Under 7 match reports:
MAMT 2017 – U7 Premiership Winners
SJ Black squad:
Ali Reza Damani
Muhammad Mahdi Govani
Rayyan Ali Merali
Coach: Ashiqali Damani and Hasnain Merali
Teamwork, Tenacity and Tornado-like
A fresh and rainy 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.
Group game 1 v/s Peterborough A
A packed fixture list that felt like the semis and finals were distant hope. However, the first encounter was the blue of Peterborough who looked well organised and prepped standing in their positions on the pitch before we even stepped onto the turf, as you’d expect from a home side keen to impress. However, SJFA Black walked in the arena with their chins high, walking in unison like well drilled soldiers and gave each other claps of encouragement before the battle begun. No overt cheering or squealing from any spectators or coaches, the air was nervous, still damp and you could almost hear the silent duas from all corners. A quick reminder of rules from the referee to the players and they were off. Although Peterborough were similar sized players we started slowly and not as physical on the ball as we should have been, 50/50 balls that should’ve been gobbled up and losing out on battles in the opposition’s half. Yes, the boys new their drills and game plans etc but needed the time to warm up and gel as a unit in their play. Three minutes of eight minutes gone and it was even across the pitch although, SJFA Black were keen to start capitalising the short throw offs from the keeper and start shooting on sight of the goal. Lone behold, the rain from the clouds lessened as the goals on the pitched reined in. SJFA dominated territorially and boom, there was the first goal, in the first MAMT and their first…. what’s this? Collective sajdah celebration? – Mo Farah style! You could tell, from here on in the players were eager to add to their goal tally just to experiment with the latest goal celebrations. No resting on laurels though, the team knew that goals scored as well as goal difference were also key factors in progressing. The team didn’t disappoint, surely it’s too early in the morning to be turning on the “pass and move” style play? Not this team, long rangers from Aliraza, bullish shots from Aadam and 1-2’s from Amaar and Zain to the parent’s delight. Although Mahdi was having a quiet time in goal, he was smiling ear to ear as he saw the quality of play unfolding in front of him. Ammar being the last man had pushed up to almost the half way line, such was the dominance! A hattrick from Aliraza and a goal from Aadam that resulted in great elation and relief from the Stanmore crowd.
Result: SJFA 4-0 Peterborough A
Group game 2 v/s Birmingham Green (A)
Adrenaline still on overflow or a case of over-confidence? We didn’t start well and we saw it coming from the opposition. It was obvious that the Birmingham coaches had studied us meticulously from the previous game. Stanmore coaches scratching their heads over tactical changes to counter Birmingham’s onslaught. Yes, we went a goal down early on but this was a key and defining moment of character for the team. Intense technical pre-tournament training is all well and good but you can’t re-enact such a predicament. The team knew they had to dig deep though, knowing that the mighty and intimidating Hayderi A were up next in the final group game. As the team brought the football back to the centre spot, neither did they blame one another nor drooped their heads. Instead rather proudly, they again clapped each other on and shouts of “come-on” gave the coaches comfort that this indeed is a team of hard working warriors that simply don’t give in. Slowly but surely again the Stanmore dominance restarted with shots firing in from all angles and play. Shots and goals being shared amongst the team and interchange of play and skilful one on ones that their defence and keeper couldn’t handle. Zain and Hassan coming on to sure up the defence in what in the end was a comfortable victory.
Result: SJFA 4-1 Birmingham Green (A)
Group game 3 v/s Hayderi A
It was obvious that this indeed was the key match of the tournament. The two best sides thus far going head to head aiming to lift the premiership trophy that was on offer. Hayderi’s star player duo were already being dubbed as the khoja Messi and Ronaldo, almost mimicking the hairstyles too! The game was close and very even and not for the faint hearted! End to end chances and goals, first Hayderi with a close range goal that surprised Stanmore’s defence, we just could contain their galacticos, (Hussein and Kara). Penalty to Stanmore though as Aadam steps up and surely this was the route back into the game…..Ah! great save by the keeper. Aadam head in his hands but the team tap his back in encouragement and they regroup and organise to start dominating the midfield, so much so that Stanmore begin getting a series of free-kicks. One of which was between the half way line and the opposition D. Aliraza steps up with his team mates strategically positioning themselves eagerly awaiting a key pass. Hold on though, that’s quite a run up sir!…..boom! a stonking long ranger from Stanmore’s box to box maestro, bottom corner and it was now game on! The kids were going wild with hope, if they could win this, surely it’s one hand on the trophy?! Although, no one ever writes off Hayderi, with you guessed it, a Hayderi pile driver from….the half way line?! Wow, these kids have special talent. This only fired up our team though, more goals followed with a stunning solo run and finish from Rayaan, another machine like belter from Aadam and an accurate finish from Aliraza. None of the attacking play could’ve been possible without the stern defending and composed passing from Mahdi, Zain and Amaar. Slowly but surely, minute by minute Stanmore knew they had secured the result and an easier semi-final match to follow. The team again showing great character and resilience to whack in the goals and close out the game. Hassan with a cameo appearance up front, a future star surely.
Result: SJFA 4-2 Hayderi A
Semi-final v/s Milton Keynes
Players were using their time-out to reminisce of their come backs and audacious efforts from range. Next up was the runner up from group B and naturally after such a memorable victory against the ballon dor’s of Hayderi, confidence was overflowing. Only three games thus far but the team were learning from miss-haps and listening attentively to their coaches for advice on where improvement could still be found. The coaches were proud to see that not only were our boys delivering on the pitch but conducted themselves superbly in manner and attentiveness. Few positional and personal changes were made to the team but being well drilled it caused no issues. From minute one SJFA dominated the match, swarming the opposition defence and goalkeeper like bees desperate for further honey. One goal after another rained in on MK’s goal. The mazy runs from midfield were a delight to watch with goals flying in from Aadam and Aliraza. Man of the match though was the ever improving Rayaan Merali with two efforts that even Wayne Rooney would’ve double taken on. One silky run and finish, followed by a knuckle shot that saw his whole body go airborne-Ouch! Keeper no chance. The goal scorers were then subbed but that still meant no rest for Milton Keynes as Zain and Hassan gave their defence yet more problems until the final whistle. Zain in particular showing some seriously silky skills! Solid performances again from Mahdi and Ammar who allowed their front men all freedom to play, the silent heroes!
Result: SJFA 6-0 Milton Keynes
Final v/s Hayderi A
Ah, we meet again respected rivals. They knew our game, we knew theirs. They knew our heroes, we knew theirs. We knew what the prize was, they wanted it too. Tension was high, atmosphere amongst parents was like a library before final exams. Out came the mini-whiteboards, tactic reminders, slogans, reminders of all the hard work that had gone into their training. Our players were pumped though and called out the willingness to man-mark and cancel out the game of the galacticos. Over cautious? Maybe, but there was too much at stake. Out of the ten minutes of the match, 5 of them were just jostling and exchanging play in midfield. Ammar, Mahdi and Rayaan again the stand-out defenders that never let anything pass them, (with only a few goals being conceded throughout the entire tournament?! – wow). Both teams had come with the same tactics, no one wanted to lose however, with the deadlock needing to be broken both sides began to venture and try. With only a few minutes left and the crowds becoming more and more anxious it was clear that whoever scored first would be likely to secure the victory. Then a significant moment arrived. Aadam dropped deep to unselfishly support Aliraza’s cause and from the corner of his eye saw him set free down the right-wing. A great little dinked pass to Aliraza who collected the ball and looked up whilst in full flow. Racing down the wing, he knew he had one last defender to shake off. He did so with a lovely drop the shoulder manoeuvre that saw the defender slide to the floor. With just the keeper to beat he audaciously slammed the ball in the bottom right of the goal with a swerving shot off the outside of his right foot. Elation! – the whole team running across the pitch towards the parents with their arms in the air screaming with joy! With Hayderi’s quality there was an expectancy of a comeback however the relentless Aadam struck once again in the last minute to secure a well-deserved two goal victory. When this team gets going it’s not just an onslaught, it’s a tornado! This is just the beginning of what is a great team unit and inshallah many more tournament victories to come. As always, the team took the time out to respectfully shake hands of not only all the opposition players but spoke with opposition coaches to exchange thanks and congratulations. A proud team, coaches and parents as the medal ceremony approached.
Result: SJFA 2-0 Hayderi A
Written by Coach Ashiqali Damani
MAMT TOURNAMENT – SJ BLUE – U7 PLATE RUNNER UP
Team Line up:
Muhammad Mahdi Hirji
Ammar Hussein Ravji
Hossain Habibi Nameghi
Coach: Murtaza Hameer
Group game 1: v/s Leicester – 0-0 Draw
Group game 2: v/s Hyderi B – 3-1 Win
Group game 3: v/s MK – 1-1 Draw
Group game 4: v/s Birmingham Blue – 0-0 Draw
Plate Semi-Final: v/s Birmingham Green – 2-0 Win
Plate Final: v/s Peterborough – 0-1 Lost
The boys arrived bright and early and after a hearty Nutella and mandazi/croissant breakfast they were rearing to go, and they never disappointed us. Their performances in each game was excellent, always giving extra, the akhlaq was exemplary. The team play and attitude to never give up was exceptional. Throughout the tournament, the team played really well, unbeaten all the way to the final. Even in the final the boys displayed excellent football dominating the game for majority of the period, pressing Peterborough’s defence but luck wasn’t on their side this time. They finished runners up in this tournament in the plate level.
Under 9 match reports:
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
Under 12 match reports:
Stanmore Black Under 12 team was coached by Fuad. The team was:
Ali Hadi Govani (C)
Qaim-Ali Ravji (GK)
Husayn Yahya Merali
Mohammed Bakir Lilani
The pressure was on from the start for these boys as this was the last tournament together for this age group with the majority of the team moving up a tier, no MAMT trophy together so far with a high expectation to deliver.
We played 6 group matches, winning each game, scoring 21 goals and conceding ‘0’!! Sami Merali scoring 11 of those and Zia Dewji with 6. Our defence was unbreakable with Ali Hadi Govani, Husayn Yahya and Bakir Lilani ensuring Qaim Ali had little to do in goal.
Our Quarter Final was to be our first major test. Only 2 of our teams made it through and we were drawn against each other, we were to play Stanmore Blue! They gave us a tough game which was drawn 0-0. Straight to penalties which was a mixed bag of nerves, pressure and Qaim Ali making 3 penalty saves! It was a bitter sweet moment as we wanted to meet our boys in the final and they gave it their all.
The semi final was against Leicester B. We took a 1-0 lead early in the game, before Leicester scored the first and only goal against us in open play 1-1. I had felt i needed to rest Husayn Yahya and Zia as they had given everything in the previous game and we had no rest between games. I put them both back on and went for a more attacking formation – we won the game 5-1 with both Zia and Husayn Yayha scoring soon after coming on.
The final was to be against either Hyderi or Birmingham. We watched their semi final penalty shoot out in anticipation. To our surprise Birmingham were through.
The game against Birmingham was a very dull game with both sides looking very drained with very little left in the tank. The sun had been beating down on the them for a good few hours and they had played 8 games in such a short period of time. The game ended 0-0 and went to penalties. This was to be roller coaster of emotions and highs, we missed 2 of our 3 penalties and Qaim Ali saved 2 out of the three. We went to sudden death and again our penalty was saved and Qaim Ali kept us in it with a fine save. Qaim Ali then took a penalty himself and scored, pressure was now on Birmingham to score. Qaim Ali saves!! The Stanmore supporters go wild, the players mob Qaim Ali and I breath a huge sigh of relief!!! What a feeling!
It had been a journey 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 and what a way to end it! Very proud of all the players as each of them played a significant part in winning MAMT 2017!
Stanmore Blue under 12 team was coached by Bruce. The team was:
Abbas Alloo (GK)
Aqil Karawalli (c)
These boys had just come up from the lower tier, and so there was really no pressure on them. They were there to have fun, give 100%, and see how far they could get.
We started playing in a diamond formation as this was the system the boys were most used to. Our first game was against Stanmore Green, and for some reason we never got going. We let in 2 bad goals and lost the game 3-0.
That was a wake up call and the next game against Stanmore Yellow we performed much better. Despite losing an early goal, Ali Dewji and Husayn Ismail scored a goal each to make it 2-1 – our first victory.
We then played against Leicester B, which was a very tight game. We dominated and completely held our own, but again we let in a soft goal at the end and lost 1-0.
I then changed the formation to 2-2 as I felt the defence needed a bit of reinforcement. Our opponents were Peterborough; we ran rings around this much bigger and more physical team, Ali Dewji, Alireza Hamir, and Husayn Ismail scoring to make it 3-1. Our second win!
We then came up against Birmingham, who were much bigger, and a very strong team. Despite our best efforts, we could not overcome them and we lost 2-0.
This all meant that we needed a win against a strong Hyderi side. And with Hyderi you get a lot of noise and physicality. But this was the proudest moment. On the physical side, the boys gave as good as they got, if not more. Hyderi were no match for our skill and movement, and despite their best efforts to bully our smaller players, we ran rings around them, scored two beautiful goals, and won 2-1. The boys were now on a high as we had qualified – unexpectedly – for the quarter finals.
We were drawn against Stanmore Black. The game was very tight. We defended well and held them to a 0-0 draw. It went to penalties:
We missed …
The boys were a bit down as they had come so close. But each of them played amazingly well in a tough situation and they had lost to the eventual champions.
I was very pleased to have coached these boys one more time, as now they are going to be in Tier 4 from September. I am very proud of how far they have come. If they can stay fit and healthy, they are going to be a real force for years to come.
Stanmore White Under 12 team was coached by Fuad with the help of Abbas Khatau. The team was:
Ammar Kassam (GK)
Husayn M KG
Husayn M H Merali
Muhammad Ali Chandoo
This was a very young team having to play boys up to 2 years older! The difference in size and ability was clear to see, however, they made up for it in spirit and determination.
Each and every player hounding me to play in every game and not be subbed! It was great to see the enthusiasm they all had.
Unfortunately the boys didn’t make it out of the group stage, but, left me proud.
Stanmore Green Under 12 team was coached by Nazir Dewji. The team was:
Jameel Walji (C)
Muhammad Mahdi Panju (GK)
Mohammed Mohsin Kanani
Zain Muhammad Valji
Stanmore Green started the tournament with a bang. A 3-0 victory over their younger brothers at Stanmore Blue including the opening goal of the MAMT tournament by Yousuf Datoo and a storming performance by Jameel Valji as he terrorised the defence and got his rewards with goals. Following an educational defeat by Hyderi, the team won again against another Stanmore team with Zain Muhammed Valji and Abbas Asaria coming off the bench and making the difference. Special mention at this stage goes to Ali Khatau who unselfishly offered to play in goal when our goalkeeper was delayed and played excellently in the first three matches. With 2 wins out of 3 and with our goalkeeper having now arrived, things were looking positive for the Greens.
However, things went a little downhill from there. The players visibly flagged physically and could not match the intensity of the earlier games. Whilst putting in great effort, they always seemed to be stretching to make that final pass or just a little behind an opposition attacker that couldn’t be tracked and, to some extent, we were unlucky to be punished for each mistake although Mohammed Mahdi Panju kept us within striking distance of all games by his excellent keeping.
With one final game to play, we knew that a win would take us through to the quarter finals. Leicester B started well and took an early lead but, showing what the team can do, we scored one of the goals of the day with a sweeping passing moved finished by Ali Khatau to level. Mohammed Mohsin Kanani continued to keep order in defence almost single handedly and as we pushed for the winner, Leicester scored and our tournament was over.
Fine margins and we were left thinking of what might have been but that is tournament football.
Particular mention must be made of the akhlak of the boys of this team. I saw all of them later in the day supporting the Stanmore Black with incredible passion as they progressed to victory putting their own disappointment behind them. I also saw many of them the following day and each one came up to me thanking SJFA for the training over the last year and stating how much they enjoyed the tournament.
Stanmore Team Yellow – Asgherali Gulamhussein:
Aqeel Bhimani (GK)
Muhammad Aqeel Mavani
MAMT which is the final event in our season calendar is an event eagerly anticipated by all our players.
Starting with the early morning drive to Peterborough with some players having woken up at 6:00 a.m., it was great to see the enthusiasm and energy of all the players as I’m sure most of them would not have had much sleep with the excitement of playing in the tournament.
With the opening ceremony, referees debrief and healthy dose of mahambri barazi and chai done by 8:45, all the players were raring to go for their matches.
All 6 group matches were extremely close affairs, with the team winning 1 and losing 5, which meant that we did not qualify and were knocked out in the group stages.
What was heartening to see, was that the team never gave up and their heads did not drop even though they lost the first 4 matches with the win coming in the fifth match.
Each and every player gave it their all on the day and some of the intricate play and the goals scored during the group matches were a joy to watch.
I’m sure the boys had a great time playing in MAMT, and the experience of taking part will hold them in good stead for future fixtures be it friendlies or other external tournaments.
Points to take home from this tournament, the players should never fear the opposition regardless of how big or strong they are.
Under 15 match reports:
With the referee’s talk done and a few short drills we were ready to go. There was a sense of calm confidence, all the coaches were prepared. Our teams were split into two groups. Group B had 3 Stanmore teams – Stanmore Blue, Stanmore Yellow and Stanmore Orange.
Coach: Abbas Merali
1.Muhammad Zayn Kalyan (GK)
2.Muhammad Jawad Virjee (C)
5.Mohammed Abbas Lilani
Coach: Mohammed Valjy
1.Ali Abbas Dossa (GK)
6.Ammar Jehta (C)
Coach: Shams Janmohamed
3.Abid Karawalli (C)
5.Kumail Aarif Merali
Stanmore Blue won all their games comfortably except a nail biter of a match with Hyderi. With the score 2-2 a last minute conceded goal gave Hyderi a win. Stanmore Blue deserved at least a draw. The highlight of the match was a nutmeg by Mahdi Lahda and a cracking goal straight after. After qualifying from the group stage Stanmore Blue were eventually knocked out by Stanmore Green the eventual losing finalists.
Stanmore Yellow also had an impressive group stage losing only to Hyderi and a nervous encounter with Stanmore Blue. Qualifying impressively with some great goals from Irfaan Kanji. They played Birmingham in the quarter -final. A close encounter with the match ending 1-1, Stanmore Yellow eventually went out on penalties.
Stanmore Orange fought hard and gave 150% commitment but did not get to the knock out stage. A special call out to Aliraza Abbas Aliraza who showed some great touches throughout the matches.
Group A had 4 teams –
Stanmore Black, Stanmore Green, Stanmore White And Stanmore Purple.
Coach: Sabir Datoo
1.Hussayn Meghjee (GK)
4.Mohammed Mehdi Karim (C)
Coach: Hassnain Suleman
1.Owais Mawjee (GK)
3.Imran Dewji (C)
Coach: Kumayl Panju
3.Yasir Merali (C)
Coach: Gibran Pirbhai
1.Mohammad Ali Hasnain
2.Ali Noorali Nasser
3.Mohamed Noorali Nasser (C)
4.Ali Reza Kassam
5.Saami Hussein Jaffer
Stanmore Blacks won all their games in the group stage. Stanmore Greens started off on the back foot with a late injury announced just before the start of the tournament. They managed to scrape through the group stage with a huge goal difference. Their most memorable match against Peterborough which they won 3-0.
Stanmore Whites also finished on 7 points which was impressive. Their
1- 0 win against Greens was their best game. Stanmore Purple didn’t qualify through the group stage however with each game they got better. Special mention to our new coach.
In the quarter finals Stanmore Blacks met Peterborough Stars. With a resounding win they met Birmingham in the semi-final which they won 2-0 another great performance they were now in the final.
In the other quarter final Stanmore Greens were pitted against Stanmore Blue who were the favourites to win this tie. However sjfa Greens beat them with a 4-0 win. The most satisfying win for their coach. SJfA Greens met Peterborough in the semi-final who knocked out Hyderi. It was a tight game but the tactics were spot on and Greens won 1-0.
Two Stanmore teams in the final. Blacks v Greens. Blacks the clear favourites with a 100% win record and Greens with no subs left due to injuries. Whispers from the crowd that this is going to be a one sided game. The Blacks did dominate and scored but the Greens dug deep and with a bit of good luck scored the equaliser.
Final whistle and it’s down to penalties. After the 3 penalties the score was tied at 2 each. Sudden death ! Blacks step up and score . Greens hit the post and miss. What a final. Congratulations to Sabir (Coach)and his team for winning the u15’s Mamt Tournament. Sjfa Blacks worked hard for each other took directions from their coach it was A perfect performance from start to finish. A special mention to Munatzir Ramji (Greens) one of the youngest players who played every minute of every game he was was irreplaceable. Remember his name there’s plenty more to come.
Tier 5 and Tier 6 Managers
Mohammed Valjy & Hassnain Suleman
Under 18 match reports:
Stanmore Black 1-0 Milton Keynes
Stanmore Black 2-0 Stanmore Green
Stanmore Black 3-0 Leicester
Stanmore Black 0-0 Hyderi
Stanmore Black 0-0 Stanmore Blue
Stanmore Black 0-1 Leicester (Semi Final)
Shahid Abbas Jaffer (C)
Arif Bandali (Coach)
There was a sense of excitement as we all gathered on one of the pitches to hear the final instruction from the head referee. We then made our way to the pitch where we would play all our games. Whilst doing our pre-match warm up routine, I could see the players discussing the forthcoming games in our tough group and what we would need to do to navigate through it. As the coach of this team, it was great to see their commitment.
Shahid Abbas Jaffer, the captain of this team of dedicated players has given his thoughts on the tournament:
Stanmore Black had managed to put together a strong squad despite the loss of many key players to injury and to being a year older so no longer being eligible. Many of the teams had never played together before, with 5 new faces in the team, the boys took a bit of time to adjust to each other and understand each others’ game. Half of the team were playing in a highly competitive under 18s category for the first time, however, the players showed their tactical nous and ability by quickly settling into the system set up by coach Arif Bandali. After a few training sessions, a match against a very strong adults team was set up, and after a shaky start, a mature and tenacious performance from the team resulted in a 4-2 win after coming twice from behind.
In good spirits, the team entered the tournament on Saturday with their mindsets calm and composed, and put in a very strong performance before lunch, sitting in second place, off the top only on goals scored. Lunch almost seemed to come at the wrong time for the team, as we never really got back into our stride after lunch, with back to back games against Stanmore Blue and Hyderi finishing 0-0 and resulting in a second place finish, 2 points off the top. The semi final game against Leicester, whom we had beaten 3-0 in the group stages, seemed to perhaps daunt the team as we never really settled in, and a well worked move from Leicester resulted in Stanmore Black conceding our first and only goal of the tournament, which ultimately knocked us out of the competition.
The team were all very disappointed and despaired at the result, as we really felt we had the ability and potential to go all the way this year. Despite the nervous performance in the semi final, the team performed very well throughout the day and each player merited their inclusion with strong performances when called upon. The younger members of the team will learn from this and become better, hoping to bring back the U18 trophy which has somehow evaded us recently.
Stanmore Blue 0-0 Birmingham
Stanmore Blue 0-0 Milton Keynes
Stanmore Blue 3-0 Stanmore Green
Stanmore Blue 1-0 Leicester
Stanmore Blue 0-1 Hyderi
Stanmore Blue 0-0 Stanmore Black
Stanmore Blue 0-0 Hyderi
Lost 4-2 on pens.
Abbas Kermalli (C)
Hussein Pirbhai (Coach)
Not having worked with this group of players until the day of the tournament I was impressed by the positive mentality of the squad and their focus. On the pitch the boys showed great team ethics and I can’t remember a single moment where they let each other down. Having said that a lot of thanks has to go to Arif Bandali and Mustafa Ramji on the way they have trained the teams and teaching them their duties on the pitch not just going forward but defensively.
Having drawn three games 0-0, it was difficult to take for me and the boys especially as all three results should have warranted wins if it wasn’t down to exceptional goalkeeping on the day. Massive positive was only conceding one goal in the tournament which was an error and could have easily been avoided, nevertheless. This showed how the boys have picked up on being compact defensively and making them hard to beat in training.
Unfortunately the tournament came to an end against Hyderi, the eventual winners, on penalties in the semi finals…. Credit to the boys for a battling performance during the game where they held their own and bettered the results from the group stages. This type of spirit and team ethos should place these boys in good stead for the future and I can only see good things to come from them.
Stanmore Black 2-0 Stanmore Green
Stanmore Green 1-2 Milton Keynes
Stanmore Green 0-3 Stanmore Blue
Peterborough 3-1 Stanmore Green
Stanmore Green 0-5 Hyderi
Kashif Fazli (C)
Mustafa Ramji (Coach)
Much of Stanmore Green’s squad faced the challenge of a first year in the highly competitive Under 18s category. However, the players showed great tactical maturity and displayed their competitive spirit by continuing to fight throughout the tournament, despite the challenging circumstances. In the first few games, results were close and lost only through wonder strikes from the opposition. Halfway through however, the loss of excellent goalkeeper Mujtaba Govani meant that outfield players were forced to fill in. Going forward, the team improved through the tournament, using space wisely to counterattack. This was certainly a learning experience for an inexperienced coach and squad, who look forward to learning and improving in the upcoming season.