“Her technical, tactical and physical progress of the last six months has been spectacular. I expect she will continue to get better because she’s a very intelligent player.”
Shek Borkowski, FC Indiana Coach
Lionesses coach Shek Borkowski has admitted that he is "surprised" by Mary Cate Wright's impressive start at FC Indiana, after the 14- year old midfielder put in an impressive performance against FC Indiana Men over the weekend.
“It’s a surprise because sometimes it’s quite difficult for young players at the start,” said Borkowski. “Her technical, tactical and physical progress of the last six months has been spectacular. I expect she will continue to get better because she’s a very intelligent player.
Borkowski explained what qualities a 14-year-old such as Wright needs to have before she can be considered for first-team action at such a tender age.
"Most of the time she needs an exceptional quality and that you sit there and think, ‘OK, I have to give her a chance," Borkowski said. "You need to be quite confident to put a girl of that age into the team, but you can only be confident if you are convinced that she has something special. Of course when you think about 14 or 15-year-olds, usually it’s not a physical advantage they have – most of the time it’s an exceptional soccer iQ or technical ability.
“Most of the time it’s an offensive talent that convinces you to pick a young player. Defensive talents are not often ready at that age because it demands more experience, more reading of the game and the opponent."
"It’s a big mental test for the players because you see how they cope with stress, how they can deal with the pressure and how they can be committed in a very demanding environment. These kinds of qualities you discover only when you play the players against more mature opponents.”
“Playing at this level forces the players to adapt," he continued. "Some players can cope with that and some cannot. Those who cannot cope return to playing against kids their own age, its more comforting. Playing against college D1 and international opponents forces the players to adapt and to find the response to the new situation. The response to a higher physical level is of course a higher technical level, because you have to respond to more pressure with more technical ability. That makes the whole game always go up – but not everybody can cope with this challenge. Sometimes its just too fast and physical for them."
Borkowski added that there is also a conscious decision within the Club to promote talented youngsters as early as possible. "It’s one of the values of our club,” he explained. “We want to be very successful without neglecting the need to give a chance to young players. I want it to be part of our tradition and I also want to develop a spirit inside the Club that makes the young players be faithful to this club. They think the Club has given them a chance so they want to give something back as well.
Updated 00:33 - 5 Jul 2016 by fc indiana webmaster