SJFA U9 v APB Barnet

The SJFA Tier 3 has 56 registered players, a manager, and three coaches.

APB Barnet vs SJFA
We played APB Barnet at their home ground. The pitch was astro turf, and the goals used were very wide 5 a-side goals. Our squad consisted of a mixture of year 4 and year 5 players, managed by Bruce:

Jaabir Walji (GK)
Adam Valjy
Ali Mehdi Abbas Ismail
Husayn Gulamhussein
Abbas Chandoo
Ammaar Bandali
Hassan Merali
Sajjad Suleman
Hussein Merchant

First half
It was a freezing cold day and it seemed to get colder as time went on. After a delayed start, SJFA lined up in a 3-1-2 formation.

Immediately, the partnership of Hassan Merali and Ammaar Bandali produced a goal, Ammaar laying off a great pass for Hassan to hit a sweet shot. 1-0 to SJFA.

However, the challenge was in midfield. Abbas Chandoo was battling hard, but SJFA were retreating far too much and got deeper and deeper. Jaabir pulled off some great saves.

But with this pressure, APB Barnet hit a great shot, and then scored another to make it 2-1 going into half time.

Second half
Bruce replaced Abbas Chandoo in midfield with Ali Mehdi Ismail. By now it was absolutely freezing, but the SJFA boys ploughed on. Ali Mehdi did a neat dribble and low shot to make it 2-2, and the change had worked.

APB Barnet then really started to play well, and defended brilliantly, as did Adam, Hussein, and Husayn at the other end. Abbas was again very strong at the back. Ammaar, Sajjad, and Hassan were putting in 100% but it was hard to make a breakthrough.

SJFA just could not mount the pressure, and couldn’t make the tackles count. APB scored two quick goals before Hussein Merchant – on his debut – volleyed in from a corner.

APB were strong enough to keep the strikers quiet for the rest of the game and it ended 4-3 to APB.

APB Barnet 4 – 3 SJFA

What we learned

  • Parents – please wrap up your kids properly on these cold days!
  • We need to shift the formations to being more attacking rather than soaking pressure
  • Our players need to toughen up a little, especially when we are behind
  • Our strikers need to work on what they do ‘off the ball’, i.e. making life hell for defenders

Selection for 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.

Our motto
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