All roads led to Taupo the weekend of 12/13 October for the McCartney Tournament hosted by Taupo AFC.
With UHCF teams in almost every grade, including 3 all girls’ teams, testing their skills against teams from across the north island, this was an awesome weekend for our young footballers.
Congratulations to our U15s Girls team, grade winners; our U15s Boys team, pool winner (no play-off) and our U13s Girls, who finished runners-up.
View Girls’ Teams pics here
Check out the team reports below:
Taupo welcomed our Girls with a traditional soaking, in weather the Taupo area appears to reserve just for this Tournament each year!! The gale force winds had kept players and adults awake during the Friday night and destroyed the tent, but did nothing to curb the girls’ enthusiasm once they put their boots on.
First game 8.30am in driving rain and wind gave us a 1-0 win over White Stripes of Auckland. A team we later found out were U17s! This was a huge boost to our girls and set the tone for the weekend. Eight very fast games of 15 minute 1/2s kept everyone busy and a huge Thank You must go to our wonderful Tournament Organizers who kept everyone well fed in between games; the mountains of home baking sent by Mums; Jim and Lorna on the BBQ whose Sausages kept hypothermia at bay and the lovely JPL Team who shared their shelter with us when ours was condemned to the rubbish skip.
The highlight for the U15s would have to be the very high level of skill and discipline each one of them showed on the field. They worked the wind to their advantage, played fast and concise football and were always looking for options. Their team work and tenacity earned them many admiring comments on the side lines as well as the points on the score board.
This attitude showed off the pitch as well, lunch breaks shared with the ‘opposition’, warm up games against U13s and impeccable behaviour, this team was a dream to manage!
Although many players returned home with sore and strained muscles we were lucky to escape any serious injury. Due in no doubt to the excellent coaching team of Phil and Dean! (Warm ups and downs powered by Jet Planes!!)
Five wins, 1 draw and 2 losses saw us finish well up on the table. After ‘some discussion’ the Tournament Management disclosed that three U17 teams were actually playing in our league and they would award 1st place and runner up to both U15 and U17 teams.
Our girls were ecstatic to receive their Medals as U15 Grade Winners.
Thank you, Taupo AFC for another fantastic weekend! We’ll see you next year!
Marie – Manager U15s GDS
The under 13 team displayed incredible intelligent football with accurate and safe-sides passing, attacking combinations and awesome game awareness to provide support and cover whenever and wherever needed. Great football to watch with pace, strength and creativity on the ball, demonstrating a wide range of skills and control across the team. A last minute format change from 11v11 to 9v9 proved challenging to a squad of 15 players. However, Jim’s attentiveness kept the team on track to provide the girls with approx. similar game time, rotation of field positions and all players deservedly rewarded with the starting line-up. All of this whilst ensuring we had effective combinations on the field, it was not win at all cost and the girls outstanding achievement truly was a team effort. Despite frequent substitutions to achieve this, the team performed with great commitment to one another and being placed 2nd out of 12 teams was a true testament to their amazing on field performances.
Our younger and newer players really stepped up. Laura, Maddie D, Libby, Gemma and Meah a force to be reckoned with in defence. Katie, Sylvia, Georgia and Lucy absolute dynamite out on the wings. Brooke, Mary, Maddie K and Mikalya, battled hard and were strong on the ball with a keen eye for a proactive pass; often initiating fast and creative attacking opportunities completed by Kass and Emma. Libby captained the team with fantastic support from rotating vice captains, a position shared by senior members of the Squad. The highlight for most was a competitive semi-final game which the girls won with a 3-0 penalty shootout. Georgia, who along with Maddie K confidently and impressively took on the role of shared GK, saved two penalties and the third shot over the bar. Our own girls, Gemma, Kass and Maddie eloquently drilled the ball on target and into the net allowing the team to progress to the final. Overall results; in pool play 2 wins and 3 draws, with 2 wins from the play-offs and an incredibly enjoyable weekend with an amazingly talented group of girls. The finale, pipped to the post with just one goal against and in the last few minutes of the final game – that’s football!!.
Jim Clendon – Manager U13s GDS
This year we had eleven U11’s attend the Taupo Tournament with the Girls Development Squad. For most of this squad it was their first time attending this tournament, and for them it was a great experience. We played great football, and even managed to win a game, much to Merrick’s delight. Our girls all mingled well together and the older girls certainly looked out for the younger ones, which was fantastic to see! A big thank you to Merrick for coaching our team, and roll on next year to do it all again!!
Catherine – Manager U11s GDS
Check out all the results and final tables here: