It was a weekend with a difference for The New Saints FC Academy, as we approach December and have festivity on the horizon, writes Jason Brindley.
On Saturday morning, our Foundation Phase Academy players participated in the Rotary run Christmas Parade through Oswestry Town centre.
Our specially decorated football themed float contained a number of our young players along with Academy staff.
The float is put together and run by our Community Foundation team, excellently displaying their hard work within the local Community. It is an annual event and one that is really impressive, with loads of different floats and themes.
Christmas is a magical time of year and we embrace the season of good will with our youngsters who had an amazing time.
Also on Saturday, we welcomed Wirral Schools U12s to Park Hall Stadium. Wirral Schools are an excellent team, containing players from numerous top Academies.
We always have very good games against Wirral and Saturday was no different. Wirral started the game the stronger, pressing very well and limiting our young Saints to only a few opportunities.
After the first third, we spoke about pressing more aggressively and showing desire to win the ball, something we felt was missing. Players responded well and really took onboard the message which was pleasing to see.
It was a superb advert for football with both teams playing with creativity and flair, with some excellent goals scored in a competitive and entertaining game.
On Sunday, our U12s and U14s played their final Academy Cup Super6 game before the winter break, with games away to Newtown and Airbus respectively.
Having faced both opposition in the initial group format leading to the Super6, we had an inkling of the challenge ahead for our players, and training last week effected that. Both age groups worked on areas to focus on both in and out of possession.
Our U16s also played Airbus in the Super6 in what was another good encounter with the Wingmakers. Every time we’ve faced them with the 16s this season, the game has been good. We thank them for hosting and look forward to the return leg.
Our U13s kicked of our Winter Futsal programme at Deeside Leisure Centre. We enjoy the Futsal Programme, playing different teams that provide different challenges in small sided quick games.
The game is very technical, yet tactical principles still apply. Our U13s enjoyed the day and we look forward to our U10/11/12/14s participating next week.
Our U12s and U14s are mandatory as per FAW Academy Cup regulations. It’s also competitive, with the Northern finalists travelling to House of Sport, Cardiff City FC, to compete in National Finals.
To conclude the weekend, our U15s travelled to Flint Town United. We thank Flint for arranging at short notice and for the fixture.