SJFA U14 vs Harefield United Whites

The Objective of the Game.

It was the first time in SJFA history where the Under 14’s had entered the Chiltern Junior Church League.

We were all set at our home ground on a chilly but sunny Saturday morning in Maple Cross.

All the players were excited too as the League Kits were being handed out to the players. I must agree and say that we all looked sharp and smart. Well done to the organisers and kit sponsors too for the outfit.

We did our warm up routine and thereafter out coaches gave us a quick chat about how we need to be playing during the game and what was expected of us.

Squad for fixture:
Ali Abbas Sulieman (GK)
Shaahid Alimohamed
Ali Khatau
Sami Merali
ZainAli Rajbali
Yousuf Datoo
Zia Dewji
Ali Hadi Govani
Kazim Ali Abbas Ismail
Ali Merali
Husayn Yahya Merali
Kadhim Virani
Jameel Walji

This was another first where we had played in an 11-a-side team in the Under 14’s squad let alone in a league game.

Stanmore held their lines and marked the opposition players well and did not let any goals through and were doing well trying to thread the ball up front to the strikers for them to score.

The defense was in full swing action with both Ali Hadi and Shahid AP with both mopping up the loose balls within the 12-yard area. Shahid AP was a resolute defender getting on the end of all the high balls within the penalty area and clearing them.

Harefield United moved the ball around from one side of the pitch to the other catching us short on a quite a few occasions and threading the ball into the penalty area and took a commanding lead.

During the first half, Ali Abbas Sulieman pulled off a quite a few show stoppers with dives right across the face of goal but Harefield United were Half time whistle blew and we all went in for a quick team talk. Even though we were down at the break, I thought as a team we did well during the first half for our first league game. Our coaches encouraged us with what we were doing well and reminded us of the Objectives that he had set us for the game.

One of the objective was to clear or head the ball away from the danger area. Shahid once again was a rock in defense as was Ali Hadi and both Yousuf and Ali Merali holding the wide defense positions.

We started the second half a little stronger having had a team talk on clearing the danger area which is where the second objective of the game into play. This was to pass the ball more accurately.

Harefield United came out with the same strategy as their first half and nipped in a few past our defense and into the back of our net. The boys were slightly disheartened but never gave up and pushed all through the game and crosses by Sami Merali and Husayn Yahya Merali saw Jamil Walji blocked by the Harefield defense.

The final whistle blew there were handshakes all around between the players and it was back to the Kit room for a debrief of the game.

All in all, it was a good learning curve even though we did not come up victorious against Harefield United, but this has given us an opportunity for loads of room for improvement for our next League match which is planned for the 7th of October 2018.

We finished the proceedings with all coaches and players huddled in a circle and recited Dua-e-Faraj.

Inshallah see you all at next weeks match on the 7th of October 2018.

Ali Khatau