The twelve Under 9 teams in the competition were divided into two pools of six teams. Our team played five games during the competition with each game having 25-minute halves and a five-minute break between halves, so this was going to be a true test for the boys. When the organisers asked for ‘pitches’, the curator thought they meant ‘cricket-pitches’, because that was the approximate dimensions of the playing arenas and with goals the size for squirts this might get ugly. However, with 7 players either side and a size 3 ball in the middle, soccer was the game and we were on like Donkey Kong.
The 1st game saw Grange win 5-1 against Lions FC, with Hayden volunteering to go goalie, and Heath running amok with Darcy, James, Kai & Hamish to score heavily against the boys from Richlands we were off to a good start.
Game 2 saw Grange come up against the hosts… Rochedale! This was going to be a very tough match with Rochedale having the crowd support and home ground advantage. The boys went out with heaps of confidence but found themselves down 1 nil early on. The solid backline of Jacques, Bailey and Kai kept Grange in the game but the final score was 3-2 to Rochedale, with Rochedale’s winning goal being scored from a lucky floater from inside their half which went over the goalie’s head. At end of Day 1 we were sitting 2nd in our pool on goal difference.
On day 2, Game 3 was an absolute cracker against the boys from Redlands. The standard of play and the skills shown in this game were truly outstanding. It was a joy to watch and be a part of it. The boys went down 1-nil with Redlands scoring the goal off a free kick after it took a deflection and beat our keeper. This is the best I have seen the boys play.
Game 4 against Logan Central was a must win game to stay in the running, and the boys showed that when they play football as a team they are hard to beat, winning this game and finishing day 2 with 2 wins and 2 losses in the Cup so far
The final game, Game 5 on day 3, was against JPC (John Paul College). Spurred on by bold running & passing by a resurgent midfield of James, Hamish & Darcy (and with the Grange coach making more changes than a political party’s policy-decision room at half time), Grange got up to play the perfect half of 7v7 soccer, coming away with a great win (6-1), conceding nothing in defence in the second half. Bailey and Jacques took a pummelling as the goalies, but stood firm and continued to repel everything that came their way. The final result of the cup was that we finished 2nd in our pool just behind Redlands who went on to beat Magic in the finals.
The U12s had only 4 teams entered in their competition (Grange, Logan, Rochedale and Magic United) so they all played each team twice over the 3-day tournament. The biggest challenge for the boys was going back to playing Small Side Football 9v9 on a smaller pitch and even smaller goals after playing this season on a full size pitch. The Under 12s played very well and were only beaten by Magic United from the Gold Coast. It was a great effort from the boys.
Congratulations to all players from both teams and parents for what was a brilliant way to spend the last 3 days of holidays.