Tier 1 (SJFA Tier 2 U7/8) match reports:
Team Line up:
Aadam Dewji aka Harry Kane
Aliraza Damani aka Paul Pogba
Aliabbas Janmohammed aka Sergio Ramos
Ammar Karawali aka Luca Modric
Maisam Ahmad aka Kevin De Bruyne
Rayyanali Merali aka Edin Hazard
The roaring lions with no mercy, brought it home…again
A fresh and damp start to the Saturday morning didn’t deter our enthusiastic boys. Rather, all they needed was some bonding time over croissants and mandazis before the all-round high-fiving and words of encouragement began. The routine warm-up exercises followed pitch side with crowds of nervous parents and coaches looking on. The players however were relaxed, jovial and well equipped with kit accessories and all. But why so clam? Simple – tournament day was the natural conclusion of weeks and weeks’ worth of the player’s sheer hard work, carefully planned football drill practice, understanding of roles/positions and the solidification of each other’s trust on the pitch. The bond and togetherness of the group even before they’d kicked a ball was enough to demonstrate to the coaches that nothing would break the devotedness of this team – arms round each other, declaring their support for one another yet all the while cracking jokes to keep the atmosphere cheerful. Few minutes to go and the coach runs through the final re-cap of expectations and encouragement. The last word from the coach reminding them that this year is not just about delivering what they’ve worked hard for but defending their premiership title from last year as well.
Group game 1 v/s Leicester Warriors
As with all the matches we had decided to set up as a 2-1-1 formation. This definitely gave the team the flexibility to attack any side with good structure and defend with a good foundation. With no designated goalkeeper we decided to give the opportunity for each player to have one game in goal and the rest to rotate positions. Judging by last year’s result against Leicester this game should have been fairly straightforward however it was a nervous start from the offset and we struggled to generate fluid passages of play. Our play improved quickly however, the passing became crisp and the interchanges were improving, it’s just that we lacked the cutting edge with a lot of our shots. No matter though, as we rode through it, persevered and eventually got the goal that we were looking for. A great team goal that ended with an assist from Rayyanali and a neat finish by Aadam.
Goal scorer interviews:
Aadam: “Rayyanali pass the ball to me, I controlled it, shot and it went in the bottom corner.”
Result: Stanmore Green 1-0 Leicester Warriors
Group game 2 v/s Stanmore Red
No recovery time for this match as it immediately followed the Leicester game. Unfortunately, the nerves from the first game also followed us. It surely wasn’t tournament nerves as we’ve been here before and being the reigning champions, we were pumped. Instead, it was the familiarity of the players within the Stanmore red team that was putting the players off. They knew our game inside out and we knew theirs. Player for player the game was being cancelled out. With only a minute to go and constant demands from the coach imploring the players not to give up, the team were awarded a free kick on the right hand side. This was it… the moment to execute what we have been working on in training. A cut back to the middle of the pitch and our shooters to run in for a smash and grab. Aliabbas to Maisam and Boom!….what a relief, surely now we can unleash the fire an our game for the upcoming fixtures. Heartfelt and much-needed brotherly embraces at the end of the game with players they train with side-by-side every week.
Goal scorer interviews:
Maisam: “Aliabbas set me up from a free-kick and then I smashed it into the goal”
Result: Stanmore Green 1-0 Stanmore Red
Group game 3 v/s Birmingham
Aside from an early contentious attack from the opposition the rest of the game demonstrated full domination of midfield supported by a resolute defence and sharp pressing up front. The only issue was Aliabbas felt aloof in goal with such little to do, such was the domination of the first game. It was carnage, relentless pressing of defenders and no mercy in front of their goal. Nine goals…..in an 8 minute match….yes really! Hattrick hero Aadam Dewji with three goals, smartly tucked away with good power and determination. Ammar with some splendid close control footwork and neat finish. Maisam, as per usual battled throughout the entire game, shades of Genaro Gattuso and his work ethic paid off with a great finish even though he was fouled. Lord only knows what Aliraza had for breakfast, twice running past whatever opposition was in front of him and slamming it home as if the keeper wasn’t there?! A direct free kick mid-way through the game dubbed his goal as the tournament’s “Beckham goal” having curled in a screamer from the far left of the pitch. Pure elation, the dominance was the result of abundant preparation and training. The kids now reaping the reward of the plan and the approach was evidently working. A massive boost for them all. Smiling from ear to ear and sharing cakes and drinks during a well-earned break before their next fixture.
Goal scorer interviews:
Ammar: “At the edge of the box, slide the ball home but nut megging the keeper”
Aadam: “My first goal, I ran past everyone! I then shot and it rebounded off the keeper but I still scored and it went under the keeper’s arm. My second goal, Aliraza had a shot but the keeper saved it but I hit in the rebound. My third goal, I shot, it hit the post and I scored the rebound. My forth, I shot it hit the keeper and I scored the rebound”. (Lot of rebounds here!)
Aliabbas: “I was in goal and I only touched the ball once!”
Maisam: “I was at the edge of the box, a player tried to tackle me but as I fell I stretched and managed to score”
Aliraza: “My first goal, I ran past everyone and I scored. My second, I scored a Beckham free kick and my third I ran past everyone and scored”
Result: Stanmore Green 9-0 Birmingham
Group game 4 v/s Hyderi Blue
The time had arrived to stop rotating positions and goalkeepers and field the players in their most ideal positions against the mighty Hyderi. Their team comprised of tall, intimidating boys but following such a confident and pulverising victory nothing was going to waiver these raging lions. No sign of caution from our defenders as they decided to join the midfield and attack on every opportunity, sniffing any gaps in the opposition’s defence. Wave after wave of attack originating especially from the determination and the defensive resoluteness of Aliabbas and Rayyanali. Not an ounce of mercy shown by this side and stunningly ruthless in front of goal. Hyderi coaches stunned, parents gasping and the coach losing count of the goals. Synchronised sajdah celebrations repeated after every goal. Is there any stopping this team?! A real statement for anyone that was next.
Goal scorer interviews:
Aliraza: “I ran past a couple of players, then I cut in and nut megged the goal keeper. For my other one, I was dribbling, I passed to Aadam, he passed back to me and I scored in the bottom corner.”
Rayyanali: “I scored one goal, it was a lucky goal because Aadam’s shot rebounded and I scored”
Aadam: “I scored two goals, the first, it was their centre, they passed it back to their defender but I was putting pressure on them, they ended up losing it and I scored. For my second, I tackled the winger, took it round the defender and scored.”
Maisam: “I was goalie and I didn’t even touch the ball”
Result: Stanmore Green 5-0 Hyderi Blue
Group game 5 v/s Peterborough Real
The result of this match didn’t quite tell the full story. Peterborough knew they had to battle hard with their coaches giving their team what seemed to be a 5 minute preparation talk before kick-off. Yes, they were fearful of our skill, ability, movement and finishing but this team really tested us especially in wide areas. Ammar and Maisam were especially steadfast in ensuring that their attackers were tracked on runs, marked on set pieces and gave the old argy bargy when things got a bit rough. Their coach had drilled them well although they were not able to counter our press each time the game restarted from centre. Even after the recent barrage of goals, SJFA Green were still so hungry for the record-breaking goal difference that they diluted the number of passes and substituted them with just shooting on sight. Parents in awe of what seemed to be David De Gea in goal for Peterborough. Shot after shot being saved although our boys took full advantage of the rebounds. Our boys playing with permanent grins knowing that we’ve definitely made it through to the next round. At 3-0 up, the crowd and coaches thought they’d seen it all but Maisam conjured up what can only be described as a George Weah 1996 special! (YouTube it youngsters!). They think it’s all over, well it is now that Maisam thought he’d take it round the entire team, including the goalkeeper. Please, someone, just give him the goal of the tournament trophy NOW. Coach had his hand on his mouth in disbelief even beyond the final whistle. Take a bow son, truly stunning.
Goal scorer interviews:
Aadam: “I shot, the keeper saved it, then I shot again, the keeper saved it and then I scored”
Maisam: “Aliraza passed to me in defence and I literally dribbled past all the players and scored in the top right of the goal.”
Aliraza: “For my first goal, the defender was coming to me, I shimmied him off and then I scored. The second was a rebound shot off the keeper into the bottom corner.”
Result: Stanmore Green 4-0 Peterborough Real
Group game 6 v/s Stanmore Blue
All our hats off to Stanmore blue showing great tenacity, perseverance and guile to battle us all over the pitch. Yes, we knew that we had qualified and maybe had taken our foot off the pedal however taking nothing away from the Stanmore Blue team that we all knew so well. For every passage of play that we conjured up, they seemed to have an answer. Aadam, in goal for this match saved well from one of their attacks but most of the game was played out in midfield with Ammar, Rayyanali and Aliabbas defending and attacking and solid well organised units. With Aliraza rested, Maisam lead the attack, going close on a number of occasions but again credit to Stanmore Blue’s players and coach for what ended up being our toughest match no doubt.
Result: Stanmore Green 0-0 Stanmore Blue
Semi final v/s Peterborough Barca
Buy now Stanmore Green were very well-versed as to how their team would attack and also defend as a unit. The synergy between these players was something to behold and this match demonstrated their psychic abilities to interchange positions and support each other when transitioning between defence and attack and vice versa. Aliabbas showing such dogged determination on the ball and reading the oppositions play. Maisam showing such tenacity when winning the ball back and passing to find fellow players, Ammar as always showing calmness under pressure, (future Modric!). Aliraza with deft manoeuvres leaving behind fallen defenders and gliding the ball home like Thierry Henry in an Art Museum, Aadam on a rampage whacking home two goals that will be ones to watch again and again and savour. A key man has to be Rayaanali though, how did he possibly manage to retain the ball from the opposition so many times? This relentless determination and team ethic saw no sign of wavering, bring on the finalists!
Goals: Aliraza 2, Aadam 2, Rayyanali 1.
Goal scorer interviews: They declined to comment, too busy going bonkers with joy.
Result: Stanmore Green 5-0 Peterborough Barca
Final v/s Hyderi Yellow
Okay, here they were. Such a familiar sight in front of them; Hyderi Yellow. The same team that we met in the final last year. We were then victorious but would today be any different? Our players called out the danger players in their side asking the coach whether to man mark them out of the game. No chance. We were there to play our game and it was up to them to chase us! The boys were brewing with confidence, ready to re-enact the pass-and-play movements from previous matches knowing that the formula could beat any side. A final question from the coach; “Boys, you are the reigning champions so one question for you, how badly do you want to bring those trophies home again?”. Parents, coaches, and spectators from other finished matches looked on and they too could see it in the body language of Stanmore Green, nothing was stopping these juggernauts today.
No easy task however, we were playing against kids who usually play for Premier League academies. The game was high pace from the offset. No room for error, misjudgement or delay. Stanmore Green at the dismay of the coach invited a lot of attacking pressure however the boys continually used this to their advantage with wave after wave of counter attacks. The counters allowed our boys to execute fast wing play, cutting in and shooting in the emerging defensive gaps. Aadam and Aliraza seemed to be almost telepathic with their interchanges and Rayyanali and Aliabbas playing the maturity game of double their age! Mums and Dad’s holding their breath as Aliraza sees a gap from defence to stride down the wing, he beats one with a shimmy, second with a Ronaldo chop, crikey the audacity to try that in a final…..he’s through now surely?!….bang, curler into the bottom right hand corner! Relief for all surrounding Stanmore fans. Rayyanali for one, wanted more though, he kept looking for channels to run into and find that killer pass. Lone behold he finds Aadam with a delicious pass and Aadam aka Harry Kane makes no mistake to rifle it into the bottom left corner. Hyderi were riled and now with nothing to lose they pushed three up front. Stanmore Greens had no choice but to counter it with playing a 3 man defence and 1 midfielder. A change of personnel and goalkeeper only meant we invited more pressure with us regrettably conceding what would be our only goal of the tournament. Back to plan A thought coach…attack is the best form of defence! Reverting to our original formation we went at again like bulls in a china shop, Ammar and Maisam driving things from defence into midfield and the remainder demonstrating a plethora of ball skills. A final net buster to make it 3-1, relief yet euphoria! The final whistle goes and the coach and parents could not be prouder of the players. The sheer hard work and perseverance had all paid off, Stanmore Greens brought it home once again. Lots of embraces, laughter and tears of joy. Most of all appreciation to our Creator for this humble opportunity and sincere thanks and duas to all that make MAMT and SJFA possible.
Goal scorer interviews: There were none, they all ran off to celebrate!
Result: Stanmore Green 3-1 Hyderi Yellow
The roaring lions with no mercy, brought it home…again.
by Stanmore Green Coach Ashiqali Damani
Team Line up:
Mehdi Abbas Juma
Although it was an under 8 age-group tournament, we decided to keep a similar under 7 team together following the Salaam Cup to allow the players to continue to develop as a team.
There were visible improvements in the team as they passed the ball around brilliantly starting from the back and building forward.
We were in a group of seven and only lost one match to the u8 Stanmore team who went on to win the tournament. Our results and scorers are below:
Birmingham 1-0 – Ali Nurmohamed
Stanmore Green 0-1
Hyderi Blue 0-0
Peterborough Real 6-0 – Zain Dharas 4 & Ali Nurmohamed 2
Stanmore Blue 1-0 – Zain Dharas
Leicester Warriors 3-0 – Ali Nurmohamed 2 & Zain Dharas 1
We finished second in the group meaning we went to the premiership level and had to play the semi final against the first placed team (Hyderi) in the other group.
We started the game well and went one-nil up with a goal by Ali Nurmohamed but then conceded two goals so lost the game.
Overall, a great performance by the boys. Their attitude was impeccable, listening to the coaches, playing together as a team and enjoying the day.
Look forward to keep working with the team next year.
Report by Coach Afzal Merali
Team Line up:
Zain Alibhai –
Muhammed Mahdi Hirji –
Aiden Hussein –
Junaid Jafferali –
Zaki Ali Mavani –
Ali Muktar –
Hassan Valjy –
Coach: Nazir Rajvani
SJ Blue’s first game was against Peterborough Real which could not have gotten our tournament off to a better start with Zaki Mavani and Hassan Valjy up front causing all kinds of problems for Peterborough. This resulted in two very quick goals to give the Blues a comfortable 2-0 win.
The second game was against Birmingham. The Blues started brightly With Zain Alibhai scoring however Birmingham got stronger as the game went on and levelled the match. A high ball resulted in a free kick at the edge of the D, which was converted in by Birmingham players. Final score Birmingham 2 – SJ Bules 1.
The third game was against our colour twins at Hayderi (Blue), the game was a master class of back and forth with neither team giving an inch. Ali Muktar, SJ goalie, made some great saves until a late break from Hayderi and some tired legs on our side resulted in a goal for Hayderi. Our Blues however didn’t let that affect them and kept their heads up and a smile on their face, 0-1 final score.
The next match was against Leicester Warriors and if you think I joke about spirit of our Blues then read on. With some spectacular last man action from Junaid Jafferali and Mohammed Mehdi Hirji stopping almost every attack and a great goal from Aiden Hussein the Blues won to stay in with a chance to get to the next round. Final score 1-0.
The penultimate game saw SJ Blues against SJ Reds, it turned into a game that saw the best in both teams as they struggled to get the upper hand. With both teams coming close and the boys defending each goals, it came down to a lucky (and my fellow coach may disagree) shot that cost us the match right at the end. 0-1
The final game was once again an all Stanmore affair with the Blues playing the Greens. My opinion this was the performance of the tournament by the Blues, with all of the players putting their all in against the team that would go on to win the Premiership Title at MAMT. They defended with passion and attacked with vigour, this wasn’t a one sided game at all with the Blues given their all against a side they knew was stronger. At the end of the game a cheer from my Blues that would have lifted the roof off Wembley Stadium as they held the Greens to a draw. 0-0.
The next hour was one of anticipation and worry as we waited for the results, we knew it was close and how close…. unfortunately we missed the knockouts by 2 points and the boys were a little disappointed but had smile on their faces knowing they had done their best.
Report by Coach Nazir Rajvani
Team Line up:
Ali Reza Hirji
Ammar Husayn Ravji
At 8.30am, the under 9 SJ Yellow team were raring to go and couldn’t wait for the whistle to be blown. With a 5-aside tea, having 6 players was ideal as it gave me as the coach the opportunity to give all the players a fair amount of game time which they all deserved after training since January week in – week out .
We were blessed with good weather all day, and even better, we were blessed with excellent performances by the boys and very encouraging support from the parents. I thank them for being encouraging and letting the coach do the job of coaching/sorting out subs and not putting pressure on me as coach to give their son more game time than another child.
On the performances by the boys. We played 5 matches in the group stage, won 2 matches and lost 3. This was enough to get to the plate semi-final where we lost to the eventual plate winners 2-0.
In all the matches, the boys played exceptionally. A few comments on each child:
- Amaan Merali – has come on leaps and bounds over the year and played very well in both defence and midfield.
- Asadali Walji – played very well in defence and finished off a very good team goal (more on that below).
- Ali Raza Hirji – his instincts said play in goal, but his coach told him to play in defence and midfield, and how he played with courage in defence making some important tackles.
- Ahmed Hussein – this boy is blessed with skill, vision and a great left foot. He scored a couple of great goals, and denied at least 5 more by great saves by the opposition keepers.
- Ammar Husayn Ravji – mainly played in goal and he was a rock in goal making some very important saves and good distribution. When asked to play on pitch, he did so very admirably.
- Zayn Khatau – another who has improved a lot and was rewarded with scoring a hattrick in one game. He was a constant threat down the left hand flank
As a coach who coached these boys in tier 1, it is very pleasing to see how they have improved over the past few years. Equally it was satisfying to see them all gel together and play as a team. That was clear to see in one amazing passage of play which for me was the goal of the season, better than any goal in the premier league and even better than the counter attacking football that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool score every other week. It started with Ammar playing a ball to Ahmed Hussein in defence, who then played it to Amaan Merali on the right. With his first touch, he played it to Zayn Khatau who after a short dribble played to Asadali Walji who banged it in the bottom corner. What a goal! Screams all around form the SJ supporters and the coach nearly ran on to celebrate with the kids!
The kids were rightly disappointed to not make the final in the plate event, but they will come back stronger next year with the support of their parents, coaches and fellow players. We look forward to next year.
Report by Coach Jamil Merali
Team Line up:
Mohammad Mahdi Govani
Syed Ibrahim Jawad
Ali Mehdi Nasser
Isa Ali Sumar
The boys arrived early in Peterborough, and after the customary mandazi/croissants breakfast, they were ready to roll. Each team played 5 matches with the top two qualifying for premiership semi-final/final. Third and fourth place go to plate semi-final/final. SJ White battled hard in each of the group games. The results didn’t go our but as their coach I was pleased with the effort these boys put in, I couldn’t have asked for more. They showed strong character in not letting the results affect them game after game. They will learn from this and come back stronger next year.
The below provides the coach’s reflection of each player:
Jawaad Dhalla: Showed good defending skills, he managed to stop opposition attack a number of times. He also provided good cover in defence when the team was in opposition half attacking.
Muhammad Mahdi Govani – Played in all positions, his tackling and hassling of opposition players was excellent. He scored the only goal for the team, the goal came from his determination and grit to push through the opposition defence before releasing a powerful shot, the goal keeper had no chance.
Aabis Jafri – He showed good passing ability, and was always keen to push up on the break. His awareness and positioning was very good, and knew what to do when in possession of the ball.
Syed Ebrahim Jawaad – Played in goal in a number of games, produced excellent saves to keep the score line respectable. When he played inside he never stopped running and pressing the opposition. Ebrahim is a determined player with good reflexes.
Ali Mehdi Nasser – Initially he was positioned upfront, where he showed excellent determination in retrieving the ball and break the oppositions attack. He was constantly chasing the ball when the team didn’t have possession. Later on when he played in the wings, he displayed excellent ability in running with the ball and taking on players.
Isa Ali Summer – A good defender, held the back line strongly in many games, blocking the opposition’s shots and providing good cover to team mates. He showed glimpses of determination and strength when asked to chase the ball.
Report by Coach Murtaza Hameer
Tier 2 (SJFA Tier 3 U9/10) match reports:
SJFA Green was coached by Sabir Datoo:
Amirali Jaffer (GK)
Deen Pirbhai (C)
Suhail Aarif Merali
Ali Mehdi Abbas Ismail
It was an early start in Peterborough, but all the players were ready on time for the matches. They did a few warm up drills in preparation, however our first match was a BYE as we had one less team in the group. It meant we started much later than the rest of the teams.
First match was against Leicester All Stars, we started strongly pressing high and Ali Mehdi and Adam got the goals we needed to secure our first win of the tournament.
We then faced Peterborough Real, again the high press tactic worked as Adam pressured them into a mistake which we capitalised on. We dominated the game playing attacking football.
Next game was against the strong Leicester Afghan Stars, Ali Mehdi bagged more goals, but more impressively our defensive unit of Deen, Suhail and Munsif were yet to give any chances away, Amirali was distributing the ball very well providing us with a good backbone to the team.
Last game of the groups was against Hyderi Yellow, the strongest Hyderi team who had also won all their matches. Both teams were through to the premiership but this was a contest to get top of the group. This was a hard fought game, with Hyderi scoring through their only chance of the game, with Ali Mehdi hitting the crossbar twice. The team pushed hard but the game ended 1-0 to Hyderi.
We were through to the semi-final of the premiership, and the good news was that we avoided the other Stanmore team, we were playing the other Hyderi team. The matches got delayed until after salat, so they boys prayed had a snack ready for the knockouts.
The team didn’t concede all match with good defending from Suhail and then Munsif, and with two goals we were through to the final!!
The final was against the Hyderi team who beat us, but this time with a big crowd, the team, led by the captain Deen, were confident they could beat them. Unfortunately Munsif had a slight knock which ruled him out for most of the game, but a great early goal by Adam from the right side, through a player into the top corner gave us an early lead. A second goal from Suhail followed, who tucked the ball into the corner. The team had no subs and unfortunately Hyderi hit back with two late goals. With both teams trying to get the winner the ref blew for full time – the game was going to be decided on penalties!
Hyderi score.. 1-0
Ali Mehdi scores.. 1-1
Amirali makes a great save.. 1-1
Suhail scored.. 1-2
Hyderi score.. 2-2
To win the game..
Adam steps up.. And scores 2-3
Stanmore wins the U10 MAMT premiership!
All the boys played fantastically well, defending resolutely – pressing high and scoring goals. They showed great akhlaq after every match and great determination to beat Hyderi after having lost in the group stage.
Thank you to all the coaches of the tier for the hard work through the year, and the parents for their continued support.
As outgoing SJFA Tier 3 Manager, I was honoured to coach a team in this year’s MAMT (SJFA Blue):
Mehdi Waljee (GK)
Sajjad Suleman (C)
Muhammad Kumail Dossa
Abbas Ali Muraj
For all the matches, our formation and tactics remained the same. Uzayr and Muhammad Kumail were in defence, Sajjad was in the middle, and Abbas Ali was in attack. Hani would come on as our super sub, and because he is a versatile player, he would replace anyone.
In the first game, we did not start well and we lost 2-0 to Hyderi. We did not really get started and some errors led to them scoring. Our goalkeeper was amazing and it could have been more were it not for Mehdi’s amazing saves.
In the second game, we performed very well against Leicester, but again they were able to get through and take some shots and we lost 1-0. Full credit has to go to our defenders – Uzayr and Muhammad Kumail were everywhere and saved us many times.
However, something clicked and in the third game we produced an outstanding performance against MK. Sajjad held up the ball well and squared it across, and Abbas Ali was able to tap in to make it 1-0 and give us our first victory. In this game I have to mention Hani who came on and was resolute – nothing got past him and he set up many chances for us. The most amazing moment was at the end of the game when Mehdi pulled out an amazing save with his legs to make sure we took all three points.
We then played SJFA Red, who gave us a very good game, but we were able to make some chances; we first scored through Abbas Ali, and then 2 from Sajjad – one of them was a run and great shot into the top corner – and then a second for Abbas Ali after good work at the back by Muhammad Kumail, and the game ended 4-0. Again, Uzayr proved to be a rock at the back and Hani gave us a lot of stability in the middle.
Finally we played Peterborough, and once again our top scorer Abbas Ali produced a great run and finish to give us a 1-0 victory. Uzayr in this game controlled everything from the back and nothing got past him.
This meant we finished second in our group and this was an amazing achievement. The boys had done amazingly well and exceeded all expectations.
We then met the Hyderi A team in the semi final. The boys were under instructions to stick to the plan but more than anything to enjoy the game. Everyone gave 100% and we even snatched a goal against a very strong team, but in the end it was not to be and we lost, but with our heads held high, we:
- Played amazing football
- Kept attacking
- Kept our akhlaq and team spirit
- Never moaned at anyone
- Enjoyed the day
This was my last contribution as Tier 3 Manager, and I now step down to a coaching role inshallah.
During my time as manager we have now won MAMT for three years in a row.
It has been a pleasure working with the different players and getting to know them and their parents. If I have said or done anything wrong over these years I ask for forgiveness from one and all.
I thank Allah for the opportunity to serve my community.
Tier 3 (SJFA Tier 4 U11/12) match reports:
Stanmore Green was represented by the following players:
Aqeel Bhimani (GK)
Muhammad Abbas Kassamali (C)
This was to be the last tournament together for this age group with four players from this team moving up a tier, two of whom, Mohamedmahdi Janmohamed and Sami Merali had won this tournament last year and were hungry to retain the trophy!
We got off to a flier in our first game v Leicester Afghan Stars, Sami scoring 2, Mohamedmahdi 1 and Ali Dewji 1, a 4-0 win.
Soon after we played Leicester All Stars, another comfortable win with goals from Sami & Ali Dewji. Made easier by a wonderful penalty save by Aqeel Bhimani, 2-0.
Our next game was against our hosts, Peterborough Barca. Ali Dewji continued his scoring streak of scoring in every game so far by scoring another 2, Mohamedmahdi scored a wonderful hat-trick and Ali Reza added another, 6-0!
We were next up against our toughest opponent so far, Hyderi, they were up for it with a 5 minute team talk beforehand and all of them pumped and focused! The game was decided by one mistake made by Hyderi and capitalised by Sami. Aqeel pulled off a wonderful last minute save to ensure we won 1-0.
We played Birmingham Red next and we won 7-0, Sami with 2, Mohamedmahdi 2, Ali Dewji 2 and Shaahid got his name onto the score sheet too!
The only outfield player who hadn’t scored was our captain Muhammad Abbas, so, for the last game, as we were already through top of the group, he persuaded me to let him play a more attacking role, I obliged and rested both Sami and Ali Dewji. Muhammad Abbas managed to score his goal with Mohamedmahdi scoring yet another hat-trick, a 4-0 win in our final group game versus Stanmore Yellow.
Our Semi-Final was against Stanmore Red coached by Nazir Dewji, this was actually our most difficult game so far. We were held at 0-0 in a tight game that I thought was heading to penalties until the last few minutes when our man of the moment Mohamedmahdi came on and scored soon followed by another by Nazir’s son, Ali Dewji, 2-0. It can be a cruel game!
The Final was to be against Hyderi, the team we beat narrowly in the league format earlier. After the previous game their coach came up to me and said we would meet again in the final and they would beat us! This was playing on my mind.
Again, a long team talk for their players. They were ready, I didn’t want to make the final into a big issue and instructed the boys to play how they have been playing and treat it like all the other games, to go and play. Muhammad Abbas was unbeatable at the back, he took control of the back with Shaahid and nothing went through them, this gave Sami and Ali the freedom to press from the front and force Hyderi into losing possession. These mistakes were capitalised on by first Sami and then Ali, 2-0 and the title was ours, Champions again for the second successive year! We were commended by the opposition coaches acknowledging we deserved it and our team were worthy winners.
Played 8, Won 8, Scored 28 (all outfield players scoring) & Conceded Zero
Another MAMT memory that will stay with me and i’m sure the boys for many years to come. We had been working hard throughout the year for this moment and we had achieved our goal.
This was our last game together for some and what a way to end it! Very proud of all the players as each of them played a significant part in winning MAMT 2018!
As Manager of Tier 4 I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my coaches and their players who participated in MAMT. Each one was given a target and each target was met – a fantastic effort by the whole team, well done all.
Stanmore Green – to Win the tournament
Stanmore Red (Nazir Dewji) – to reach to the Semi-Final stage
Stanmore Blue (Kumail Jaffer) – to reach the Plate Semi-Final stage
Stanmore Yellow (Yaseen Valji) – to win a game and show a fighting spirit
Abbas Chandoo (GK)
Ammaar Ali Bandali
Husayn Ali Abbas Ismail
In what proved to be a very difficult first game against their Stanmore Blue brothers, Stanmore Red triumphed 3-1. Two aspects of this game filled me with encouragement for the rest of the tournament. First, the boys’ heads did not drop when Stanmore Blue pegged them back to equalise. Second, some of the quality passing on display which ultimately led to a goal from Qasim Hadi, who was instrumental to most of the good football on display, showed that the boys were playing with confidence.
Second game was even better. Excellent passing and ball playing in the middle and attacking third of the pitch led to a victory against a strong MK team. The fact that they had a big team and an over-age player, did not seem to faze the boys at all as they secured another victory. Husayn Ali Ismail scoring the key goals with clinical finishing and improving with every game.
Third game and finally our first defeat. Birmingham Green were simply too strong for us and we lost 4-0. However, the effort in this game was not as strong as in the first two games and the coach let his players know this but that he was confident that they could do much better in their remaining games.
This proved to be the case as their only ineffectual performance was put to one side and forgotten as they triumphed 7-1 in their next game against Peterborough Real. The strength of the 8 man squad was now really coming into play as all players had by the end of the game scored in the tournament including great contributions by Ammar Bandali and Ali Khatau. It was also a pleasure to see all players supporting each other when they were not selected and no grumbling at all of the coach’s selections. A real team spirit had evolved which was great to see. Abbas Chandoo epitomised this as he continued to sacrifice himself for the team by playing in goal and despite scoring 2 goals when he was given the opportunity to play outfield in this game, happily put the gloves back on for the rest of the tournament.
Final game in the group was against Leicester All Stars. A win and we were definitely through. A draw and we would be reliant on other results. We went 2-0 up pretty easily and then a bit of nerves set in. We conceded 2 late on and ended up drawing 2-2 against a team that were not as good as us. Results elsewhere went our way and we were through as group runners-up and into the semi-final.
We waited for our opponents to be confirmed and it was Stanmore Green who hadn’t lost a game or conceded a goal. The team really tried their best giving Stanmore Green’s a real scare but ultimately a couple of pieces of individual brilliance for Stanmore Green was the difference as we lost 2-0. The team were disappointed but not down-hearted as they performed very well throughout the tournament.
Special mentions to Jaabir Walji and Aqil Karawalli who were the solid spine of the team throughout and especially to Yasin Merali whose quality on the ball and toughness was outstanding.
Abbas Alloo (GK)
SJFA Blue put in some excellent performances during MAMT, with each player contributing their unique skill set.
The day started off with a tough opening game against Stanmore Red – after conceding in the second half, a clinical equaliser from Abbas Asaria (following a fluid counter attack) set the team on their way for an excellent point. However, some individual and collective talent from SJFA Red meant two late goals consigned SFJA Blue to an unfortunate loss.
The team admirably bounced back from this disappointment against Peterborough, however, with a 6-0 demolishing of the side. Goals spread round the whole side rounded off a real team effort.
The next games against Milton Keynes and Birmingham, despite being narrow losses, reflected the tough mental attitude in the side, pushing all the way to the end against two strong outfits.
The final game of the group stage against Leicester ended up being a difficult result to take for the team, mainly due to their strong first half performance. Hitting the bar and going close on a number of occasions early on, the side was unlucky to lose by the score that they did.
SJFA Blue qualified for the U12s Plate Semi Finals, where they lined up against the other Leicester side. A spirited effort could not stop the team getting knocked out, concluding a very credible tournament for all the players involved.
Individual Player Analysis:
Abbas Alloo – Proved himself to be an excellent shot stopper throughout, putting in some great performances especially against Milton Keynes and Birmingham.
Taha Rashid – Strong in the tackle and a tireless worker, Taha, at times, was the definition of solidity.
Abid-Hasan Ravji – Abid showed a unique skillset with his ability to press, intercept and win the ball back from any opposition player.
Zain-Muhammed Valji – Zain proved himself to be very calm on the ball and proved himself to be very positionally astute, filling in wherever needed.
Jabir Dhalla – Jabir’s ability to carry the ball meant several promising opportunities were created throughout – his willingness to track back was also great to see.
Hassan Merali – Though constantly pressed by the opposition, Hassan still found the time to create chances and dictate the attacking play of the side.
Abbas Asaria – Abbas was the team’s top goalscorer with three strikes (and he could have had more on another day), constantly a threat in the opposition’s final third.
Salman Mukhtar – Linking up well with Abbas and playing an excellent ‘Firmino’ role, Salman never gave the opposition’s defenders time on the ball and made some promising forays down the field.
Muhammad Ali Chandoo (GK)
Mujtaba Hussein Dewji
Muhammad Aqeel Mavani
Husayn Mohamedhassan Merali
We knew as a team the tournament was going to be extremely challenging for a team at the lower limit of the age bracket but from the off we said we would give it our all.
Our first match was against Peterborough A. We had a few teething difficulties in this match and despite the fight shown by Ali Asaria and Muhammed Ali Chandoo we were beaten by a more experienced team. There were positives that we could take from the game, as a team we were able to put together some great attacking moves one of which lead to a goal scored by Muhammed Aqeel Mavani.
After a one match break we were up against Leicester Afghan Stars, a very strong team on paper. The match was a tough battle, but a free kick scored by our frontman Kumail Esmail gave us a precious one goal lead. We ensured that we held on to this lead to take 3 points from the game which really lifted our spirits.
The third match was against Birmingham Red. The game was extremely close at 0-0 for the majority of the game, however a very lucky goal meant we were “robbed” of a point that we thoroughly deserved. Throughout the whole game Husayn Merali was patrolling the midfield not allowing any of the Birmingham play to flow past him giving a man of the match performance despite losing.
After a very long break we had a match against Leicester A. We lost the game but the strong defensive efforts of Mujtaba Dewji ensured that the result was not a humiliating one. The hour break between the matches wasn’t ideal and had really disrupted the momentum we had built up over the last 3 matches.
Our penultimate game was played against Hyderi A. Unfortunately we were beaten again by a very strong and experienced team but we never gave up. The result didn’t truly reflect the match but the loss meant we were indeed knocked out of the competition but we were too finish 5th place in the group out of 6. Credit to Husayn Gulamhussein who was able to save a penalty during the match diving down to the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
Our final game was against Stanmore Green. At this point we had secured 5th place and just wanted to go out there and be proud of our efforts. I sent out an attacking team giving us a better chance of scoring some goals and as a result we did make a lot chances that we just couldn’t bury. The final result was a Stanmore Green win that they fully deserved.
I’d like to thank the parents for their support and the boys for the efforts and participation.
Tier 4 (SJFA Tier 5 U13/14) match reports:
After a successful training session the week before, the group of players selected for ‘SJFA Green’ were quietly confident on how they would perform at the MAMT U13/14 5-a-side Tournament 2018. This belief was not unfounded as the team went to the final and won it.
The winning squad consisted of the following players:
Ali abbas Dossa (GK)
Jawad Khatau (C)
Arif Bandali (Manager)
From start to finish and in all of the positions, the team were playing in unison, playing the 5-a-side football game with heart and harmony, executing the managers plans brilliantly and with technic prowess.
The scores reflected this, getting to the finals without losing a game or conceding a goal.
It would be unfair to single out any specific player for their contribution as this was truly a game that was won by winning their own individual battles against their opposing player in each game whilst having the team spirit needed to win a tournament.
Ammar Kassam (GK)
Kazim Ali Ismail
Muhammad Mahdi Dewji
The team left everything on the pitch and gave 100% commitment in every single group stage game. They can be proud of their application and dedication. The team spirit and camaraderie the boys exhibited was wonderful to see. This was most evident in the two hard-fought draws that the boys deservedly earned.
Tier 5 (SJFA Tier 6 U15/16) match reports:
Muhammad-Zayn Kalyan (GK)
Zain Ali Bandali
Stanmore green got off to a fast start this MAMT, with a 4-1 win against one of the strongest teams in the tournament, Hyderi. Mahdi Ladha scored a hat trick with Mohamedmehdi Karim also getting on the scoresheet. The game finished with a heroic penalty save from Muhammad-Zayn Kalyan. Hyderi however did score a goal in the dying seconds of the game, however it was a strong opening performance from Stanmore.
This performance was followed up by back-to-back 5-0 wins against Peterborough and Birmingham, with Zain Ali Bandali also getting on the scoresheet a few times. The team showed great synergy and this was capped off by a beautiful team goal against Birmingham where every player on the pitch touched the ball in a one touch passing move, leading to a finish by Mahdi Ladha.
These two games were followed by two games against the other two Stanmore teams, which finished in 1-0(red) and 4-0(blue)victories, leaving the greens top of the group.
The opponents in the semi final were Stanmore blue, and after a tough opening 5 minutes, the greens managed to break the deadlock. It was a tough game and the blues pushed the greens, however the result was a 3-0 victory.
The final was set to be a MAMT classic, Stanmore vs Hyderi. Stanmore got off to a fast start, with Mahdi Ladha getting on the scoresheet after a few minutes. However, Hyderi did not go down easily, and equalised soon after. In a tight game with not a lot separating it, Hyderi came back and scored another, and with a bit of bad fortune and decisions not going their way, Stanmore green were not able to recover from this, losing 2-1.
All in all, Stanmore green were the team of the tournament, who fell just short of the winners trophy. Muhammad-Zayn Kalyan conceded just three goals in the tournament, and had saved two penalties. Abbas Datoo anchored the defence and did not make mistakes the whole tournament. Mohamedmehdi Karim was everywhere, marking the other teams best player at times whilst also being the teams second highest goal scorer. Zain Ali Bandali played through an injury and still scored great goals, and helped link the teams defence to attack. Mahdi Ladha was the tournaments top goalscorer and was clinical in front of goal, scoring at will. Ammarali Jetha provided the team with composure, energy and link up play, often calming the team down and showed great game management. The team were a joy to coach and were unfortunate not to win.
Owais Mawjee (GK)
Mohammed Abbas Lilani
Muhammad Jawad Virjee
Sjfa Red were the first to kick off, the team were ready apart from one injury worry (Hassan). A comfortable win 2-0 win. Mainly due to Alireza Mussa’s movement on and off the ball. The second match was against sjfa Blue they held us to 1-1 for most of the game but the pressure finally paid off with a 2-1 win for us.
The 3rd match was against Birmingham wr had all the possession and bombarded their goalkeeper but their goalkeeper pulled off some stunning saves and ended up 0-0.
The last two games were the hardest against the 2 favourites. Although we had qualified for the semi-finals we still put the effort in only narrowly losing by the odd 1 goal. 1-2 hyderi and 0-1 Sjfa green. On hindsight I should have rested Qasim Suleman and Hassan kanani as they had been thru the wars with some crunching tackles.
SJFA red v Hyderi
A fantastic hard fought battle. Hyderi had more possession but were missing the target our defence was solid with only conceeding 4 goals in the group stages.
The match ended in a draw although we should have had a penalty for a hyderi straight back pass to their goalkeeper.
So down to penalties unfortunately we lost 1-2.
Our goalkeeper Owais mawji had and another fantastic mamt tournament only losing to penalties last year in the final and again this year the same way. Qasim was a brick wall at the back with support from MohamedAbbas Lilani. Hassan kanani and MJ virjee kept possession created the the opportunities whist Alireza mussa’s experience and talent showed thru up front, and Abbasali Gulamhussien kept calm under pressure. There wasn’t a single error throughout the tournament every single player played fantastically and well above expectation sticking to the instructions, as the coach maybe I was too defensive in my approach. I’m extremely proud of my players for their attitude on and off the pitch.