The SJFA Tier 3 has almost 60 registered players, a manager, and three coaches.
SJFA vs Al-Muntada School
After a week of no games last week, I was over the moon when our fearless leader-elect, Uncle Mo, informed me he had managed to find us a game against al-Muntada School for our U10s. Now, a few points to set the scene:
- This was the first game we have played at our home venue – The Hive.
- It was absolutely freezing, the coldest I can remember for a long, long time.
- Despite more hints from me, no parent brought any chai, let alone any nasto. How to get over this will be a key objective for the next match.
The game was 8 a-side, and I was informed that the opposition would be bringing a mixture of year 5s and year 6s. This was fine by me with full knowledge of the ability and skill levels of our boys.
Our squad managed by Bruce was:
Aqeel Bhimani (GK)
Alireza Hamir (captain)
Husayn Ali Abbas Ismail
Muhammad Aqeel Mavani
Abid Hasan Ravji
I was extremely pleased to welcome Yasin and Abid for their debuts.
The opposition lined up quite defensively. I had decided to continue our attacking formula, and lined the team up in a 2-3-2 formation. My rotating defenders were Abbas, Muhammad Aqeel, and Abid. In the midfield I rotated Jaabir, Alireza, and Yasin. And up front we had the similar trio of Husayn, Ammaar, and Hasan.
Once again, our attacking flair showed what it can do, with Husayn netting a hat-trick in about five minutes. Towards the end of the first half, a great corner was met by Abid’s head, to score on his debut! Tier 3 somehow has a knack of debutants scoring and it happened again. Well done Abid.
At one point al-Muntada were through on goal only to be brought down unfairly, and they pummelled home the penalty to pull one back. 4-1 to SJFA at half time.
I did not want to keep any player off for too long due to the cold so regular substitutions were being made. For most of the second half we played either 2-2-3 or 2-1-4, and the goals kept on coming.
I must say that every player played really well and gave it 100%. Abbas was solid as ever at the back, and Yasin played intelligently on the right wing. Aqeel saved a second al-Muntada penalty after a hand ball, and Abid and Muhammad Aqeel were marking the opposition out of the game. Husayn bagged a bunch of goals and Hassan and Ammaar finished off some good moves; in the middle, Alireza and Jaabir controlled the game.
Result and goal scorers
SJFA 13 – 1 Al-Muntada School
The goals came from all over the team, and this is very pleasing:
Husayn = 6
Ammaar = 3
Abid = 1
Alireza = 1
Hassan = 1
Own goal = 1
I would like to appreciate al-Muntada. They came from a long way away in challenging weather. Their boys showed good spirit and gave us a very good game.
What we learned
- Our attacking formations seem to be working
- We are starting games much better with higher tempo
- I would like to work on developing more power in our long range shots
- Our defending at set pieces needs some work
Selection for games
Every week at The Hive, the coaches will be looking out for two key qualities: ability and attitude. Such players will be invited to play in the games. It is very important that the players take The Hive practices seriously, and demonstrate their skills every week.
Our motto: we back our skills, no matter who the opposition
This means our boys should feel confident to back their skills no matter what the format, who the opposition, or what surface they play on.
Manager – Tier 3, SJFA