Suhail Merali (GK)
Abbas Ali Ladha
As this was a rare opportunity for me to watch the Under 9s play, Coach Saf Valjy kindly also volunteered me to write the match report as well … 🙂
We all found our way to the ground and were honoured to be on hallowed turf as someone mentioned that this used to be the old training ground for Spurs!
Our boys were to play two matchs – one against the Hampstead Under 9s and then another one against a strong under 8s. With some boys also playing in the Futsal match that evening, this was truly going to be a true test of endurance.
Match 1 – vs Hampstead U9s
As the parents gathered on the touchline, huddling in the unseasonably cold temperatures and enjoying the very welcome chai and rolls that were on offer, we immediaty noticed the opposition seemed to be much bigger than our lads and also a very well-drilled team. This would be a true test indeed.
Our boys started steadily in the opening exchanges and were holding their own for some time with sajjad and abbas defending well. However, Hampstead soon started putting some slick passing movements together and their finishing was also very clinincal.Therefore at half-time, SJFA found themselves 2-0 down and Coach Saf got the boys in a huddle for a much needed half-time pep talk.
The second half continued in the same vein with the opposition continuing to benefit from them larger physical size as well as obviously having played together for quite some time. A series of saves from Suhail Merali kept the score at a respectable level for a while and Mahdi Azeemali was also making some very promising runs with the ball.
Unfortunately, the opposition began to take charge of the game and eventually came away 6-0 winners.
We were left feeling that SJFA were not quite in the zone during this match and the scoreline could have been much closer had a few passes gone our way.
Match 2 – vs Hampstead U8s
After a well deserved break, SJFA lined up again for their second match of the day.
Whatever Coach Saf had told them must have worked amazingly well as this was a team transformed!
They held their shape much better, the passing movement was incredible as the ball was going to feet or being played through into gaps for our boys to run onto.
Mahdi continued his impressive form from the first match and midfield trio consisting of Yusuf adam and Ali were players transformed as they began to take on players, make some telling passes and make some impressive attempts on goal. We finished of some good chances with Yusuf, Mahdi and Ali all scoring.
The resulting 3-1 scoreline was thoroughly well-deserved and it could have been easily two or three more.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching our boys play for the first time and it’s a credit to all the parents, coaches and organisers that they have come such a long way in such a short space of time. I think as they play together more and more, they will begin to turn into a very useful outfit indeed.
I look forward to watching another match soon and reading the match report written by another coach/parent … LOL.
By Aarif Merali