Bala Town Under 9’s v Everton Academy

This weekend we played at Finch Farm against Everton Academy. On arrival, we were taken back by their facilities, which are superb.

Prior to the match we carried out our team talk in the changing rooms. The Bala players really enjoyed the experience.

First Quarter (match one)
We started the game well, winning duals within the middle of the field. Our players utilised their opportunities to create attacking play. As a result, of their opportunities the team were able to get a goal. Everton Academy established that we were able to win the battles in the middle of the field, and they were struggling to cope with it, therefore, they adapted their style of play, and began to pass the ball around well.

Bala were successful with a counter attacking style of football. Forcing the Everton goalkeeper into making several saves. However, Everton began to show how comfortable they were in passing the ball on the deck. Playing the ball out of difficult situations, and transferring it from defence to attack with extreme pace. Bala did brilliant to prevent Everton Academy from making the most out of these attacks, Bala closed space down well, and working as a unit. Never gave up.

Second Quarter (match one)
Everton began strong, started passing the ball well, however Bala off the ball played with exceptional intelligence once again, to prevent Everton from finding the overlaps on the field.

Third Quarter (match two)
Bala continued to show brilliant grit and determination to put on a game against Everton Academy, however, with some individuals within Everton Academy showing their talent, it made it difficult for Bala to have any time on the ball.

Fourth Quarter (match two)
The weather took a turn for the worse and the situation within the game didn’t get any better for Bala. Again, from the strikers to defenders we continued to work well off the ball. But, Everton Academy were able to break through our team with individual skills and passing of the ball which earned Everton the result. Bala didn’t put their heads down and continued to battle, working well within their positions, and playing a counter attacking style of football.

U8’s at Finch Farm Everton

What an experience and opportunity this was for the 8’s. On arrival we were greeted and welcomed by security and academy coaches. Because of high winds we played indoors in the dome, where the first team train! Wow! We stressed beforehand how important it was to enjoy the game but also to ensure that we kept to our game plan, work really hard out of possession and be constructive in possession.

(1st 20)

Game started well, football flowing nicely between both sides! Bala kept a very structured shape throughout this period, Ioan’s organisation and verbal communication was evident from the off. Everton were very good technically and at times we had to work really hard to win the ball back,but Robin in middle was showing great desire, going through mountains of work! It was a fairly even first 20!

(2nd 20)
Bala continued to show great determination in winning the ball back in great areas, this enabling Jac to find himself in goal scoring situations more and more in this period and his finishing was top drawer, scoring great goals in the process! Caio at right back (unfamiliar role) was supporting Jac well, attacking from deep but also keeping tabs on his defensive duties!! Our lone striker Elliott became much more involved in our play. His link up and strength was brilliant and it enabled our midfield to start ticking, which they certainly did and we were playing nice flowing football! A lot of or play was in Everton’s half in this period but Jac in goal was still very vocal, organising the team and reminding everyone of their specific duties.

(Last 20)
Everton continued to play nice football, but our good fitness levels ensured that our intensity never dropped! Llion at left back was having a stormer, showing great knowledge of his defensive duties this enabling Leo on the wing to play with freedom and his great composure on the ball enabled him to dictate the play from the left!

We continued to play great football and it was nice to see goals scored from our keeper rolling the ball out from the back and starting attacks. Everton kept coming at us but Jac in goal produced a string of superb saves, blocks and clearances to preserve his clean sheet and he was so chuffed with his achievement.

Overall a very disciplined performance. Our intensity and energy levels never dropped so this gave us a superb platform to express our attacking game plan! It was a near perfect performance by all 8 on the pitch and a credit to themselves and the Academy!