Tier 3 submitted two teams for MAMT 2017 under the names of Stanmore Black and Stanmore Blue.
Each coach has summarised their experiences as follows:
Stanmore Black (coached by Tahir Alloo)
The day was finally here, and it was time to defend the U9 MAMT trophy that we had won last year. But this time it was the new hopefuls, as most of the old guard had moved up to the next tier.
The team was as follows:
Suhail Merali (GK)
Ali Mehdi Abbas Ismail
We only had 3 other teams in our league, so it was guaranteed that everyone would go through to the next round; the top two would enter the premiership, and the next two would go into the plate competition.
The idea was to get one win and then play freely.
The first game was against Leicester B, and not only did the whole team play really well, we put 8 past their defence! Almost everyone scored.
The second game was against Birmingham Green. They had two very good players, and the tactics worked well for us. Adam and Ali Mehdi marked out their two players nullifying their attack, and this allowed Mehdi and Hussein Mussa to play freely upfront. With the help of his teammates Mehdi scored, but the celebrations were short lived as Birmingham managed a counterattack and equalised within a few minutes. As the clock was ticking on, an unfortunate Birmingham player kicked the ball from within the area and gave away a penalty, which Mehdi slotted away, not until he was asked to retake it as he didn’t wait for the whistle! Hands in their mouths the crowd waited for his two step kick once again, and again he scored, but this time it counted. Stanmore walked away with a 2-1 victory.
Now we could relax, but we wanted to top the group and our arch rival was always Hyderi, and we would play them next. If we beat them we would top the group. We started the game well, but took some time to score, finally putting two past them in the fifth and seventh minutes.
We played Leicester A in the semi-final. The game was pretty straight forward and the whole team played really well, they were gelling well and knew each others’ movements without having to look up. This game was won by 3 goals.
Then the final was against Birmingham Green. We had already beaten them in the group stages, but it was by a penalty, so we were a bit anxious. We started well, and again marked their two players out of the game. Our passing was crisp and our shots were on target, but their goalkeeper was playing well.
Then a long ball was played and it bounced pretty high, but Hussein Mussa carried on playing. As the ball landed by his feet, he put his foot through it, and off it went towards the top corner. BANG 1-0. We kept the ball well after that and kept creating more chances.
Deen and Adam, along with Hussein Gulamhusein, played well at the back. Whilst Mehdi, Hussein Mussa and Ali Mehdi created the chances upfront, rotating time off between them. The longer the game went on, the more likely we were to score, and late into the game Mehdi got the ball at his feet and dribbled past a player and slotted one more past their goalkeeper.
Stanmore had managed to defend their trophy from last year!
Stanmore Blue (coached by Saf Valjy)
The Blue team consisted of:
Sajjad Husayn Kanani
Mohammed Hassan Rashid
Abbas Ali Ladha
The team, which contained many players who had just moved up from the lower tier, came up against some strong opposition in Group B of the U9 competition.
Our first game was against Peterborough. We played well, created some decent chances, but conceded a late goal. We lost 1-0.
Our second game was against Hyderi B. Both teams had early opportunities to score. The deadlock was broken in the last few minutes of the match with Hyderi taking it 1-0 again.
Our final game of the group stages was against Leicester A. This was our toughest game, not only because we needed a win but also because they were the strongest and most physical team in our group. Leicester dominated possession but we soaked up all the pressure and scored in the last minute of the game. Our players were heroic and battled until the final whistle.
We qualified for the semi final of the plate, and this was a great achievement.
We were drawn against a strong and experienced Hyderi A team. We had great performances from all players in the squad from the start. The game ended in a draw with neither side conceding, and this led to a penalty shootout. Unfortunately, our first 2 penalties were saved and they scored all 3 of their penalties. We were knocked out of the tournament.
The positive from this tournament was without doubt the never-die attitude of the players. Their togetherness and team spirit and was great to watch. It was an overall great team effort and I am very proud of them.
Coach – Tier 3