TNS Academy 2017/2018 Awards – U-11s, U-12s, U-13s

As we conclude our Academy season at The New Saints FC for 2017-2018, writes Jason Brindley, we look back at what has been an excellent year for all involved.

We recently held our annual Academy end-of-season celebration day at The Venue, the home of the JD Welsh Premier League champions. In similar fashion to our first team, all age groups had a sit down meal and were dressed for the occasion.

As we have done all season, we want to make all our players feel as special as they are. It was a great day. All players received a TNS medal for their hard work and commitment over the season. There are three individual awards also. Supporters’ player, players’ player and coaches’ player.




Supporters’ Player Of The Season

The winner of this award has been instrumental to the team’s success over the past two seasons. To say this lad is a goal machine would be an understatement. Pace, power, ability, clever movement and wears his heart on his sleeve, the winner is every defender’s worst nightmare.  The attitude, determination, desire and passion this player shows during every contact is incredible, I have enjoyed every minute working with this lad.

Callum Francis-Jones



Players’ Player Of The Season

In my opinion, there’s no better award to win. Imagine having the respect and appreciation of your teammates, what an amazing feeling that must be. This player is technically exquisite, a fantastic dribbler and a real team player.

After every match this lad asks for feedback, always wanting to learn and develop. He has worked so hard on developing his crossing, decision making in the final third and final product.

It’s incredible considering his talents but our winner actually lacks confidence massively, hopefully now after winning this award he’ll realise how good he is. Well done

Jakub Slosarczyk



Coach’s Player Of The Season

This lad really is amazing. Silky skills, great passing and so intelligent, he oozes class. I love watching him play. I first discovered the winner when I coached in the Schools for our Community Program in my previous role. Myself and Jason were determined to sign him.

Problem was his parents weren’t interested. We used to speak to his Mum after every session. We used to leave notes with our contact numbers in his book bag. Eventually we wore his Dad down and he agreed to bring him. Since then he’s never looked back, doing bits in every training session and match.

We’re blessed to work with so many talented players at TNS, but this winner really is at the top. I imagine it’s quite obvious now who the winner of this award is so hopefully he’s listening intently when I say it’s been a pleasure to work with you. Keep chasing your dream.

Alfie Harrison



Jason Brindley:

“Along with our 9s, this is another group who really demonstrate the TNS DNA though understanding of our playing style and core principles. The never look to go long, always looking to play short combinations to work out how to get through opposition. Kieran has done an excellent job with the group. I have been fortunate enough to work with them once a week for the past season and they are such a great set of players. Lots of great memories, including playing Manchester United, participating in two tournaments abroad, amongst others.”





Supporters’ Player Of The Season

Well done to our U-12s supporters’ player of the season. This player shows a great commitment and attitude to training. He is intelligent and understands the TNS DNA, often answering questions during matches and training, linked into the playing philosophy of the club.

This player has had an extremely good season and we are glad that it has been recognised by our parents. He is instrumental to the team, has added communication to his game which is key. He is the first line of attack and the last line of defence, always ready when called upon with lightning fast reflexes and flexibility to somehow pull off the most spectacular saves.

Henry Green



Players’ Player Of The Season

To be picked as the player who has been the best throughout the whole season by your teammates is a special accolade to receive.

This player has made a huge difference to the team this season. He is quiet and unassuming but gives his all in each and every game. His ability to defend in 1v1 situations and understanding of his role when defending as a unit has contributes greatly to some excellent results this season.

Seb Taylor



Coach’s Player Of The Season

This player has attended more sessions and games than any other player in the group. I have had the privilege to coach him for the past three years and have watched him go from strength to strength, growing not only as a player but also an inspirational person who is looked up to by everyone in the squad.

He is hardworking, determined, dedicated, polite, and well-mannered and if that wasn’t enough he is in my opinion the best GK for his age I have ever seen.

Henry Green



Jason Brindley:

“First and foremost I would like to thank Brett McBride for his great work and commitment with our Academy and more importantly this group over the past few seasons. Unfortunately Brett steps down and we wish him all the very best in the future. Our 12s contain some excellent youngsters, technically they are right up there. Part of the group participated in the Jamon Cup over the summer, a tournament that contained Spanish giants such as Real Madrid, Villareal and Athletico Madrid.”

Farewell, Brett




Supporters’ Player Of The Season

Such a special award to receive and this player has really earnt it this season. On many occasions, he has used his technical ability, understanding of the game and shown great confidence to stop the opposition from scoring and his pace and strength is also very impressive.

This player is always thinking what’s next even when he is not on the ball. Out of possession he communicates well and will run through brick walls for his teammates. In possession he makes good decisions and plays forward with confidence which I like a lot. He understands to play with patience and plays with passion.

This player shows a great understanding of the TNS DNA and his attitude, commitment and great sense of humour is a pleasure to be around.

Dan Cabral



Players’ Player Of The Season

This player has had a huge effect on our season this year and to be voted as the players’ player is a special award to receive.

On and off the pitch, he has a big role within our squad. The responsibility he takes on in big moments in games is very impressive. He has scored many goals from distance in key moments which for a 13 year old, can be very daunting when the clock is ticking in the game whilst making decisions on the ball.

Having said that, I see how the players treat him off the pitch. He is very well respected and has a great sense of humour. I believe this player can really motivate others even before a ball is kicked and these type of skills are huge for a big character in a team.

His biggest strength in my opinion is his technical ability. This area in his game is very impressive and is incredibly versatile along with great confidence using both feet. He also plays in a position on the pitch which comes with lots of pressure so decision making is key which matches his technical ability.

Harry McVeigh



Coach’s Player Of The Season

This player is an incredible individual on the pitch and off the pitch and has had a fantastic season all around.

Starting with his kindness, social skills & humour off the pitch, along with the post-match debriefs & 1-2-1 discussions are mind blowing for a 13 year old boy.

His attention to detail and passion for the game is extremely impressive which I personally think also rubs off onto other players. We have regular chats regarding football in general and different styles of play.

He has what I call a skill who gets on with everybody and has a lot of respect from his peers and coaches and would do anything for anybody.

Moving onto the pitch:

There is a reason why a small amount of players only like to play in a position that he normally plays but also is successful at it and that’s mainly because in my opinion, he is in an area where there is a lot of pressure and danger on the pitch. He has to be aware of what’s in front of him, behind him and of course to the side as there may be opposition players travelling from every direction.

There is a lot to think about, which I think is his biggest strength and having said that, his technical ability is not too shabby either and not to mention his intelligence and hard work off the ball also.

I believe he improves every game in all 4 corners of development and continues to constantly ask for advice/thoughts on his performance.

Having said all of the positives above, what impresses me the most is he always plays with a smile.

Adam Tirebuck



Jason Brindley:

“Well done to our U13s, who have had a good season. We recruited well in the summer and added some really good young players to add to what was already a good group. They began the season early with a tournament in France and also participated in the first ever TNS International Football Festival at Park Hall Stadium. This season they have played under our Community Foundation umbrella in the JPL for the first time ever. The boys have enjoyed playing again in a competitive environment. Big thanks to Nick for beginning the season and building the foundations within the group and also to Danny who has led them over the course of the season, a really good group who we look forward to seeing develop next season.”



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Photos: Brian Jones




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