By Jason Brindley
It’s been an extremely exciting weekend for all involved with The New Saints Football Club.
On Saturday morning our U8-U11s travelled to face Connah’s Quay at the Quay 3G. All games were evenly contested. Our U11s played their first game of 9-a-side playing 18 yards to 18 yards in preparation for next season. Despite the additional space that was new to the players they soon adjusted well.
Thanks to Connah’s Quay for the fixtures.
Our Community Foundation U13s were away in JPL action to 780 Coaching and continued their recent run of form with another good performance.
Our Community Foundation U15s travelled to Leeds to face UFCA in the JPL. Our 15s have started the season well and have performed well in their new league. They continued this run over the weekend with a strong performance against a good UFCA team.
On Sunday our U10s, 11s and U12s travelled to face Manchester United. It was another fantastic experience and opportunity for our Academy youngsters to play against one of the biggest clubs in the world. All age groups did themselves and the club a huge amount of credit.
To come to Manchester United and to see the boys remain true to our football identity and principles was brilliant. The boys were seeking to receive the ball in tight areas, brave enough to trust team mates and themselves to play the way we always do. It shows how far we have come as an Academy that are players are able to do that and confidently enough too.
The final highlight of the weekend, and main event, was our first team fixture against Queen of the South in the Irn-Bru Cup. We knew the strength of the opposition and the amount of fans that were travelling down so called on our Academy players and families to get behind our first team and we had a fantastic turn-out of support.
And they weren’t disappointed as the fixture was end-to-end and thrilling to say the least, finishing in penalty shoot-out glory with our keeper and captain Paul Harrison scoring and then saving the final penalty with all our cheering Academy youngsters behind the goal.
Jason Brindley commented on the weekend:
“Hardly chance to catch our breath back after a thrilling weekend for all involved with The New Saints FC and Academy. Saturdays games against Connah’s Quay were close as always and our U16s trained at Park Hall Stadium following our first team’s final session in preparation for Sundays Irn-Bru Cup fixture.
Sunday morning we again made the journey to Manchester to take on one of, if not the, biggest clubs in world football. It’s great to have these fixtures against United, amongst others, on a regular basis. The boys were a real credit too and played some great football.
Finally, on Sunday our Academy turned up in force to watch our first team in Scottish Irn-Bru Quarter-Final action against a strong Queen of the South team. It was great to see the support of our Academy, they aspire to be one of the players they are supporting one day and there is no one better to watch to fully understand and see that playing identity and DNA than The New Saints.”