PROCTOR CUP 2017 - Under 15 Girls Review
The 15 Girls, along with the under 13’s and under 17’s, travelled to Bathurst this past weekend to take part in the Proctor Cup. Pooled in Group B with 2 Premier League 2 teams and two country association teams, it would prove to be an excellent weekend to gauge the girls progress in preparation for our season due to start at the beginning of April.
Our first game on Saturday afternoon was against the country association team from Wagga Wagga. After a nervous start, the girls got quickly into their stride, and the offensive and defensive systems of play we have been working on started to show some signs of life. We soon scored a great individual goal from Anna, and then 2 more gals saw us run out comfortable 3-0 winners. The early signs were very encouraging.
Our second game was against Sydney Olympic who play in Premier League 2. It would prove to be a wonderful game. The first half saw us more than hold our own, with some great defending, and then turning that into some great patient play when in possession of the ball, saw it 0-0 at half time. The girls were showing some great commitment and were up for the fight. Then with 10 minutes to go, a great team goal which saw about 6 first time passes set Jess Fearns clear on goal against the goalkeeper, where she kept her cool to give us the lead. Olympic reacted to going a goal down, but with the girls desperately defended and continually threw themselves in front of shots. We looked destined to secure the result in our favour. But then the referee decided to award Olympic a penalty with a handball which was dubious at best. However, Nat in goal was going to have none of it and made a great save to her right to turn the ball to the side of the goal. But the referee was not finished with us and awarded Olympic a second penalty not even a minute later. This time they converted. So at full time it finished 1-1, but most certainly we had proven to ourselves that we had shaded Olympic with our performance.
Sunday morning saw the girls turn up for the game with Bathurst full of confidence. They were set the challenge to repeat their efforts from the previous day. But the girls decided that simply repeating their efforts was not going to be good enough, and then proceeded to completely dominate Bathurst for the 40 minutes of the game. The score ended up 5-0, but could easily have been 10 or 11. Anyone who had the pleasure to have watched this game would have gone away completely satisfied with having watched a game played the way you love to see your football played. It was one of those times as a coach when you have simply nothing to add or say to your players, so complete was their performance.
So on to our last game against Bankstown City, another Premier League 2 side. A win would guarantee us a place in the semi-finals of the tournament. Unfortunately, we were drawn to play on the poorest of all the fields, and the up and down surface did not really suit us. With only an hour in between our earlier game, and with the temperature approaching 34 C, saw the girls a little flat. We dominated the early stages of the first half, but Bankstown finished on top leading into half time. Half time saw the girls asked for one last effort, and they responded, just like they had at every stage of the weekend. It would be fair to say that we once again outplayed our more fancied opponents in the second half, but could not get the goal that would have sent us through to the semi-finals in the end, and the game finished 0-0.
From a coaching point of view there were some great positives to come out of the weekend, that saw the girls really shine and set us up for a good season. 4 games played against good opposition undefeated. Some great combination play from back to front and a defensive effort that saw us concede no goals from general play with the only goal being conceded being from a spot kick.
Thank you to all the parents for the support and giving up a weekend spent in wonderful Bathurst. It proved to be a great weekend for forming bonds and getting some valuable confidence for the season ahead. Well done girls.