It’s been another exciting weekend for TNS Academy and, as always, Jason Brindley tells us all about it in his weekly report.
On Saturday morning our U8s welcomed Coedpoeth to Park Hall Stadium for a fixture, whilst our U16s trained on the opposite side of the pitch. It was a very good game with both teams playing attacking football and scoring some really good goals.
Following the U8s game and U16s training session, our Community Foundation U15s team faced off against Rochdale in the JPL. The 15s are taking the league by storm in the first season we have entered a Foundation team and next week they face Somerset in the Nationals Cup, hopefully a good test for them.
Next up on the conveyer belt that is our first team stadium’s magnificent pitch was our Community Foundation’s U13s, again in JPL action against a very good Pro Elite Academy. Pro Elite really took the game to our young Saints but they responded with some excellent defending and their counter attacking was also at its finest.
Good to see the U13s showing great understanding of recent training topics and putting it to practice on the field, it was extremely pleasing. Straight after our 13s finished it was time for our first team to face Bangor in the JD Welsh Premier League, in what was a great game.
It’s brilliant for us at TNS to be able to host so many games and contacts on our 3G home pitch. It just wouldn’t be possible if it was a grass pitch so the best idea was getting that and it’s no surprise that since TNS were the first team to get an artificial pitch, so many have followed.
Away from Park Hall, our U10s and U11s competed in GAP Futsal at Deeside Leisure Centre. Its non-competitive at the younger ages and it’s short and sharp, with each team from across North Wales bringing their youngsters for a round robin of short games. Futsal is very technical and its good for our youngsters; they all enjoy it and it is very quick.
On Sunday our U12/14/16s competed in Competitive FAW Futsal, again at Deeside. The format is similar to the youngsters but results are kept with teams competing in a league, then facing off against one another. All three age groups were in good positions after doing well in the previous two.
This Sunday saw the final league fixtures before the playoffs/finals. All teams were competing to get into the top 4 to reach the Finals weekend on the 28th and a possible trip to Cardiff to represent North Wales in the National Finals.
Our U14s were up first and did well, competing in a fantastic game against Connah’s Quay Nomads and doing enough overall to finish in the play-offs.
Next up our U16s, who had it in their hands but had to win all games against some of the tougher Academies in the league. They however did not disappoint, taking maximum points on the day. Despite starting maybe a little slow for their standards they were soon flying and put in some real top performances.
Finishing the running of the day were the U12s. They played some really good Futsal at times and can consider themselves unfortunate not to have qualified, a game of fine margins and never more so true.
To finish the weekend our U10s and U11s travelled to local side Cefn Druids on Sunday morning. Druids contain a number of former TNS players so it was good to see old faces who are still enjoying their football. Our U10s got off to a bit of a slow start but they were soon firing on all cylinders with some excellent goals, both individually and collectively.
Our U11s played 9-a-side, getting ready for the format they will be playing next season. They were outstanding also. The recent topic of playing out from the back was clearly evident and players showed fantastic knowledge with Druids trying to press high. Two goals came from our goalkeeper Tom.
When they dropped off them our defenders got on the ball and looked to move through the thirds, first into midfield then wide with quick combinations. They looked like a miniature version of the first team – great identity. The boys were so brave on the ball, I was really proud of what I saw.
Rounding up the weekend, I am really pleased. Loads of football, opportunities to learn and to see recent training topics come out in practice shows their understanding and that the programme is working. This weekend I have seen the U8s, 10s, 11s, 13s, 16s and our first team vs Bangor.
Honestly, you can see the same playing style from all, the ideas are the same, the principles are the same. I’ve never felt so excited about the Academy.