The U9's started pre season back in the early summer with the boys showing commitment in turning up to sessions, working hard on their fitness levels, their ball skills and more recently playing four lively friendly matches. In this challenging time of isolation getting together and having some time with friends has brought us all closer. On the eve of the season we have enjoyed 14 sessions with many boys having 90% plus attendance rates. We now start the season with 13 registered players.
A warm welcome to Tristan, Max, Rio and Indio who have joined the team. We hope you have a long and happy football journey with Loxwood. Welcome to your families, who are welcome to be as much involved in this project as the players.
This season we are entering one team in the South Surrey Youth League starting in the Green Division, alongside 7 other local teams. I'll be assisted by Chris and Ryan on the coaching front. Both Chris and Ryan will complete their FA Level 1 badges as soon as the restrictions are lifted. The League will review our results in October and decide whether we are well matched within our peer group.
We start our opening league fixture this Saturday against Farncombe at home. "Home" this season will be North Hall in Loxwood village, an opportunity to be playing in the heart of the local community. Thanks are due to the initiative and persistence of Chris Wait and the support of the North Hall Committee. We are committed to ensuring we create the best facility we can for our Club, by investing our time and resources into the pitch, and turning this trial project into long term success story for Loxwood FC.
This season when possible, we will be running some extra training sessions in the week. Particularly on those weeks we have a league match and we are unable to include all the development players from our squad. Training will give the coaches time to develop players with the basics and prepare them for league and cup games. We will organise friendlies to maximise game time and provide in game learning. Its important to provide a less pressurised environment, where confidence can grow gradually and organically.
We want all the Loxwood U9 players to be fully committted to enjoying and developing their football. To build their friendships and represent their team in the best way. With good manners and following the FA's Respect guidelines. If they can strive to leave a positive impression on their team mates, coaches, our opponents, referees and spectators after each football session.
As a team its important we compete in the right way. As coaches we remind the players each week to do the small simple things well, to attend our sessions, be on time, come prepared in the right kit, listen, work hard, set up and clear away, thank their parents, their coaches and the match officials for giving them this great opportunity to develop.
Last season we developed a superb parent culture. Setting up, marking the pitch, mowing the grass, taking photos, bringing hot chocolate and refreshments, moving goals and traffic cones, donating essentials and giving up their time for the team. This great service gives the coaching team more capacity to work with the players and aid their development.
We know our parents group can continue their great support in encouraging the team and remembering to support (not coach) applaud all good play and never lose sight that this is a children's game.
We hope our players go home after each game with a smile, tired legs with happy footballing memories. Here's to an exciting journey ahead !
Loxwood 5-2 Albury Eagles
Scorers: Wilf R , James 4
Team: Olly, Tom, James, Henry, Wilf R, Arch, William W, William H.
Training started with a pass and move exercise to continue our understanding of options, and how movement and communication give the player better options on the field. The boys found this challenging as we changed the zones from last weeks boxes to wider bands. Despite the difficulty, the benefits became evident in the today's game.
After our training session came a rematch against Albury Eagles, who comprehensively thrashed us 11-3 in the away fixture back in December.
The game took time to settle, as energy levels were high and both teams chased the ball on a heavy pitch, the ball was not moving particularly well and the players found the ball stuck under their feet and decent clearances were proving difficult to execute. But we had to adapt to this situation and work harder on the challenging surface.
Loxwood went ahead in the first quarter through Wilf R, as long as Wilf gets a little space and time and the ball is on his right foot, he is going to score. Wilf came from deep in the first half and took off from where he left off last week, enjoying the space of the field which suits his game.
Albury equalised in the second quarter (which was deserved) their tempo and midfield effort were excellent. Loxwood rode our luck in the second quarter when our defence went to sleep on 3 occasions leaving Olly badly exposed in goal. We were very lucky not to be down at the interval. Our defensive positioning problems were down to poor focus and missing Henry and Olly in defence.
Our first half performance was not as good as it had been in recent weeks, so we had to resolve some issues and move players around. Tom came back in as a solid keeper, Arch joined in to bolster the defence to good effect and William brought energy and running to midfield.
Our passing game came together in the third quarter, the boys looking up, finding space on the field and getting the ball to better positioned team mates with intelligence and understanding. Playing downhill on the sticky surface helped us and our legs looked fresh. Our midfield was now working well, particularly combined with the defence and we could rely on our athleticism on the break to cause Albury danger. Henry, Archie, Olly and James complimented this effort and provided a wall that Albury couldn’t break down when they tried to break through.
We worked hard from goal kicks and chased Albury down as a pack. An important psychological tactic to exert pressure on our opponents. Albury started to give the ball away needlessly from their goal kicks, to our advantage. Whereas we didn’t waste possession from our goal kicks. At half time we addressed the issue of all our players calling for the ball, from our keeper and causing him unnecessary confusion. In the second half the problem was stamped out, demonstrating that the boys are listening to the coaching.
Henry stretched the Albury defence with his movement and getting the ball played down the touchlines into space. Albury found his physicality difficult to contain, as he used his strength to shield the ball and maintain possession. The goals started to come with Loxwood scoring three times in the third quarter, all well taken by James, each was a result of pleasing teamwork and collaborative effort. This was James' best game of the season so far. He was the metronome in midfield and played with a blend of competitiveness, skill and a phenomenal work rate that rubbed off on his team mates.
In the fourth quarter, Albury came back into the game, after an excellent save from Tom, Albury scored from the rebound. We were not going to witness an Albury revival at 4-2, Loxwood played shrewdly and in a spell when Albury had 4 successive corners we calmly cleared the danger each time. The boys chose to play safe and hold the lead, even if that meant conceding throw ins and corners. In the final ten minutes our levels dropped with tired legs and we let the Eagles come at us. Against the run of play, Albury conceded a free kick through some shirt pulling, and it brought us the final goal of the game; a cracking 25 yard free kick from James who floated a wonderful ball with power and precision into the back of the net ! making it 5-2, and avenging the defeat we experienced a few weeks prior in Chilworth.
Another good win and learning experience, our team are clearly enjoying this season and are working hard for their results. Well done
- Passing and trying to do the simple intelligent thing
- Physicality and using strength
- Hard work
- Clearing danger and remaining calm
- Listening to coaching
To work on
- Maintaining focus and concentration
- Responsibility in maintaining your position
- Not all calling for the ball at once, from goal kicks
This week we welcomed William R, who is new to football and experienced his first competitive match today. Welcome William we are pleased to have you at Loxwood.
Thank you to Rachel, Tracey for setting up this week and marking up the field, also to Richard hot chocolate at the end and Rachel again for the snacks.
Team Olly, James, Tom, Arch, William, Henry, Gids, Wilf R.
We started with a 30 minute training session to work on the idea that we have many options on the field, learning about decision making and the brain, eyes and ears being vital to the footballer. We set up a box practice to encourage positioning & movement, communication and passing & receiving the ball. This was based on an area of weakness we identified last week. We learned how intentional the Cranleigh team were in their build up play and choosing a good option.
Onto the match… The match was exciting, competitive and played in a good spirit, with parents from both teams offering robust vocal encouragement to make it a memorable Saturday morning at Kirdford. Well done to all the boys and their families for the effort and support.
Afterwards the team enjoyed hot chocolate and some of the team ventured to the Kirdford Cafe for breakfast.
Thank you this week to the Wright, Rountree, Nicholls, Wait families for the early set up. The Nicholls family for the hot chocolate.
Your help makes a great difference.
William bossed the box in goal and played with greater intent and super handling. He is turning into a very good keeper. Would like to see him more vocal and impose himself on his defence.
Henry did very well in midfield again moving and covering both his defensive and attacking duties well. Growing in confidence. Would like to see Henry find the pass and develop the confidence to shoot on goal.
Tom blocked well, tackled strongly and took good throw ins. His dribbles are much improved and would like to see his distribution improve, he make quicker decisions and improve his focus.
Olly tackled well, covered good distance and played with passion and enthusiasm. Would like to see him stay on his feet more with tackles and improve his passing range.
Arch tackled well and helped with the breakup of play. Would like to see Arch be aware of his positioning play and not to get too close to team mates. Improve focus in game and follow instruction.
Gids ran tirelessly pulled the opposition players out of position with his constant running and was unlucky with hitting the post 3 times. I would like to see Gids work harder on tracking back in midfield and learn the position. Improve his left foot!
James played his high energy game with confidence on the ball and desire to win. His marking of a very talented and confident Albury player showed how he had identified the danger man. Would like to see James develop his left foot.
Wilf R came into his own when playing from deep. Good keeping. Improve his left foot and focus.
To work on
Positioning and tracking back. Not bunching up.
Listening to instruction.
Not to coach the coach! and request to play in favoured positions at the end of the quarters.
Team: Henry, Olly, Tom, James, Wilf R, Gideon, Wilf D, Archie.
We started today with a 40 minute training session, looking to improve our general focus, our urgency and authority in defence. This was in response to a lack of assertiveness and hesitancy costing us goals in recent weeks.
We also talked about not getting knocked about by more physical teams and choosing to be resilient over waiting for a referee's whistle. It was also a chance to work on some basic skills with some of our boys who haven’t been playing football quite as long as the more experienced players. It's vital we invest the time in training and we can gradually integrate those lads into the matches in line with managing their confidence, whilst maintaining a strong and effective collective.
Once the game started it was a tough battle and a great result in a really competitive game against a very strong and good Ewhurst side. The Loxwood team can be proud of how they played.
In the third quarter, Loxwood played with danger and were better in finding more space with Wilf R and Gideon in the attacking third. James, Henry and Tom were rocks in the midfield chasing down every ball.
Our main danger man, Gids took a ball in the face and we didn’t want to take any risks and he sat the rest of the match. From this point to the end it was a pleasing defensive battle as Loxwood were looking to play on the break and worked on meeting the danger with great shape and determination. The boys didn’t want to lose today and it was very tense as Ewhurst really went for it. Olly finished playing in goal with good handling and alertness.
Man of the match was awarded to James. He took responsibility in midfield and worked very hard on the team result and negating Ewhurst danger. Often doing the sensible thing and reading the game and situation with intelligence.
Thank you to families Nicholls and Davies for being early and helping set up. And great thanks to Chris Wait and Alan for coming down yesterday to mow and mark up the pitch for today.
Things to work on
Loxwood 8-0 Mogador
Scorers: William 2, James 2, Gids 3
Team: Olly, Henry, Tom, James, Gids, William and Gil
The boys started with a 10 minute warm up followed by a 30 minute training session, working on 2 v 3 and 3 v 3 attacks v defence focusing on clearing danger quickly and decisively. We worked on ball control and close control ball dribbling. Learning to use both feet and all parts of the foot in this exercise.
Onto the game…a well deserved victory at home for Loxwood in the winds of Storm Dennis in a game played in a very good spirit. .
The game was not as one sided as the score suggests. Mogador had some good players and a number of U9 boys in their team. However, Loxwood played very much on the counter attack and worked better in transition from defence to attack. We are not as strong working back in transition from attack to defence and we were lucky not to get caught out on 3 occasions. Something to work on…
We found ourselves 2-0 up in the first quarter and 5-0 up at half time. We played well using the width of the pitch with William, James, Henry and Gids getting white paint on their boots. Using width and finding this extra space is a good sign of our confidence and progress.
Our goals were well worked, usually involving good build up play and passing between a number of Loxwood players. The boys were selfless, looking like a real team and collective of friends who are enjoying being together.
Our energy levels and closing down was very good in this game, we have a fit team of boys with good energy levels and the capability to play a full match after rigorous training beforehand. Mogador struggled to keep up with Loxwood from goal kicks as we played our pressing game and denied them space and time on the ball. Pleasingly we didn’t give the ball away in dangerous areas and we neutralised danger shrewdly and ensured we chose the sensible option.
We talked at half time about remaining humble and improving our work rate. Mogador introduced a 7th player to try and even it up. And we brought on Gil in goal from the U9’s.
The boys took the second half seriously and built on their lead and didn’t drift into complacency. Mogador pressed constantly in the second half and gave us a lot to think about. However Loxwood continued to play as if it was 0-0 and played on the break, pressed hard and were hungry for their goals. Onto the players..
Olly had a very solid game, he listened to advice and carried out his duties impeccably, the timing of his committed tackles have improved and he read the game very well. His attitude was/is superb.
Henry showed his ability as a midfielder today who wants the ball, as well as being the ever reliable defender. Nice long throw ins.
Gids linked play up well and used the full size of the pitch. He was clinical in front of goal with his 3 goals and his timing in 1 on1’s was excellent. He got stuck in and ran constantly with enthusiasm.
James was the engine room of the Loxwood team, full of running and good value for his 2 goals. James tackled well and ensured the sensible pass was made.
William came back into the team, took his 2 goals well and played with his usual smile. He tried some new positions and went about his game without fuss.
Tom did well in defence and had one of his quieter games. He was solid when called upon. Took some great throw ins.
Gil played sweeper keeper and instilled more confidence with the back players. He averted the danger and brought some fun into proceedings.
Areas to work on
Positioning at corners and picking up unmarked opponents.
Focus and concentration.
Transition back from attack to defence.
Thanks to family Nicholls, Wait and Wright for the set up support with new ball pumping, line marking etc always appreciated. Great Loxwood support again.
SSYL @ Duke of Kent School
Team: Gids, Tom, Henry, William, Olly, Wilf R, James, Arch.
A game played in challenging conditions, thankfully it went ahead. The storm in the opening quarter threatened the fixture and the children played on stoically in the gale and hail.
We struggled on the hockey pitch surface... yet we adapted well to a surface that we are unfamiliar with, with the added speed of the ball and the dimension of the goals!
Cranleigh are a strong team, well coached and blessed with one player of exceptional talent.
The boys really enjoyed the fixture and were all smiles at the end of the game, for the now customary hot chocolate time.
Cranleigh, their boys thought about their options on the ball and were intentional in their passing. Something we are now ready to start working on. As a coach.. that was my main takeaway. We will now to put this into our training and team development work.
We are becoming a difficult team to play against, when we clear the danger efficiently and hit our opponents on the counter attack. We also have a strong competitive spirit and super bunch of boys willing to give to the team. Yet we are still a little immature in our play and reactive to circumstances against the better teams. We are not as intentional in our play as we could be.
We came back . And we kept on going.... our heads went back up immediately and we pushed Cranleigh hard right to the final whistle.
A few thoughts on the players and my development ideas for each.
Wilf R- Was outstanding in goal and led the line well. I’d like to see Wilf come back into midfield areas to find the ball and a good position to receive the ball. Work on left foot.
Henry- Solid and dependable, played well. I’d like to see Henry consider his options when passing and see Henry cover more areas of the pitch going forwards.
Gids- Enjoyed the surface and used his natural speed over short distances well. Intelligently came back to receive the ball at goal kicks from Wilf. I’d like to see Gids come back into the midfield to find the ball at times when he’s not getting the service.
Arch- A pleasing display and his tackling much better again. Focus really improved. His attitude as sub was an example and 100% perfect. I’d like to see Arch learn to understand his options to pass better, make the simple pass to his team mate. To be aware of team mates positions and confidently spend more time on the ball at his feet.
Tom- Some good decisive tackles and grew in confidence one or two super forward passes. I’d like to see Tom have the composure to understand his options on the ball when passing more consistently. Plus focus on the game 100%.
James- Because of the surface and opponents played much deeper and did well at clearing danger. Worked tirelessly on a the pitch did not suit his game yet he found the goal and was a threat. I’d like to see James pause and play the killer pass forwards, and work on the left foot.
William- A good game on a difficult surface to control the ball on. Did his stint in goal with a smile on his face. Would like William to clear danger when in goal and 'boss the box’. Use his left foot more.
Olly- Tackled well and covered a lot of distance Played well in goal. He bounced back from a set back with great focus and character. I'd like Olly to develop his composure and understand his options on the ball, including spending more time on the ball at his feet. And making the simple pass to his team mate. When in goal to clear danger and 'boss the box’.