P2P goes to Merimbula

The Karl Posselt Cup 2019, Merimbula

What can I say ?  What a great weekend shared by Radford and P2P Football Academy players, parents and coaches (thanks Dan).  The Merimbula Grasshoppers Football Soccer Club[1] put on its 39th Karl Posselt Cup and once again did a great job for junior development in the region.  Very professional.

The U13 P2P FA team – The Bulls – came together for this tournament with players from multiple ACT clubs, including five boys of 12 and younger and five awesome girls.  As it turned out we played both the first and last game of the tournament, kicking off with a win at 9am on Saturday morning against a strong Eurobodalla team, followed by equally tough wins against East Gippsland FC and Shoalhaven.  The third game was almost a bridge too far, but we just about managed to hold on.

After a team dinner at the excellent Sapphire Club, it was early to bed and a bit of a sleep in before a tough game at 11am against the Brindabella FC U13 NPL team.  Luckily all players remembered day light saving and showed up on time for a rather stiff but resilient draw against a very determined Brindabella squad, putting us directly into the final as winners of our group.

We played an aggressive 1-3-4-2-1 over the first four games, and relied heavily on the great defending of GK Cameron, Vice Captain Annie, truly excellent sweeper Samson, young Ethan T from Belwest U12 and midfielders Campbell, Emily and Leo.  Excellent attacking midfielders Ethan A, Lauren and 11 year old Zac supported our leading scorer Daniel, as did our rotating wingbacks Sonja, Kaitlyn, Xavier and Lachlan (also from Belwest).  A big shout out also to our GK (and GK coach) Henry who broke his finger the week prior.

With the team carefully ‘conserving energy’ in the pool prior to the 4pm kick off, we discovered we were up against the might of the 2019 NPL U13 Champions Belconnen FC.  Determined to give them a game worthy of a final, coach Phil was ‘inspired’ to totally change the system and virtually all player roles.  Fortunately the players were good enough to take this in their stride, with especially Annie (thrust into goal), Xavier and Lauren (fullback), Samson and GK Cameron (midfield) and Ethan A (fwd) all stepping up.

Being the fifth match in two days for both teams, weary players on both teams put on a tough display which ended scoreless after normal time, and again after golden goal extra time, with Cameron being put back into goal.  No one likes penalties, apart from (it seems) Cameron who made two excellent saves, saw two more rebound off the crossbar and scored our first.  Lauren iced our second for proved to be the winner.  Happy days and well done team.  What a great result.  I honestly cannot pick a tournament MVP.

[1] https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Sports-League/Merimbula-Grasshoppers-Football-Soccer-Club-310551309153028/