from the previous third. It was a much brighter spell of chances.
The game ended with a score of 11-0 but the score didn’t reflect the way the team played. It was a very good experience overall, and we are looking forward to representing SJFA in many more fixtures.
By Husayn Yahya Merali