Only 3 sessions today as the U16s played a friendly against a very strong side from Leeds. The rain was pouring down outside and as a football/futsal coach of 20 years I honestly don’t miss standing in the rain getting soaked – futsal = nice and dry!

We had one new girl come and try futsal for the first time – welcome Lottie – we hope you had fun and look forward to welcoming you again very soon!

The theme for today was trying out a few passing patterns. These are great ways of getting the players to move about the court, hopefully not in straight lines and using both feet. We added a few big cones to act as defenders to help paint a pictures for the players. I am not an advocate of preset match patterns for players, rather let the players come up with their own, and that is exactly what we did with the U8s and U10s. We asked them, what can you come up with and they didn’t disappoint, made all the coaches smile!

Notable Players of the Session

1st Session – Beth R – what we liked today was Beth is starting to take a touch and look what she can do next with the ball. Her confidence is improving week on week and so is her touch and combinations with the ball – top job Beth!

2nd Session – Freya L – Another player who has re-joined us after a break and this week she looked the top player we know she can be. Her passing and movement were on the ball, and she even tried to finish using her left foot – welcome back Freya, we missed you!

3rd Hour – Mollie G – the toe poke Queen has returned! This is one technique that footballers shy away from, but not Mollie, she scored goal after goal using this, and it makes her standout from the crowd. Add into that she is a good futsal player anyway and we have someone to keep an eye on – keep working hard Mollie!

Final thoughts of a coach – It was national cup semi-final day for the ladies the day before and they put on stirring performance to win 12-1 and get to their first ever cup final in May this year. We had our largest crowd of the season at the game, just over 50 people and raised over a £100 towards the club funds, thank you everyone!

I am always looking at ways to get the academy players involved with the ladies’ team, especially on a match day. For the last few home games, we have asked an academy player to complete the following shot count during the game. We constantly preach to the girls that finishing inside the D yields a higher reward than shooting from long range. I asked the academy player to specifically watch what Natasha did today, to look at her finishing, as development for Nat. What I love about this sheet is the players has decided that one of the ladies was shooting from too far away and made her own tick box for her! How can we not love it when players take ownership of situations and make decisions for themselves.

We also asked several of the academy players to listen to the halftime team talk with the ladies’ team and asked them if they saw anything or had any comments. Ok this is a bit intimidating for them but occasionally they do speak, and the ladies’ team are brilliant and listen and give them feedback.

We must make that transition from academy team to National Futsal team as smooth as possible. We have several friendlies coming up over the next few weeks against some university sides and we will use these to let the older academy players dip their toe in the water of playing for the ladies. No pressure, no expectations, just go out and show us what you have leant and more importantly for the coach, show us the areas we need to help you develop in.

Coach Chris

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