This week saw the Foxes Silvers begin their cup campaign against a strong Ballers team whom had only lost once all season in the gold league.
This week’s training session was focused on our movement off the ball however, with only FOUR at training the session was adapted to focus on the passing and receiving techniques rather than our movement off the ball.
The session was great with Gyan, Ossian, Alex and a recovered Max all putting in a real shift and focussing well on their technique and doing so with high energy.
Sunday may have arrived but the problems of Saturday still plagued the squad, with only SEVEN arriving for match day the Foxes would have to line up against this strong outfit with no subs, meaning all in attendance were going to have put in the energy of not just themselves but also their absent teammates.
Before the game we spoke about accepting the pain and setbacks and still giving everything as that is the only way we can overcome adversity. I used the example of James “Buster” Douglas’s victory over Mike Tyson and how he overcame much adversity to become the heavyweight champion of the world.
The Foxes lined up in a 1-3-2 formation with Ossian in goal, Jonah in defence, Charles on the right, Cameron in the centre, Alex on the left and Gyan and Flynn up front. The intent was to preoccupy their defence with a strong attacking approach. We knew the Ballers had built their squad around their huge player, which includes their Keeper, Defence, Midfield and Striker!! The idea was to keep them busy by dealing with our attacks that they wouldn’t have the time or energy to attack and when they were on the ball, we would press straight away until the ball was back in our possession.
For twenty minutes the game plan was working fantastically well with the Foxes forcing mistakes and then pushing forward, on many occasions we entered their box and looked very threatening however, we could not get that shot on target until, Cameron from the edge of the box offload a stinging strike which is tipped over by the keeper.
Pressing hard and flying forward at the opposition started to take its toll on the Foxes, whom had no replacements to keep things fresh, and so disaster struck… The Ballers made a few changes and before you knew it their fresh legs combined with our fatigued legs saw us concede 4 goals in five minutes, all from their big man!
Half time arrived and the squad, although 4 goals down, still had the belief that we could get something. We decided to revert back to our normal formation of 2-3-1 with Flynn moving into defence and Cameron going in goal in place of Ossian whom occupied the centre of midfield.
For the next 25 minutes the Foxes continued to be more than individuals, they worked so well as a unit. Working hard together they pressed everything, forced mistakes and at times played some breath taking football, however the Ballers also made a change at half time. They placed their 5’6 player in goal and this meant all our threats were easily dealt with by a keeper whom dwarfed the goal.
The minutes were running out but the energy, fight and desire in the Foxes play did not dip at all – the final whistle came and the score finished 4-0 to the Ballers.
In life we all lose, we all have setbacks and we must all overcome adversity to be successful, for success is determined by how we deal with such setbacks.
Today after conceding so many goals so quickly many would have excused the Foxes for letting their heads drop, but not the Foxes Silver, each player refused to accept defeat and went out onto that pitch and showed the fans, opposition and myself just how much strength and desire they have in them.
With the attitude, commitment and sheer tenacity that was on display today there is no doubt in my mind that when our passing game comes together, the Foxes Silvers shall evoke fear in every opponent we come up against!
The only way to achieve this though is through training, successful footballers and indeed people successful in any career do not get to where they are because they trained/worked occasionally, they got to the top because they work hard and trained hard at every session. Discipline and success goes hand in hand, the way to the top is simple but the path is difficult and only those whom are willing to give everything will ever be able to say they got everything.
A huge, huge thank you to the players in attendance today, your commitment, desire, fight and willingness to work for each other is valued greatly and shall not be forgotten.
A huge thank you to the parents in attendance, your support and encouragement helped create such a wonderful atmosphere which aided the Silvers in staying focused and working hard from the first minute to the last, really a huge thank you.
A big well done to all the team, this week you are all my Man of the Match as I cannot pick out a best performer, all your work rate and desire were top, top quality.
I hope you have a good week and I hope to see you all at training next weekend.