We approached the penultimate fixtures weekend for our U12/14/16s this weekend, as we welcomed Bala Town FC to Park Hall Stadium, writes Jason Brindley.
Our U12/14/16s compete in the FAW Academy Cup Super6, having initially qualifying alongside the other top five teams from North Wales.
We are the only Welsh club to qualify with all three age groups since the league format was restructured 3 years ago and we are very proud of our academy players’ achievements.
Bala Town were in good positions in all three age categories, resulting in some good standard games. We are extremely proud of all three age groups and have seen a great improvement this season, both individually and collectively as groups.
They have shown a great understanding of our TNS DNA, trusting our playing style, trusting themselves and their team mates. It’s never easy to keep playing our way when playing under pressure. To remain true to our playing philosophy is excellent to see.
Regardless of the outcome come the final weekend, we couldn’t have asked for more from each player this season. It’s not about winning trophies with children, but the development and improvement of the player. To me, this season has been one of the most successful since I started at the football club.
On Friday evening, we welcomed Connahs’s Quay Nomads to the home of the Champions of Wales to face our U13s. Our U13s are a group that have come a long way this season, with great improvements tactically and socially.
They are a really fun group with so many superb personalities. As they moved from 9 a side to 11 a side at the beginning of the season, we slowly started increasing the pitch size.
Our first team pitch is the maximum size in accordance with FIFA regulations and we slowly increase it as the season goes on, in preparation for U14s next season.
We want to develop technically sufficient players and to play to our style. With so much space for a 12/13-year-old boy, if we were to play full size, there’d be too much temptation and false success to kick and chase and it would become more about the physicality. The bigger boys would have success today, but we want to teach them to play.
Our U13s got off to a great start but Connah’s Quay responded well and had a couple of very good players. We thank them for travelling to us and look forward to playing them again soon.
On Saturday morning, Flint Town travelled to Park Hall Stadium to face our U8-11 age groups. Flint always have good age groups in the younger phases. They provide different challenges and it’s good to see our players respond and problem solve the challenges they are facing. We thank Flint for travelling.
Our U15s faced Brookhouse College on Saturday evening. Brookhouse are a private school from Leicester. They have some excellent players and last time out, they contained a couple of Nigerian International players. With our U15s getting back to strength, with players returning from injury, it was a very good standard of game with both teams playing some excellent stuff. We thank Brookhouse for travelling and look forward to facing them again in the future with different groups.
As we conclude the weekend, it was another positive one for all aspects of the football club. Our first team going top of the JD Welsh Premier League with an excellent performance against Connah’s Quay Nomads, our U19s performance Phase reaching the final of the FAW Youth Cup by beating Cardiff Metropolitan University, and our Academy continuing to improve.