The SJFA Tier 3 has 55 registered players, a manager, and three coaches.
From the start of this season, the Tier 3 manager and coaches all felt that more external matches were required in order to improve the players, inject a competitive spirit into them, and to give them practice of playing in challenging games.
Competitive friendly fixture
On Saturday 29 October 2016, the second fixture was arranged against Belmont YFC. Invites were sent to 20 SJFA Tier 3 boys, and 8 responded positively. All 8 were chosen as part of the squad, managed by the tier manager, Abbas Ismail:
Ali Mehdi Abbas Ismail
Husayn Ali Abbas Ismail
Muhammad Aqeel Mavani
After a warm up, the first game started at 1030am. The SJFA boys played in a 2-1-2-1 formation in a 7-a-side format, on a grass pitch.
SJFA dominated the match and possession. They started well, passed the ball around with great accuracy, and were attacking at all times. The SJFA goalkeeper, Jaabir Walji, did not have a save to make.
SJFA won the match 6-0, with goals scored by Ali Dewji (3), Husayn Ismail (2), and Yusuf Shahrestani (1).
Result: Belmont 0 – 6 SJFA
In the second match, Belmont put on some of their better players. However, with some stout defending from Adam Valjy and Muhammad Aqeel Mavani, and great defensive input from the rest of the team, SJFA quickly went 2-0 up.
Alireza Hamir swapped with Jaabir Walji in goal. SJFA once again dominated the match and won 5-0 with goals scored by Husayn Ismail (3) and Ali Dewji (2). One of Ali’s goals was a stunning free kick, Ronaldo style, that flew high into the top corner.
Result: Belmont 0 – 5 SJFA
Belmont now put on their senior players, some of whom play in the league. This was a much more testing game. Jaabir went back into goal and pulled off a stunning double save.
However, Belmont played very well, with aggression, and scored three quick goals.
SJFA manager pulled the wingers tighter into midfield to stop the attacks through the middle. Ali Dewji, Husayn Ismail, Ali Ismail, Yusuf Shahrestani, and Alireza Hamir, all ran the length of the pitch to help the defence.
Showing our skill once again, SJFA managed to hit back with three goals and level the scores. Goals were scored by Husayn Ismail, Alireza Hamir, and Ali Ismail who scored with a long range effort.
It was then very tight. With the last attack of the game, Belmont managed to cross the ball and scored with a tap in.
Result: Belmont 4 – 3 SJFA
Overall aggregate score: Belmont 4 – 14 SJFA
Outcomes of this experience
The coaches and players once again found this a very valuable experience. Here is what we learned:
- We have a very talented tier
- We have parents that have great commitment
- We can raise teams for fixtures
- We impressed the other teams’ coaches and they want to play us again
- We can compete with (and inshallah beat) any opposition
- We need to work on finishing games and ‘seeing them out’
How can other players be picked for such games?
Every week at The Hive, the coaches will be looking out for two key qualities: ability and attitude. Such players will be invited to play in the games. At times we may only be able to field one team, but at other times we will be able to field more; this is mainly dependent upon the opposition and their own numbers and set up. We will always try to field as many teams as we can.
It is very important that the players take The Hive practices seriously, and demonstrate their skills every week.
The motto of our Tier this year is: we back our skills, no matter who the opposition. This means that we want the boys to be excellent in their technical abilities and understanding of the game, and they have the confidence to back themselves to deliver those skills no matter what the format, who the opposition, or what surface they play on.
Manager – Tier 3, SJFA