On Saturday 23rd June, Bootham Futsal Club U12s and U16s travelled the long journey down to Birmingham for the FA Youth Futsal National Finals.

The U12s were up first, and with half the squad away, the emphasis for the players was to enjoy themselves.  Their first game was against Alexandra Park West Girls and it turned out they were all Arsenal Ladies Development squad players, and they were huge for U12s!  First match nerves and the long journey saw Bootham lose 10-0.  The opposition ran out overall winners, not losing or conceding a goal all day!  We sat the girls down and said it was all about a learning experience and to forget about the first game.  Second up was Garston Ladies Wildcats, and the girls played so much better, only losing 2-0, but they had plenty of chance to score, it just wouldn’t go in!  Last up was Flitwick Eagles, and we said to give it everything, and the girls responding with a fantastic goal from Molly.  They eventually ran out losing 4-1 but played the best they had all day.

The U16s played in the afternoon and started against Brazil Girls.  Again with players missing and 3 girls playing futsal for the first time, they battled well but ran out losing 4-0.  Second up was Corfe Mullen United Juniors FC, and the game was very much in the balance all the way through.  Bootham created some great chances but just couldn’t score, and lost 2-0, not at all a fair reflection of how well they had played.  Final game was against Tupton Hall School, and the girls really wanted to score.  But, whatever they did, they just couldn’t, it really wasn’t our day in front of goal, and they eventually lost 2-0.

Coach Chris said afterwards, ‘After the week leading up to the tournament, I am just glad we managed to get 2 teams here.  Both teams battled really well and we had some fantastic comments from the FA on both goalkeepers.  We have to remember this is a national final and some of the girls have only been playing futsal for less than 3 months, so I am so proud of them all.  The frustration for me was if the U12s full squad had been available we would have been looking at semi-finalists at the very least.’

‘I want to thank the magnificent support from the parents for getting the girls to Birmingham.  A very special thank you to Naomi, Denva, Megan, Mia and Charlotte-Jane, who helped us out when we were short of players.  Every girls said they want to come back next year and try again.  When you look at the ages of the players, nearly every one was a year younger than their opposition, so it makes the results even more impressive!  Who knows where we will be as a club a year from now…’

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