There was more Premier League action for the Under 8’s and 9’s as they travelled to Kirkby on Saturday to take on Liverpool.

Read about how they got on below!

Bala Town Under 8’s were invited to Liverpool Academy’s Kirkby facilities to face their opponents on a cool breezy day in February. The order of the games were 5v5 and that there would be five games and each would be 12 minutes long.

1st game
Bala started the game defensively with Jac Watkin as GK, in defence – Leo Burgoyne LB and Ioan Morris RB and 2 in midfield – Jac Jones as RW and Robin Williams as LW. For the first game we asked the squad to hold back and read the game, to gradually build up the attacks from deep and look to distribute to our midfield as quickly as possible. This worked for a while as we were able to break up the attacking play at the earliest opportunity and countered with rapid speed to score a few well taken goals. As the half wore one we began to sit too deep in our half and Liverpool had some good opportunities on goal, Jac Watkins was effective once again as GK in clearing the danger and starting our counter attacks.

2nd game
We altered the shape for the second game to a diamond formation to become more attacking minded. Ioan stayed as CB, Llion Roberts coming on to LW, Caio Jones came on to RW and Elliot Jones came on as CF. The difference was immediate as Elliot was effective yet again with the high press and allowed our midfield to sweep up any loose balls in the midfield area and counter. Caio and Elliott were rewarded for their perseverance and energetic work rate.

3rd game
We stayed with the same diamond formation as it had been effective in the previous game. Leo came on to CB, Robin Williams came on to RW, Jac came on to LW and Elliot stayed on as CF. The intensity carried on from the second game and our attacks were hard to contain. Jac Watkins yet again in goal was commanding and mopped up any threats on goal.

4th game.
Ioan Morris came on as CB, Llion Roberts came on to LW, Caio Jones became RW and Jac Jones went CF. Our opponents where finding pockets where they were able to attack down the channels and force a few excellent saves from our Keeper. We asked our team to play possession based football and created some excellent 2 touch football using the whole width of the pitch effectively, recycling the ball at times to our keeper who switched play to the opposite wing at every opportunity. Half way through the game, Robin Williams came on for Jac to finish the game.

5th game
As in the last 3 games, we stayed in the diamond formation for the last game. Leo came on as CB, Ioan Morris on to RW, Jac Jones LW and Elliot Jones again started as CF. Our control of the flow of the game carried on from the fourth game, we instructed our team to carry on playing possession based football. As in the previous half Robin came on for Jac halfway through the game, while Caio came on for Ioan and Llion came on for Elliot. The half finished with a couple of well taken goals from Caio and Llion.

MOM – Caio Jones. Was energetic and positive with his attacks all afternoon.

Many thanks to Liverpool Academy for hosting Bala Town Academy this afternoon.

Bala Town U9’s travelled to Liverpool Academy on Saturday morning. It was an opportunity for many of our players to play against the club they adore. It was with great pleasure we were able to play at the same facility that has developed many famous Liverpool legends such as Michael Owen and Raheem Sterling.

With the 5 a side set up, it gave us the opportunity to see our players utilise different roles; within attacking transitions, and defensive transitions, outside of the usual 7 a side we have been playing this year.

The difficulty of the morning’s matches for Bala Academy U9’s was how well Liverpool Academy players were with attacking with the ball at their feet, with their sublime set of skills, whilst their team mates were committed to move forward to anticipate a pass to attack our goal, it caused us trouble on many occasions. However, Bala players showed their intelligence to adapt the defending style from their usual high press, to cater for the opponents style, realising if they were able to slow down the pace of the opponents attack, and sit deep whilst remaining compact, they could transition into attack on the counter, catching Liverpool players out of position.

Bala were successful in scoring goals as a result, with a beautiful link up play from defence to attack on many of occasions, with the great composure from our attacking players in front of goal it made us successful. It is great to see how something we have been working on, as of late in training is paying off in these matches. Us coaches are proud to have such a talented squad with big credit to how these players are developing as individuals, and a team.

Thank you Liverpool for hosting us, from us all involved with Bala.