As part of the continuing development of our young Aztec Foundation Academy players the U9 age group participated in the well-established and excellently organised BWCI Festival over the weekend of the 23 / 24 July.
Steve Sharman, Academy Director commented that;
‘The success factors of participating in this type of tournament, as an age group playing mostly one year older opposition, are many and varied. Instantly a win, draw or loss in a game gives an instant amount of feedback but rarely tells the whole story. The ability of players to carry out simple instruction, the introduction to tactics or a formation and the requirement to concentrate over an extended period of time are the areas we focus on a those responsible for the development of the players learning. We encourage the young players to take responsibility to varying degrees based on their capacity to do so. Their views and thoughts are also shared with the group.
The two groups were selected based on each individual player’s ability to make good decisions, consistently and with good technique. Their understanding of the style of play and how they concentrated and applied themselves in the training sessions leading up to the tournament also influenced our selection.
Consistent decision making aligned with good technical ability is the reason why Lionel Messi is a world class player compared to someone who plays in La Liga or the Premier league but never makes it as an international. There are incredible fine lines that differentiate individuals.
This is the same with this U9 group. Technical ability across the 20 or so players is similar. Work ethic, willingness to learn and decision making are ranged across a spectrum and because football is a late specialisation sport the players will individually move forward in their learning, stand still or even drop back slightly. That is the nature of maturation and learning capacity when that skill and those decisions have to be applied.
Tony and I were incredibly pleased with how both groups performed. The Lions responded to a tactical approach and portrayed a team ethic with individuals contributing to a united approach. The Tigers focused on how responsibility passes through the team and is constant. A team with individuals is fine but a team of individuals is often less successful.
All players represented the Guernsey Aztec Foundation academy with pride on and off the pitch and realise the honour of wearing the green and white shirt. Thank you to all parents for your support and of course interact with Tony and myself if you need further enlightenment.’