Indesit Mini Cup Nationals held at Wembley on the 21st November 2015 The boys travelled south in anticipation of a wonderful adventure, 104 teams entered across the UK and we were happy to qualify for the tournament having won the regional heats in Manchester and Birmingham.
We had two teams namely: West Bromwich All Stars - a mixture of our developmental squad u8s, u9s and u10s Academy De Skills - our Elite boys full of creativity, technique and athleticism.
West Brom All Stars were drawn in Group A and ADS in Group B
Group B Whitley Bay Boys FC Beighton Blasters FFA u10s Total Football Academy FC St Albans Victoria Academy De Skillz
First up our boys were up against an excellent young team in FFA managed by Oliver Moore. FFA play football the right way and have always played with technique and skill. ADS played with a high tempo and scored some great goals leading to a 4-0 score line to ADS.
Next up Beighton Blasters the cold chill was being felt by the boys and the coaches had to keep the boys warm. Our GK was feeling cold given that he was simply a spectator. We played with pace, attacking down the flanks with our creative players and won 5-1.
We were pitted against St Albans Victoria and dominated the game playing some great football, switching the play at will and intricate 1-2s leading to a 3-0 win.
We were briefed by our Performance Analysts that he overheard the Total Football Academy coaches discussing tactics which involved being physical with our team and picking out one of our boys for some special treatment. We decided to change our team and played some great counter attacking football in a very physical game and won 4-2.
Our final group game was scheduled against Whitley Bays Boys FC, we played some great incisive football and created numerous opportunities leading to a 5-1 win.
Semi Finals As luck has it we were drawn agianst our Development Squad of West Brom All Stars.
It felt strange as the boys train together but this was at Wembley under the arches, we played on the counter attack and ended up winning 4-1.
Finals ADS vs Lisbon Juniors FC
This was the final all the neutrals wanted, we had played Lisbon Juniors in Manchester at the regional heats where we knocked out the club in the finals with a 5-3 win. The boys were ready despite the cold weather. Lisbon Juniors are affiliated with MUFC and we knew we were going to have to be at our best to beat them.
We kicked off the game and immediately conceded a penalty to go 1-0 down as the referee deemed us to be playing in the box....immediately we replied with a great team goal to level the scores at 1-1. We again conceded another penalty following another decision by the referee where we were deemed to be in the box. 2-1 down in the final. We pushed for an equaliser peppering the opposition goal and ended up with an overload down our left and conceded another goal for a 3-1 score line. Knowing the boys we could tell they were frustrated by the shoreline and immediately we attacked and pulled a goal back for a 3-2 score line. We were in the ascendency and were attacking at will and scored another great team goal for 3-3....game on....
The pressure was on Lisbon Juniors however in 10 minute games you do not have time to get the winner. The referee blew the whistle as we counter attacked for penalties. At ADS we recognised that this was a lottery.
We lost the shootout 3-2, the boys were gutted and cried their eyes out, we are not used to losing but we learn from our defeats, we can be better at pressing high up the pitch and developing our one touch play. The boys recognised that they had a wonderful experience and the hurt that they feel, they will channel into the next tournament and drive them all to continued success.
A big Thank You to all the parents for supporting the boys, without your commitment and desire we wouldn't be as successful. To the coaches thank you, the hard work starts tomorrow in our 121 sessions where we debrief the boys and work on improving technique and movement off the ball.