Players and parents,
This fall saw some remarkable performances from our Pre-High School teams, both boys and girls in what has proved to be our strongest year as Inter CT.
Please see the first installment of our team reviews which include the 5v5 and 7v7 formats. ( 9v9 & 11v11 posted later ).
The purpose of these reviews is to give a quick insight to each team for all to read, adding to the club-centric approach for player development.
The fall usually presents some challenges as it is the start of the soccer year. New players and coaches to adapt to, new field sizes for many and for our older players the move up to regional soccer.
Special mention to the boys 2013 group who, for many, experienced Premier soccer for the first time and have done extremely well. The 2012 NAC group went unbeaten in the most competitive bracket open to their age group and the club's vision of getting this age group to "Love to Learn" has seen them reap the benefits of playing as a team.
Here is a quick lowdown on each team.
2015 Pre-Team Boys
The 2015 boys are a very talented group that are passionate about the game. The 2015 boys play in-house with and against the 2013/14 Pre-team and always faired well. The highlight of the season was when the 2015’s stepped up to take the place of the 2014’s in a U8 5v5 game and played exceptional soccer.
2014/13 Pre-Team Boys
The 2014/13 team had practices two times per week with in-house games and /or 5v5 games against outside opposition. The boys faired favorably against all teams, putting each of the weekly themes into practice. The 2014/13 Pre-team was made up of boys from a number of towns and used the love of the game as a common adjective. The Pre-Team were strong in defense with multiple players willing and able to play in goal and the team were very good in transition and the fast break attack. The majority of players scored at some point in the season and lessons were learned to prepare players for U8 & U9 soccer to come.
The 2013 NAC team had an early season battle against a very strong Chelsea Piers team which was a good early lesson for this team to understand what was needed to compete at the top level.
Early lessons were how to attack against well disciplined sides as well as the importance of staying disciplined defensively and not allowing space for the opposition to move forward to stay in the game against better opponents.
Over the course of the season this is something that we worked on and saw an improvement on the field. Some great results and attacking performances came as the season progressed.
The 2013 NEC team started with a thrilling end-to-end game against AC CT which ended as a 3-3 draw, that game set the standard of their attacking displays with a free flowing direct, counter attacking ability and showed they were always guaranteed a couple of goals at the very least each game. With committing players forward in a direct attacking style, it often left us vulnerable at the back if we lost the ball and allowed a few goal scoring opportunities in the early games. This is something we worked on during practices and discussed during games. With a combination of patient build up to attack meaning we would be less likely to lose the ball as we attack and our defensive shape and positioning when unorganized and recovering, we started to become more solid and allowed less goal scoring opportunities when defending a counter attack. The boys came away with a trophy, winning their tournament at Poughkeepsie during Columbus Day Weekend.
2012 Boys NAC
The 2012 Boys NAC had a wonderful undefeated season! As a coach, my focus is on development instead of results. However, when Individuals can progress and come together to learn and grow as a team while winning games. I feel as if I have done my job correctly.
In the beginning of the season, the boys treated weekly training sessions as a social event and we won games purely based on individual skills. As the season progressed, they came together and realized that how we train, directly relates to how well we play. As soon as that clicked, the boys were unstoppable. We had a few tough games such as J CFC when we 'managed to finish 3-2 after being down 2- 0. Games like these, I dream about because it truly shows the pride and tenacity the boys have.
The boys first ever tournament proved to be a fruitful one, winning the Poughkeepsie tournament during Columbus Day weekend.
I have no doubt in my mind we will see these NAC 2012 boys do big things one day, no matter what path they decide in life. It was a pleasure to coach each and every one of those boys. We have many sports center esque highlights from the season that I will not soon forget!
2012 Boys NEC
Throughout the season, I was waiting and hoping for their first win. NEC started off strong but just lost to Revolution in the last few minutes. As a coach, I was fairly happy with most of the games this season although we lost the majority of them. I found that I was watching more NEC Veo footage because I was incredibly happy with how they were playing!
I can see how far these boys have progressed from start to finish. I get chills when I see them switch the field or look to keep possession because most of these boys are 2013. Also, they are looking to do the right thing and learning the reasons why. Most of the losses this season have come from little mistakes which were caused by things such as communication or a lapse in decision making. However, we created so many chances in every single game but we had difficulty finishing. The most important thing is that all of the boys have progressed individually throughout the season. When we played AC Connecticut the second time I feel that game solidified my belief in their abilities as individuals but as a team; awarding the NEC 2012 boys their first win of the season and against a good club like AC Connecticut!
The boys first ever tournament, in Poughkeepsie proved to be a successful one, coming second.
No matter the results of the weekend, they showed up to training sessions like nothing happened and we prepared for the next battle. They never gave up! I am proud of the progression and it was my pleasure to coach the boys throughout the season. I look forward to the next one!
2012 Boys MUSC ( Milford)
What a talented group of young players we have on our hands here. Not only was this their first season as a team but their first time playing at a competitive level and the way they adapted was like experienced pro's. Our first game was a learning curve in an exciting 8-4 loss and we learn quickly that we needed to become a team to compete at this level. Every week the boys worked hard in practice to start building our structure and understanding the roles and responsibilities required of them. The rest of the season was progression after progression with every game we played ending in a close contest whether we won, lost or tied. Exciting times ahead for this group, keep up the great work!
Girls Pre-Team 2015 - 2013
The 2015 - 2013 Pre-team had practices two times per week with in-house games and /or 5v5 games against outside opposition. The girls faired reasonably against all teams, putting each of the weekly themes into practice. The Pre-team was made up of girls from a number of towns and used the love of the game as a common adjective. The ladies made new friends and learned life and soccer lessons along the way.
2012 Girls NEC
The 2012 Girl team from the first game were like sponges wanting to get better as individuals and as a team. We struggled against those teams who were bigger and stronger than us because they could kick the ball harder and further. When it comes to passing, receiving and movement off the ball this group dominated most games. I only expect this group to continue to grow through the course of the winter season into the spring.
Look out for the 9v9 review in the next news article.