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Under 8 - Match centre

Gosport (U8/U10 Festival)
City of Portsmouth Hockey Club
Sun 9 Dec 09:00 - Festival Start time 09:00

U8'S Hockey festival Gosport 09/12/18

A Roaring success for Jamie's Jaguars

Another Sunday another junior hockey festival.
We travelled to Gosport on a blustery morning for the next challenge of the busy junior hockey calendar.
Knowing that we are always slow to start, " just go out and have fun !" was the instruction for the first match against Fareham.
So that's exactly what they did, Fareham rarely threatened our goal due to some strong tackling in the midfield from Mia, Luke, Ellis and Toby.
Ellis is beginning to learn exactly how far he can push the ball infront of him and still get on the end of it using his strength and speed advantage and scored 2 good goals as a result of this new found talent. 2-0 Win . Player of Match, Ellis.

Match 2
Instructions for this match were to concentrate on our passing, make a decision and pass it hard!
It was easy to see that the children were trying to put this into practice, however we were ultimately undone by some moments of brilliance by one or two players from Chichester, namely Chris Butler Junior. 1-0 loss.
The positives from this match were, had it not been for some last ditch tackles by Isobel, Luke and Nathan we could have conceded more, furthermore, i was impressed by the extreme work rate of the whole team to get back behind the ball when our attacks broke down and try to regain possession.

Match 3
After the last match the team agreed that a factor of the previous loss was possibly due to a lack of 'Marking', so this was focal point of this match against Havant.
To see the kids actively looking to mark 'free' players while defending deadball situations was a pleasure to behold. I was perfectly happy for us not to score a goal in this match as long as we didn't concede any and that is exactly what happened, you could say that Hvant were marked out of the game. well done all. special mentions in this game to Lorenzo for his fantastic tenacious attitude towards winning the ball for his team and making a point of asking me if i'd noticed his new haircut after a great tackle and pass down the line. Also a special mention to a player who consistently wakes up in match 3 makes an excellent tackle which gives her the confidence boost she needs to get going throughout the rest of the festival, so well done player of the match, Sophie.

Match 4
Instructions: Communication. and not passing the ball across the goal from '16's'.
The instructions were clear. talk to each other, let each other know what is happening around you.
Comically these instructions were taken quite literally and during a Petersfield sideline ball 2 yards outside of our 'D' Nathan, Lorenzo, Luke and Isobel decided it was a good time to communicate amongst themselves (i could have sworn i saw tea and biscuits) this led to a shot on goal which deflected of of Isobel's leg into the goal. (the goal was not given, i can only assume that the initial shot was not on target) lesson learned.
We defended well and did listen as 16's all went wide and down the line, hard. not across the goal.
They scored a breakaway goal and Luke replied with one of his own, after some great work in the midfield and lovely 1-2's with Ellis.
Player of match, Luke.

Match 5
It was time to put everything we'd talked about all together.
We played the last two games as 8 a side instead of the usual 7. This seemed to work well for our kids as it was easier for them to see some kind of shape and get familiar with the areas that their positions required them to work in (smaller areas).
we tinkered with the formation pushing Isobel out to right midfield and Lorenzo as a defensive midfielder (i love how you're all buying into this, lol).
Well i have to say this was a magnificent performance! With Sophie, Isobel and Luke in midfield (Lorenzo supporting) who are forces not to be messed with, the attacking prowess of Ellis and Toby upfront and the defensive efforts of Mia and Nathan this was a match we wanted to win.
This game saw the best move of the whole tournament.
Luke won the ball in midfield, span out and passed wide to Isobel on the right , she dribbled the ball down the line and passed it forward to Ellis, she continued to run around Ellis to the near post. Ellis squared the ball to Luke who had continued his run and Toby ran to the far post.
Luke now had four options and whatever he chose would be a certain goal, he shot and it was! Once again to see the children doing exactly what we've been working is absolutely fantastic for all involved. Luke added another goal at the end to seal a great 2-0 win (Yes, i know its not all about the winning..................but it is nice..............for the children, of course)
Player of Match Luke

Match 6
"How did it feel to win the last game?" was the question the kids were asked before this game. You can imagine the responses.
More of the same then please.
A tough match against a strengthened Haslemere team, but we continued to do all the things we had talked about and through attack after attack the deadlock was broken by a firm hit from Toby, who was on the score sheet for the second festival running! well done Player of the Match, Toby.

As he is always very good,this player often gets overlooked as we expect him to perform well, always.
There can be no doubt that the player of this tournament was Luke, he was magnificent in all areas, a good role model to the younger players, made sensible decisions with and without the ball, a team player and bagged a few goals. Well Done Luke!

Many thanks as always to Enzo for his energy and wisdom, to the children for their enthusiasm and to parents for support and transport, it all helps to make these festivals a wonderful experience.

Last training of the year is this Saturday (15th) bring your Christmas hats/Jumpers festive spirit and your trainers for some fun and games at 9am.

If I don't see you have a wonderful Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I'll see you in 2019!


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