U12s End of Season Review
As the 2019/2020 season has sadly come to an end, it is now time for some reflection, to look over old notes and review the season as a whole. I think the season has been really successful and positive, we have won a trophy and the girls have bonded extremely well as a team as well as showing real improvements as individuals.
Having only coached the girls a few times previously, with minimal pre season fixtures I had mixed emotions going into the first game.
The season began on the 15th September with a 9am KO away. The girls had never properly played with the offside rule and I remember the girls asking me to explain it during our pre-match talk. Having played 2 friendlies at 9-a-side and still learning the new rules we lost the game 1-0. However, the girls put in a good performance and there were defintely plenty of positives to take from the game. I was sure we would improve throughout the rest of the season.
Our next 6 fixtures were a bit of a mixed bag with 3 wins and 3 losses, scoring 15 goals and conceding 17. Myself and Nick spoke about where our goals were coming from and we could see a lot of our goals against were happening in the first 5-10 minutes of the first half . Typically from crosses or wide play from our opponents. As the first few games went on and goals were conceded, the girls were quick to recognise the same thing we had seen. They were quite vocal on letting me know this! Together we decided that our warm-ups needed to be better. We needed to be more vocal and focused before the game to ensure we were switched on and ready to start.
After a free weekend on the 3rd of November and a tough 4-1 away loss, I saw a real change in the mentality of the girls. They came off of the pitch frustrated and annoyed at themselves, but although we lost I found it a great learning curve. They showed me that they didn’t like losing and want to win every game possible, but when the girls are putting 100% effort in and working hard as a team the result is sometimes insignificant. This learning curve put us in great stead for next few games and the run in into Christmas.
At the stage of the season we got asked by the Brentwood League (BCFAYL) if we were content in our current division. We could have moved up if weren’t being challenged enough, or moved down a league if we were being challenged too much. I was happy with the challenge we were facing and confident in the girls to stay in the same division.
We then won 6 out of our next 7 games, with 2 clean sheets, 9 goals conceded and scoring 21 goals in the process! We also knocked out Tottenham Hotspur Ladies in the cup. Going down in the first 10 minutes and fought back with a great team performance. It didn’t phase them, they carried on going and carried on working together. This was one of my favourite games of the season, we showed fantastic resilience and played some brilliant football.
There has been some really memorable moments through the season; some unbelievable saves, some brilliant football, long range screamers as well as some fantastic defensive recoveries. With all of this I am sure we will continue improving and be even more successful next season.
Since the time adjustment for our Wednesday training I have seen an incredible change in the intensity and quality of our sessions. I know the girls feel the same as they have come off the sessions with a huge smile on their faces with a few of them asking “do we have to finish now? Just 5 more minutes”. The girls have shown a real maturity when taking on instructions, listening to my philosophy and then having the quality to put it in to practice.
This leads me onto my next point in regards to next season – with immense pride I have been accepted onto the UEFA B coaching course. This means there will be a huge focus on our team from a planning point of view, working on the fine details and implementing my philosophy as a coach onto my team – fortunately, and amazingly for me the girls have already started to buy into it!
The girls are always brilliant so I wanted to finish with a HUGE thank you to every single one of you. There are always countless amounts of you on the sidelines; friends, family and relatives supporting the girls through wind, rain or sunshine – this is brilliant, please keep it up! Not once have I had to deal with any complaints or problems, nor have I had to ask anyone to help with the construction of the goals before and after games and this honestly makes my job so much easier. It means I can focus solely on the girls without having to worry about the logistics so again, thank you! A thank you to Nick for running the line every week and a big thank you to Milly everything she does! All of the messages, liaising with you all, sorting the cards and everything else in between. Thank you all.
I am missing football incredible amounts so I can’t wait to get back to it. I look forward to another positive season ahead!