SJFA U9 vs Northwood FC

The SJFA Tier 3 has almost 60 registered players, a manager, and three coaches.

Northwood FC vs SJFA
On a beautiful Saturday morning, we arrived at Northwood to play one of their U9 teams.

This was very exciting as we had a new-look U9 team, managed by Bruce:
Suhail Merali (GK)
Adam Valjy (captain)
Ali Mehdi Abbas Ismail
Yusuf Shahrestani
Sajjad Husayn Kanani
Sajjad Suleman
Rayaan Merali

First half
I organised the team in a 2-2-2 formation with Adam and Sajjad Husayn in defence, Ali and Yusuf in midfield, and Rayaan and Sajjad in attack.
We started really well and took the game to Northwood. We were attacking with a lot of pace. A loose ball fell to Ali Ismail just over the halfway line and Ali struck it really well, the ball rocketing towards goal and over the Northwood goalkeeper. A contender for our goal of the season, we were up 1-0.

We then controlled the game for a long time, Ali particularly bossing the game in midfield. Rayaan was sharp up front, and Sajjad was holding the ball up exactly as I had asked.

Northwood then pressed us and our defence was put under pressure. Due to some errors in defence, we conceded two goals and we were 2-1 down.
The game then went into a classic ‘cup tie’. Both teams were playing 100% and it was end to end with each team scoring to equalise again and again. At half time the score was 3-2 to Northwood, after we had scored through Rayaan.

Second half
Sajjad was switched to defence, and Ali into attack, with Yusuf in the middle.

We again played really well, and there were no goals for quite a while. We went 4-2 down, before the boys really stepped up. Yusuf scored to make it 4-3, and then Adam, with his mum just arrived at pitch-side, thundered in a shot to make it 4-4 (Adam’s mum – where were you all this time!?).

Again, the game was end to end, with lots of chances at both ends.
I have to make a special mention of our goalkeeper, Suhail, who pulled off a string of wonderful saves.

The boys played their hearts out, it was a very hot day and we had no substitutes. Perhaps due to tiredness, Northwood managed to score one more, and then another at the final whistle, to end the game 6-4.

Northwood 6 – 4 SJFA

Review and analysis
This was one of our best performances all season with the under 9s. They all gave 100% and I am very proud of them.

The score line really does not reflect how close it was, and a draw was probably a fair result. However, we did not have any subs and therefore it was obvious we would tire.

I am glad to see the grit and determination of my players has increased.

What we learned

  • Attacking formation is the way forward
  • Defending needs some work
  • Grit and determination has increased

Our motto: we back our skills, no matter who the opposition
As the season draws to an end in the next few weeks, I am looking forward to seeing all players and parents at the awards ceremony in May. If you have not booked your place then please do so ASAP by completing the following: registration form

Manager – Tier 3, SJFA