Players from the St Albans City Youth Girls section had a great afternoon as player escorts for Arsenal Ladies in the FA Womens Super League Match against Liverpool Ladies.
The City Youth Girls were also lucky enough to meet some of the players and took part in a skills session prior to the game.
Report by Hannah Roberts.
On Saturday July 9th, Birmingham’s International Futsal once again played host to the Girls Futsal Challenge Cup.
Futsal is a 5-a-side, indoor version of football, with a weighted ball designed to emphasise players’ touch, technical ability and flair, as opposed to typical physicality and power.
It was the fourth edition of the tournament organised by St Albans City Youth Community Football Club. There were U14 and U16 age groups, and even with 24 teams involved, they were all guaranteed a minimum of 80 minutes of football, in a group stage then knockout style.
Chris Johnson, the coach from St Albans City Youth FC, who organised the tournament, has been an advocate for more futsal opportunities for many years, as he feels that not only offers a great alternative for cancelled games in the winter months, but can also act as an excellent tool for developing young players’ games.
“Cancelled games and unplayable pitches are youth football’s Groundhog Day. Poor weather and pitches undoubtedly shape the way our players develop as individuals, and team style of play. Futsal and street football form part of, and are the foundations of every player’s introduction to football in countries such as Brazil and Argentina, where technical excellence and creative style are the cornerstones of their national teams. “Most importantly, Futsal is a fantastic game in its own right, with the constant transitions in
play and high importance of the goalkeeper, rewarding all players with many touches and involvement in play.”
Teams travelled from as far as Cheshire and Wales to attend, and the standard of football was exceptionally high, despite all of the teams coming from grassroots. It was a pleasure to watch the technical ability of not a few but all of the players on show - particularly in the U14 competition. Many of the clubs now have futsal-specific training, and it is clear that the quality of players in that age bracket has benefited enormously, and is far ahead of the girls before them.
Tottenham Hotspur and St Albans City Youth FC provided half of the teams between them, with eight and four respectively - and it was Spurs who dominated the U16 age group.
Spurs White went unbeaten throughout the day, before edging out compatriots Spurs Yellow, who had also won all of their group games, in a fiercely contested final. Hosts City Youth Gold took home the bronze with a 1-0 win over Hitchin Belles in the third-place playoff - particularly impressive for a team made mostly of U15 players.
It was a similar story in the U14 age group, as three of the four semi-finalists were Tottenham teams, but Denham United 2 beat Spurs White and Spurs Purple in the knockout stages to take home the trophy.
One of the stories of the tournament was that of Glamorgan Blues in the U14 age group - not only playing up an age group but visibly much smaller than their opponents, after losing their first four games, they snatched an unlikely 3-2 win over one of the Spurs teams - an excellent result, and some excellent celebrations too!
There was a very positive atmosphere throughout the day, as the teams watched the other games and offered support to everyone else, as well as taking advantage of the convenient food choices and warm-up pitches. The girls also enjoyed a more professional environment than they are likely used to, with electronic timing and scoring systems throughout the venue.
Also in attendance was professional freestyler Charlotte Lade, who ran workshops for all the girls throughout the day, as well as performing a routine on one of the pitches before the U16 knockout stages began. On behalf of St Albans City Youth FC we’d like to thank Charlotte for giving her time to come along to the tournament.
It was the St Albans City Youth Annual Girls Small Sided Football Tournament over the weekend at St Albans Girls School with City Youth playing host to over 70 teams from across the home counties. Despite the overcast conditions everyone taking part had a great time, there were Festivals and Tournaments from Under 7’s unto Under 13’s.
Presenting the medals was City Youth Patron Cllr Annie Brewster (See Picture).
Our thanks must go to Organising Committee for making it a great day.
During the first week of the Easter Holiday City Youth held a small coaching camp at Nicholas Breakspear School on the 3G Astro for some of the clubs 6 and 7 year old girls who have been training with the club for some time.
Day One of the camp was an introduction to Goal Keeping which was run by Dean Goodwin (Arsenal Ladies Goal Keeper Coach, Dean is also a product of the City Youth Young Coaches programme). Day Two was skills day, with Juggling, soccer tennis, ball mastery and 1 v 1 techniques. Day Three was some sessions working on turning and finishing. On the final day the camp was also joined by the Evergreen U6 and 7s and Garston Ladies Under 7 Tigers. The Under 6 teams played 3v3 games and the Under 7's played 5v5.
The Camp was supervised by Chris Johnson who was supported by three of the club's Trainee Coaches, Lauren Walker, Molly Johnson and Mollie Herrington.
Forty Six City Youth Players from the clubs Girls Section were player escorts, flag bearers and ball girls as Arsenal Ladies defeated Reading Ladies 2 - 1 in the WSL Premier League. The City Youth Girls had a great evening, as can be seen from the pictures.
Shara Kropman, Head of the Girls Section, said "the highlight of the evening was meeting the players after the game".
22 players from the City Youth Girls Under 12's, Under 14 North, Under 14 South and Under 15 North took part in Arsenal Ladies Elite Camp. Our associate programme with Arsenal Ladies meant that we were able to offer this great experience at Nicky B!
Led by Ciara Allen and first team player (and England international) Jemma Rose, the girls had four hours of coaching around the theme of possession. They also had two theory sessions on what it takes to be an elite player, plus also had a q&a session with Jemma. It was a fantastic day for the girls, and Arsenal were incredibly impressed with their ability and effort.
England and Arsenal Ladies player Rachel Yankey made a surprise visit to the Nicholas Breakspear Sports Centre the training hub of St Albans City Youth Community FC. She conducted a number of interviews with the City Youth players that will form part of a short youth-led TV show "football beyond borders" are producing.
Football Coach and Organiser Jasper Cain said "Thank you for the use of the fantastic facilities. The St Albans girls asked some great questions. I hope to return soon to do a feature about your thriving youth set up on a future show."
Rachel Yankey stayed with the St Albans City Youth Girls for over an hour so she could encourage our younger players and discuss footballing matters with the older girls.
The pictures show Rachel with our Under 15 teams and our Ladies section.
Sarah Kropman heads up the St Albans girls section. She said "Thank you Rachel. The links we have with Arsenal Ladies really help us the enthuse our existing girls and also help us to attract new players. If you would like to play for St Albans City Girls please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org "
St Albans City Youth Football Club's Under 14's Girls will be representing the club in the Mead Cusa Cup, the tournament is one of the largest youth football competions in the United States.
City Youth entered into a partnership with CUSA a few years ago, which resulted in one of their teams visting St Albans in 2013, with games at Highfield Park and taking part in the first City Youth sponsored Girls Futsal Challenge Cup held in Birmingham.
Check out the latest pictures from the Girls USA Tour on this page or on our facebook page.
St Albans City Youth FC today announced an exciting association with Arsenal Ladies. The advanced association, which will link the girls section at City Youth with the WSL premier side, is the first to be made within Hertfordshire. Girls who play for St Albans City Youth will now benefit from a number of extraordinary opportunities such as in-service sessions with Arsenal Ladies coaches, player appearances, a club specific soccer school and a link to the development officer at the club. In addition, girls will also have the chance to be ball girls at a first team game and will have access to development sessions run by Arsenal Ladies.
Arsenal Ladies will offer support to St Albans City Youth coaches with session plans and, most excitingly, send scouts to visit any girls who develop to a particularly high standard, with a view towards them trialling for the most successful women’s football club in the country.
The association, devised by Arsenal Ladies development officer Ciara Allan, will begin in time for the new season in September. Girls section co-ordinator for St Albans City Youth, Sarah Kropman, said of the partnership: ‘I am delighted to have secured the link between ourselves and our local women’s super league club. This will, I’m sure, encourage many players to join our growing girls section as they now have the opportunity to follow a specific pathway that goes right through to the top level.
Any girls aged 5 – 15 (school years 1 – 10 in September) who are interested in joining St Albans City Youth Community F.C should contact Sarah Kropman at email@example.com
Following this years successful GIRLS FUTSAL CHALLENGE CUP 2014 it was requested that we bring the date for next year's Tournament forward to 6th June. Unfortunately this date would fall into, what is already a packed period for City Youth and other clubs, with festivals, tournaments and end of season events, these include the clubs own Six A Side the week before, which will utilise all the clubs available resources. In addition the club is also committed to a busy and extensive Community Programme throughout the year providing coaching in Schools and Holiday Coaching camp plus its support for other organisations in the district.
Therefore after much discussion St Albans City Youth FC have decided that it will be unable to organise next year's Girls Futsal Challenge Cup. However the good news is that Kinja FC have stepped in to take over the organisation of the tournament for next year, we wish them every success.
City Youth's newest Girls team, the Under 9's Girls enjoyed a run out at the recent Woburn Tournament. The girls had a fun time in their five fun matches.
Picture and report from Graham Rose
For a full size copy of the image click the image below.
The 2014 St Albans City Youth FC - Girls 6 A-Side Tournament was once again staged at St Albans Girls School. The tournament has continued to attract over 500 players from clubs around the county and beyond. A full write-up will appear on this page in the next few days.
Thank you for your support.
ST ALBANS CITY YOUTH FC
GIRLS FUTSAL CHALLENGE CUP 2014
Thank you to everyone for attending this years tournament and contributing to its success. We hope everyone had a good time. The standard of play was excellent and by all accounts every game was played in great spirit, with all players demonstrating a high level of good sportsmanship. Planning for next years tournament is already well underway, with plans to offer more age groups. We hope to see everyone return, as we hope to build the event whilst maintaining the focus on a quality structure that provides both good game lengths and significant overall match time for all participants. The possibility of staging the tournament in the Winter is also being considered, although there are all the usual league conflicts to overcome.
Congratulations to our Champions, Tottenham Hotspur Under 12's Whites & Didcot Casuals Under 14's.
Under 14's Overall Positions:
Under 14's Tournament Winners - Didcot Casuals
Champions: Didcot Casuals
Runners Up: Tottenham Hotspurs
3rd: Hitchin Belles
4th: Kinja FC
5th: Luton Town Ladies
6th: St Albans City Youth North Blues
7th: St Albans City Youth South
8th: St Albans City Youth North Yellows
Well done to Kinja FC, Hitchin & St Albans City Youth South, all U13 sides punching above their weight in the U14 category.
Under 12's Tournament Winners - Tottenham Hotspur Ladies
Champions: Tottenham Hotspur U12 Whites
Runners Up: Oxford City Ladies
Tottenham U12 brought 4 teams, with 3 making the semi finals. Well done to Oxford City for preventing an all Spurs final, with a dramatic penalty shoot out win in the semi, after a 4-4 draw in normal time. Well done to Harvesters for their victories over two of the Tottenham sides, narrowly missing out on the semi finals on goal difference.
The St Albans City Youth FC Futsal Challenge Cup, was staged at one of the UK's National Futsal Arenas in Birmingham on Saturday July 12th 2014.
Venue Address:20 Great King Street North, Birmingham, B19 2LF.
A Full selection of images from the Tournament are available from our official partner
Please support our Tournament Sponsors
Kinetic Wealth Management
London & District Housing Ltd
No 3. Hampstead West
224 Iverson Road
To download a pdf copy of the Challenge Cup Programme click here >>>
Download the Tournament Poster (PDF format)
Please note there will not be any Herts Youth Games training this week (17th May) due to the clubs Girls 6 A Side,
All girls who attend the Herts Youth Games training are invited to the club 6aside tournament at St Albans Girls School as a practice run and to experience what the Herts Youth Games will be like. Games start at 9am with a briefing at 8.30am. Please get there in time to sort out the team before 9am with suitable clothing for the morning, games will finish at 12.30pm. Drink and food are available at the event. Look forward to seeing you there.
St Albans City Youth FC, have once again been invited by the FA to organise the training for this years Herts Youth Games St Albans Girls Football team. The training will commence on Saturday 10th May from 10.30 to midday on the All Weather Pitch at Nicholas Breakspear School.
The training is aimed at Year 3 and Year 4 girls. Please bring a drink and the appropriate footwear.
Girls, if you are interested Girls, contact Kelly on firstname.lastname@example.org or email Beth Tyler, Sports Development Officer on email@example.com to register your interest to come along.
if you enjoy the training there will be opportunities to join our new Girls Under 9's team.
St Albans City Youth receive a grant of £1000 from The 948 Foundation to help support the Girls ambitious tour of USA. The Grant will ensure that all of the Girls from our U13 squad can be included.
The Girls Team Manager Chris Johnson said "We are thrilled to receive this generous grant, and feel very honoured that our project was chosen by the 948 foundation. Everyone involved, especially the girls, are extremely grateful for the support. We are now looking forward to representing St Albans and the country at the Mead Cusa Cup in Ohio, USA in August, 2014."
Club spokesman David Wray added "The 948 Foundation support a number of local groups and individuals and really make a difference to Sport in the St Albans District"
St Albans City Ladies Match Update
St. Albans City Ladies have had a positive start to their season recording wins in all League, League Cup and the FA Cup games. They collected 3 points against Sharnbrook from a solid 3-2 performance in their League campaign. City got through the League Cup with a 2-1 win away to Bishops Stortford Ladies
But most impressively they successfully overcame Sawbridgeworth Ladies on 22nd Sept, who are a number of leagues above them with a 2-1 away win in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup. City took the lead very early on with a breakaway goal from youngster Georga Knight. They then conceded to bring it to 1-1 in the second half with the atmosphere tense as both sides wanted to push on to win. City snatched the winner 10 minutes from the end with a perfectly placed corner from Molly Slade and Kelly Hancock was there to slot it home.
St Albans City Ladies v Waveney Wonderers - FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifier
The 2nd round qualifier in the FA Cup saw City Ladies face Waveney Wonderers at home. The match started very cagey as neither team knew what to expect from each other and as time ticked away City started to control the game with some good football; starting from defence and being patient in midfield. This is where the game came alive with City dictating the pace of play and peppering the goal with chance after chance until very late in the first half the breakthrough came, following a succession of corners Lucy Hancock drilled a low shot from the edge of the box into the bottom corner.
The second half was all about the quality of City Ladies football and extra effort in the final third of the pitch which resulted in four more goals and all from different places in and around the penalty box, a good header from Megan Kiff, a cool finish from Kelly Hancock, a great long range effort from Amy Crumpler and the final goal from City's centre back Rachel Sherlow. A fabulous effort from the whole squad sees City Ladies make club history by making it further than any other City team.
Squad: Sasha Tucker, Rachel Sherlow, Megan Kiff, Samantha Rowland, Grace Campion, Sarah Ward, Molly Slade, Lucy Hancock (C), Amber Charlton, Emma Tammero, Sophie Joseph, Faith Trounce, Kelly Hancock, Holly Sheridan, Laura Noble, Amy Crumpler, Isis Anders, Georga Knight
The next opportunity to watch the undefeated St Albans City Ladies team at home is 20th October, kick off 2pm at London Colney FC, free admission.