Wigan Athletic v TNS (Sat 21 Feb 2015)
The under 10, 11 and 12s travelled to St John Rigby College, Wigan, to play Championship side Wigan Athletic’s academy teams
The grass pitches were deemed unplayable, so we adapted and played on the artificial surface. The U12s played against Wigan’s U11s in a 9 a side game.
The younger players were split into groups of 4 or 5 and played several 6 minute small sided games. They were rotated so each team played different opponents, and each of the games had different conditions.
The small sided games included Small goals (no goalkeepers), 2goals v 2goals, Line ball, larger goals with goal keepers.
At first some of the boys were disappointed with not playing their normal 7v7 or 8v8 but as the Wigan Athletic coach stated this is played very often around the academies, as it encourages 1v1, 2v2, teamwork, overloads, etc.
Each player certainly saw more of the ball than they would have if they had played in the larger format, and as the opposition coaches didn’t actually coach on the day it allowed players to improve on decision making. The players were allowed to ‘ref’ their own games on the day which our lads took a little time to get used to, but again it did bring out different attributes in certain players.
Having watched many of the players on display, the individual’s skill level was excellent. Our boys were allowed to play, express themselves and with results not recorded, the focus was not on winning at all costs.
The Under 12s
Played 4 quarters against a very skilful opposition, the results were recorded as below
Squad : Spencer Parrish, Liam Rawlings, Luke Wicks, Regan Jones, Matt Marshall, Jack Brindley, Alfie Martin, Jack Parry, Josh Davies, Louie Millington
As the scoreline reflects the results of the first 3 quarters were very close, both goalkeepers were in fine form.One sour note late into the game Louie Millington hurt is back and had to come off, we wish him a speedy recovery.
The Under 12s (Sun 22 Feb 2015)
Aberystwyth 1 TNS 1
Squad : David Williams, Liam Rawlings, Luke Wicks, Regan Jones, Matt Marshall, Jack Brindley, Alfie Martin, Ben Buley, Kyle McLeod, Morgan Daykin, Jack Parry, Josh Davies,
TNS made the long trip to Aberystwyth and were greeted by freezing temperatures and heavy rain. Despite the weather, both teams tried to play good possession football. The game was played as 3 x 20 minutes thirds.
After the first third it was goalless. During the middle third TNS took the lead with a good finish from Jack Parry. Aberystwyth equalised during the final third.
The weather certainly did not help the game, but both teams were evenly matched and it was a great experience for the team to travel by coach, to play a team in the Southern section of the Welsh setup. The boys enjoyed watching the respective senior teams later in the day at Park Avenue.
Under 14s (Sun 22 Feb 2015)
Aberystwyth 2 TNS 2
The team included:
Tom Jones, Owen Platt, Sam Jones, Haci Ozlu, Callum Murphy, Harry Bower, Liam Ihekwoaba, James Gregory-Cork, Dan Smith, James Parry, Darren Evans, Ben Pritchard, Tomos Williams, Jordan Tipping, Sam Fowles
TNS 14s made the trip to Aberystwyth for fixtures with the 12s and 16s before watching the first team.
The conditions were awful. Cold, wet and windy in equal measure.
TNS 14s struggled to start, the pitch proving extremely slippy. Aberystwyth took the lead against the run of play. TNS were starting to create chances, Harry Bower going close before Darren Evans equalised, being put through by James Parry.
Both teams were struggling to string passes together.
In the second half TNS started bright but chances created were hit straight at the Aber keeper. TNS did take the lead midway through the second half, Harry Bower crossing from the right and Darren Evans attacking the front post to continue his recent good form.
TNS creates a further chances but again failed to put the game to bed.
In the dying moments a mix up whilst trying to play out aloud the Aberystwyth striker in on goal, who equalised to end the game Aberystwyth 2-2 TNS.
After the game, coach Jason Brindley said:
“Disappointed with today. The conditions and the pitch were poor. I know not all teams can have the same luxuries as a 3G pitch like ourselves but we should of at least been playing on a pitch with the correct diameters and goal sizes, especially after traveling so far down. I’m not one for excuses though and we did struggle to get going today. The pitch was small but we seemed to make it smaller. Our passing game was poor. The boys have set a standard recently, they need to keep hitting that standard. We have a very busy period coming up so the boys know they have to impress, with one eye already on squads for next season.”
Under 15s (Sun 22 Feb 2015)
TNS 1 Flint 0
TNS Squad from-
Ben Crump, Will Evans, Steve Mcdonnell, Jamie Monk, Rhys Thomas, Dennis Bates, Sean Kiff, Ryan Smith, Cameron Simpson, Rob Reynolds,Harry Jenks, Peter Fletcher, Taps Kamutasa, Will Dunne, Tom Hanna, Sean Phelan
TNS hosted Flint at a wet and windy Park Hall. TNS kicked off and went straight onto the front foot attacking the Flint defence. Dennis Bates captaining the side today led by example in midfield working hard alongside Sean Kiff and the pair soon won the ball and played in Harry Jenks. He seen his effort going the wrong side of the post. Cameron Simpson received the ball on the halfway line and beat his marker, his inch perfect cross was met by Rob Reynolds but his effort went over the bar with the keeper beaten. TNS had several chances to take the lead in the 1st half, Dennis Bates put his free kick just over the bar and the Flint keeper made saves from Cameron, Harry, Will and Sean. The 1st half ended goal less.
The lads were given instructions to look to play to feet and move the ball quicker. Peter Fletcher was introduced and started to get in and around the Flint players, linking up well with Will Dunne. Sean Kiff played the ball in between 2 defenders for Sean Phelan, who taken the ball in his stride and shot hard and low only to see the keeper push the ball around the post. The resulting corner was head just over. Flint were now being penned in and with all the pressure it was only a matter of time before TNS scored. The goal came from a Sean Kiff corner. The midfielder curled the corner into the box and straight in at the back post. The goal raised the lads and won the ball back straight from kick off. Dennis played the ball out to Jamie Monk at right back who played in Peter Fletcher and his quick thinking played in Ryan Smith out wide. Ryan beat his marker and his cross was hit goal bound by Sean Phelan that went agonizingly past the post. Flint couldn’t get out of their own half and put 10 behind the ball. TNS lads had to be patient in their play and went close again through Sean Phelan, Harry, Will and Rob again with the keeper pulling off some great saves. The game ended 1-0 to TNS.
Steve commented ” The lads had to be patient today against a hard working Flint team. In the 1st half the lads were a bit wasteful with the ball, they were asked at half time to look after the ball and to be patient, not to force the passes. We played them earlier in the season and won, they changed tactics today. They sat back, frustrating us and they played the long ball, trying to catch us out on the counter. Our defence were superb and never looked like conceding and I don’t think Ben has had to make a save. Their keeper was outstanding making 5 or 6 outstanding saves. We have had several 1 on 1’s that the keeper has saved or the ball has gone the wrong side of the post. On another day they go in for you! We kept a clean sheet and stay undefeated against the Welsh Premiere Academy sides. We will look to going back to basics in training and continue to work hard and improve, ready for our next game.”