An Exciting 0-0 Draw for the New Look Orange Army!
Storming Debut from The Mighty Quinn!
The new look Colne Valley Under !4s have enjoyed a really encouraging summer, training has kept going and the efforts of the girls, in, very often, sweltering conditions from 18.00-19.00 every Tuesday evening has been great to witness. Lucy Quinn
has joined our ranks and is clearly a top, top player (Sir Alex Ferguson loved to stress the difference between a "top player" and a "top top player") and then the cavalry arrived! With the club not being able to field an under 15s side the girls that had been playing a year up were made available to The Orange Army...............and they were joyously accepted as new recruits. The attitudes of: Poppy, Alice, Rhea, Erin and Evie in training has been great and they have: galvanised the squad, added impetus to training and to use that great footballing under-statement, all of them can "play a bit".
With a playing squad of 17 competition for starting places is going to be fierce but, with the notable exception of our eccentric, but utterly brilliant, goalkeeper (who openly admits, "I love The Orange Army, the team, training and all the girls - the only thing I don't really like are the matches") we have cover in all positions .
Our first game of the season was at home to Goldsworth Park FC, a strong club that have the depth of numbers and talent to field 2 teams at under 14s level. A clearly well run club who's coach was a very friendly chap and who's girls played the game very much in the spirit in which it is in intended.
The Orange Army lined up in a traditional 4-4-2 formation with the emphasis being on Caitlin Hearne
supporting the two forwards Layla Best
and Alice Endley
. Rachel Jimenez
, splendid in purple was in goal, Ellie "Cookie" Cook was at right back, Mia "Jolly" Baker was on the left, the two in the middle (who formed a very promising partnership were Hannah Jimenez
and captain for the day Poppy TaylorMorte. On the left of midfield we had Lyssie D'Ambrosio
, on the right Millie "Boing Boing" Springer and in the centre, in a partnership that I predict will really flourish was Caitlin Hearne
and Lucy Quinn
. Up top were Layla "Bestie" Best and Alice Endley
. We also had a very solid looking bench, although with the advent of rolling subs it should never be looked on as a bench, with Bethie Boo Crane, Rhea Falleiro
, Club Captain Amelie Robertson and Erin Wreford
The match itself really could have gone either way, both sides boasted excellent back 4s that held their shape well and worked incredibly hard. The Orange Army is a team that likes to attack with width, flair and pace and that can sometimes leave us a little bit exposed but Poppy and Hannah snuffed out any threat in the middle of the pitch and the full backs covered their channels excellently, whenever Rachel was called into action she more than did her bit, throwing herself on the ball and using her feet to good effect too.
Layla upfront worked very well with her back to goal and did all she could to try and tee up the incredibly pacey and industrious Alice or Erin. There is something very stirring in watching a team where every component of it is clearly doing all they can, the effort of the girls was almost tangible, Beth made a number of vital blocks in her right back position, Cookie never lost a tackle but, then again, Cookie has never lost a tackle..........Amelie, in her usual tidy and wonderfully continental way was a picture of assurance at the back and Rhea was a genuine attacking threat, full of great running whilst always trying to play a pass that would worry the opposition. The Orange Army had their chances, Hannah could and perhaps should have scored from a couple of corners, Layla knocked one just wide of the post, Erin poked one just wide seconds after coming on, Layla was very unlucky with a shot from the edge of the box, Caitlin's corners were majestic and just needed someone to really be brave and throw their body at and her approach play and sleight of foot a joy to witness too. Millie showed her versatility by starting on the right before finishing as a central midfielder.
The Orange Army are a new side, most of the players are new to 11 aside but it didn't show, we're certainly not a team in transition, we're a team going places that I predict great things from. All the girls need to do is carry on with the excellent attitude that they all brought to the game today and to training every Tuesday. They need to continue to support and encourage each other, work on their techniques and to have confidence in their own ability. One thing that really can't be faulted is the level of effort and commitment and, as the coach, I'll very much take that for starters! Well done girls.
2 MOMs today - for keeping a clean sheet in her first ever appearance on a full size pitch - Rachel Jimenez
and for her classy debut with so much potential, Lucy Quinn