U11 2011-12 Season Review

posted Jun 21, 2012, 1:58 AM by Wheathampstead Wanderers   [ updated Aug 31, 2019, 3:22 AM ]

Under 11 Sharks

THE SQUAD: Arthur Evans, Jack Richardson, James Mason, Daniel Millar, Oliver Walters, Harry Morris, Lee Birch, James Lofts, Callan Deradour, Thomas Owen, Max Westcombe-Evans, Callum Oriel.

Coach: Marcus Oriel. Asst. Coach: Lee Deradour.
Junior Coach: Thomas Mason.

The previous season we had finished 3rd in the league in Division 1, so I was looking forward this year to improving on that and challenging for the title. What I did not know is that the 2 teams who finished above us decided to leave the Mid Herts League which in turn meant we would now be promoted to the Premier League for this season. If I was being honest I had concerns, our top goalscorer from the previous season had left us, 4 boys moved up from the Tigers and I poached another from a rival team on ‘ transfer deadline’ day, all this and we were moving to the new 9 a side format. Call me lacking ambition... but if we could avoid relegation this season I would deem it a success, given we had teams in our league from the larger towns in Hertfordshire (Bury Rangers, Ware, Welwyn, Hoddesdon, St Albans, Cuffley, Hertford etc) plus Barnet Azzuri, who happen to be part of the development set up for Barnet F.C. – then there was us, a little village team who had a mere population of circ 6200.
My fears were starting to be realised when we lost 3 of our first 4 games, were well outplayed and rooted to the foot of the table. Nevertheless we stuck to our principles of trying to play the passing game, utilising our strength in defence and speed in attack and things started to turn around.
A County Cup 1st round win and we were off and running, winning our next 4 league games, this was followed by a 14 -0 victory in the next round of the County Cup. We went through December and January both winning and losing, but always remaining competitive. We were finally knocked out in the last 32 of the County Cup against Royston, who are a huge club, but unluckily going down 3-2.
A stirring finish has now seen us finish 5th in the Premier League of 12 teams. Given the top 3 teams (Barnet, World Soccer Solutions & Bury Rangers) are amongst the best in the County, our position cannot be understated. We somewhat gate crashed the Premier League, but have ended the season very much at home there.

Under 11 Tigers

THE SQUAD: George Adshead, Callum Buckley, James Devine, Jacob Eales, Tom Goodchild, Mazen Hussein, John King, Sean McDonnell, Lui Neill, Robert Price, Joseph Superfine, Noah Tinworth.

Coaches: Corin Superfine and Jim Adshead.

The U11 Tigers played in division two of the Mid Herts Rural Minors League, the divisional cup and the league shield (the latter being knockout competitions).
Until Christmas the boys won six, drew four and lost two games. We know they could have won two of the drawn games, and some hard lessons were learned. Since Christmas the boys have won 16 matches, drawn one, and lost three.
In the league the boys had the best defensive record and a goal difference comparable with the best, losing the second place play off to St. Albans.
In the divisional cup the Tigers played the semi final v Ware Whites and the score was 3-3 at full time. Noah Tinworth played his match of the season to help the team win 5-3 after extra time. He scored a cracking free kick and sprinted through their defence to score as well. In the final they faced Ware Clarets, the division champions. It was 1-1 at full time and after extra time, but they won 4-3 on penalties with Callum Buckley saving four penalties and Tom Goodchild securing the winning penalty.
In the league shield the team had the toughest draw possible beating Barnet (5th), Ware Clarets (1st), St Albans (2nd) on the way to the final. In the final, the Tigers faced Cuffley Youth Eagles. 3-1 down at half time I said to the boys “this is up to you... this is your test of character”. They proved themselves. Mazen Hussein and Lui Neill scored great goals to bring the game back to 3-3 at full time, and still the same score after extra time. This time the boys won 3-1 on penalties. Phew!! Double winners!!
Many thanks to Jim Adshead (coach), Tracey Devine (assistant manager) and Joseph McDonnell (linesman), and all the parents for their support throughout the season.

Under 11 Pumas

U11 Pumas 2011-12

THE SQUAD: Devon Baxter, Harry Clark, Cian Creaton, Angus Gillen, David Hensman, Oliver Hocking, Owen Jones, Callum Lidington, George McKay, James Newby-Ricci, Henry Pring, Bob Vivanti, Ben Yurkwich.
Coaches: Adrian Yurkwich and Andrew Pring.
The U11 Pumas was a new team this season with only 3 of the 13 boys having played regular club football before and most complete strangers on day one. The aim for the season was for the boys to enjoy themselves, commit to working hard on the pitch and to try to play good football. What more could we coaches expect?
From the outset the Pumas gelled as a team and the spirit was fabulous. The target of a win after Christmas was rapidly smashed and expectations rose. The boys had a fabulous run in December playing their best football of the year. Sadly snow and the Christmas break disturbed the momentum but, like true competitors, the boys kept working away.
They not only achieved some incredible results but were always a credit to the club, themselves and their parents. Who will forget George’s opening match free kick or Oliver’s amazing goal from outside the box? Or Angus, Callum, James and Owen’s searing runs down the wing? Or David and George’s outstanding athletic ability in the centre? Or the defence of Henry, Harry, Oliver, Cian and Ben that battled so hard and improved so much? Or Bobby who almost turned professional? Or Devon the “trickster” and leading goal scorer? Not us.
To finish 6th on goal difference was a triumph and we can only wish all the boys every success next season in their chosen sports. Thanks and best wishes to all.
Adrian and Andrew