The second day of an intense debut for our U11 team in an interstate national tournament in hot and sunny Queensland saw the boys produce a second half masterclass to secure an incredible win.
The Gold Coast Cup tournament had been a chastening experience for us as players, coaches and parents in the past. Biennial anticipation for this spring event was often mixed with pain, suffering and stiff drinks by the end of the week. Some of the losses over the years promoted a significant amount of self reflection and many a slurred late night venting about how were robbed, despite the heavy scoreline deficits, down at our favourite Italian restaurant in Broadbeach.
Enter our fearless U11 team for their debut at the tournament coached by the effervescent Marcela ‘Bielsa’. Bielsa was not only known for her coaching nous but in addition, her post match pool recovery sessions are world class. To the point where the boys looked forward to their post match routine more than the games themselves!
The opening game of the tournament was a cracker of a tussle against the much fancied Brisbane City. The boys struck the underside of the bar early in the contest but were left to rue this missed chance. A 2 – 1 loss meant that the afternoon match up against tournament host club, Mudgeeraba, would be make or break in terms of staying alive in the tournament at this early stage.
And so at the ‘Home of Soccer Finesse’ as per the words inscribed on the main stand at the venue, the afternoon kick off and Game #2 had all the makings of a classic. The afternoon Queensland heat was sapping, the game was scrappy and the boys graciously accepted the half time Gatorades. We were 1 -0 up but Bielsa wasn’t convinced. Passes not crisp enough to feet, too static in possession, no rhythm to our game. Sorry boys – just not good enough. If the boys wanted a pool session that afternoon they had a lot of work to do to earn it!
What followed was one of the most incredible second half performances we have ever seen from a FdA team. Tackles snapped in and the ball fizzed around in lovely triangles to feet. Overlapping runs produced pinpoint crosses and headed finishes. Cut backs were angled across the keeper into the back of the net. Three goals and twenty five minutes later the final whistle blew on a huge day of football. All roads led to the hotel pool and Broadbeach for a mini celebration. What we had witnessed in that second half was truly special from our super U11s.
Editor’s note for our readers:
We did request an interview with Ev, Ollie G and Ale who all played in this memorable match in sunny Queensland. Unfortunately the boys declined the interview because they couldn’t remember the game!