Under 15 CENTRAL tour to Belgium and Holland over the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend.
Due to some of the boys doing their GCSE English Literature exams a year early, we were limited regarding when we could travel resulting in us being unable to enter one of the larger two-day tournaments this season.
Instead, we entered a one-day tournament in Belgium on Sunday 27th May and arranged a Friendly for Monday 28th.
We travelled as St Albans City Youth FC, a party of just 22 this season, departing at 03:00am on Saturday 26th May, returning at 19:00 on Tuesday 29th May.
We played in the Kasterlee Cup on Sunday 27th May, a small tournament of just 6 teams at KSK Kasterlee just outside Antwerp in Belgium.
Matches were 11 V 11 but only 20 mins long, so we didn’t actually get a lot of football in which was disappointing.
That said, the boys played brilliantly, and we ended up comfortably winning the tournament despite the boys playing on very little sleep after a 03:00 start the previous day and a very late night after watching the European Cup final. The opposition standard wasn’t great, but when matches are only 20 minutes long, the team has to get off to a quick start which we did, resulting in us not only winning every match, but doing so without conceding a goal.
On Monday 28th May after a day in a nearby Theme Park, we played an evening Friendly against a team from Eindhoven in Holland, just over the border from where we stayed in Belgium.
Our host club was S V Marvilde, who made us feel extremely welcome at their fantastic facility. We played a full match of 80 minutes on their main stadium pitch which was a great experience for the boys. Once again however we were too strong for the opposition and won the game comfortably, again without conceding a goal!
Results and Match Summary from both days below.
Sunday 27th May
Our first game was a 10:00 KO in Kasterlee which was a 1 hour drive away from our accommodation, so an early start.
We played against Belgian team SK WESTERLO winning 2:0.
GOALS FROM CALUM CORNISH and JACK PERCY.
We then had the novelty of a Penalty Shoot Out which we learned would decide a winner if all things were equal at the end. We WON the Shoot Out 5:4 thanks to 5 well taken penalties plus a great save from Keeper Joe Moss who got down quickly to save Westerlo’s 2nd spot kick. Scorers of 15 Central's penalties were Calum Cornish, Ben Sommerbauer, Josh Penning, Jake Percy and Daniel Onochie-Williams.
Next Up was UPTON FC, a team from LIVERPOOL. A 9:0 WIN as a result of an outstanding display earned us a place in the FINAL!
GOALS FROM DANIEL ONOCHIE-WILLIAMS (4), CALUM CORNISH (2), JOSH PENNING, MATTY BLEAKLEY and OLLIE GILMOUR.
The Penalty Shoot Out result was a 5:2 WIN with 5 different Penalty Takers to the first game and once again two fine saves from Keeper Joe Moss. In this penalty shoot out saw Elliot Smith, Matty Bleakey, Angelo Calatrava, Jonathan Hargreaves and Ollie Gilmour all find the back of the net.
Our Final was against another Belgian team, DESSEL, which we WON 2:0
GOALS FROM DANIEL ONOCHIE-WILLIAMS and JOSH PENNING.
No need for a Penalty Shoot Out this time.
Monday 28th May
A more relaxed start to the day which allowed everyone have a little lie in before heading off to the Theme Park.
Our Friendly was a 19:00 KO on the outskirts of Eindhoven in Holland.
The opposition was S V Marvilde, but once again we proved too strong for them running out 12:0 winners over 80 minutes! We tried to even things out by switching players around and playing our keeper outfield, but it made no difference.
GOALS FROM – DANIEL ONOCHIE-WILLIAMS (5), ALEX SOMMERBAUER (3), BEN SOMMERBAUER, CALUM CORNISH, OLLIE GILMOUR & ELLIOT SMITH
The squad of players were Joe Moss, Elliot Smith, Matty Bleakley, Angelo Calatrava, Calum Cornish, Jonathan Hargreaves, Ben Sommerbauer, Alex Sommerbauer, Josh Penning, Ollie Gilmour, Jack Percy and Daniel Onchie-Williams
Overall it was a great achievement and despite the opposition not being strong enough for us, the boys played some great football and everyone enjoyed the whole experience as always.