York City Academy Holland 2018

Over the Easter weekend, Coach Chris took his U13 York City Academy team to compete in an international tournament in Holland.  The squad was made up with players from both the U12 and U13 teams.  The games were played over two days with the results on the first day determining where you played on the second day.  The club also took teams in the U14s and U15s age groups.

Saturday, and after a very early morning, York U13s started with a hard-fought 1-o win, goalscorer Tommy, against Dutch side Udi’19.  They had three very good girls playing in their team, which surprised the York players and it took them a while to adjust.

Next up was Danish side Lyngby Boldklub 1921 who had a huge centre half, bigger than Coach Chris!  York went behind but battled back well and came away with a 1-1 draw, goalscorer Harry.  After the game, the players from both sides started talking and the battle cry of ‘Bacon’ was born from the York players to support their Danish friends!

York City U13s with Danish side Lyngby ‘Bacon’ Boldklub 1921

The last game was against the local Dutch side Volkel.  York knew they needed a big win to progress as group winners and into the trophy matches the next day.  York ran away with the game, but for a very dubious offside goal for the hosts, had the near perfect game, winning 9-1, goal scorers Harry x2, Owen x2, Tommy x2, Ryan x2 and Chris.  But, when the coaches went to check on the final league table, the result had been entered as 8-1, meaning York finished second in the group on goals scored.  After some interesting conversations, the organisers put York through as group winners and on to the next day!

End of day one

As the boys had won their group, it allowed them to have a sleep in and start their matches in the afternoon.  The day started with a disappointing draw against English side Crewe FC.  The boys dominated the game, took an early lead through Ronnie but just couldn’t find the second goal.  They got caught with a quick counter attack late on and the game finished 1-1.

Second game was against another Dutch side vv Katwijk, and it was not a pleasant experience.  A very hostile crowd and some late tackles made the boys work very hard for their 1-0 win, goalscorer Harry.

This left it all down to the last game, the boys had to score more goals and match the result of Crewe FC to qualify for the tournament finals.  A slow start from the boys saw them fall behind early on, and with Crewe winning, it looked like it was not to be.  But, in the space of a minute, Crewe conceded and York grabbed two quick goals, with goal of the tournament, a solo run from just inside his own half by Owen!  The boys ran out 5-1 winners, goals scored by Owen x2, Ronnie x2 and Tommy, and with Crewe drawing their last game, York had qualified for the finals.

The final was against Dutch side Alphense Boys, who had conceded just one goal throughout the whole tournament.  York dominated the game from the very outset and created chance after chance, but just couldn’t score that important goal.  The game ended 0-0 and went straight to a penalty shootout.  In proper English footballing fashion the boys lost 6-5 and were devastated.  The Dutch coach said that York were the best team he had seen that weekend and it was a pity to end the tournament this way.

The cup final line up

What a fantastic weekend, the whole squad of 14 players did their club proud and were so close to winning the overall tournament.  Some great lessons learned on and off the pitch for all involved.

Coach Chris said in conversation on his return, ‘What an amazing experience for everyone involved.  It was heartbreaking for the boys to lose on penalties but that is football.  We played seven games in two days, only conceded three goals, so that goes to show what a fantastic performance from everyone involved.  I am so proud of each and every one of them, they showed real pride and played for the club.’

And of course, in the best British tradition, we managed to leave the trophy at the hotel…

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