Published on July 26th, 2016 | by kickstartfc0
Tour Match Results
Kickstart Football Club recently embarked on a tour to Long Island, New York from July 6th – 14th, 2016 as guests of Massapequa Soccer Club. The 14-and-Under and 16-and-Under teams played a series of matches against American and English opposition, in addition to participating in a coaching clinic and a football camp.
While the 14-and-Under team had a successful tour winning 3 matches and drawing one, the 16-and-Under team found the going a bit tougher, with only one win out of their four matches. Billed as a developmental tour, players from the Kickstart U-13, U-15 and U-17 teams were invited to participate, with a view to exposing players to different playing conditions and coaching styles. This meant that both teams comprised players who were unaccustomed to playing with one another, and also required players to play in new positions in some instances.
In their first games against the Long Island Junior Soccer League Player Development Programme, the 14s dug deep to run out 2-1 winners with goals in each half by Sachin Cox and Ethan Bryan. The players were clearly up for the challenge, as they gave everything that they had for 70 minutes and were deserved winners. The 16s were up next and won their game 1-0, but had to endure a 30 minute lightning delay just 15 minutes after the start. The first 15 minutes of the game gave an indication of what was to come, with some strong, physical play coming from both teams. With the game being played on a very wet surface, the only goal of the game came from a good follow-up to a sharp, skipping shot from the right wing that the goal keeper could only parry into the path of the oncoming striker, Christian Smith.
The second set of matches for each team were preceded by a one-hour training session with Richard Nuttall, Director of Coaching at Massapequa Soccer Club and Hofstra University, which focused on communication, creating space for the pass and transitioning from attack to defense at speed. The 14s then put this training to good use, running out 5-3 winners against Eastern Meadows Juventus Soccer Club, with goals from Sachin Cox, Drew Brooks, Ethan Bryan (2) and Mario Lavoie. The 16s, short-handed due to injury, went down 1-4 against an Under-18 touring squad from Thomas Rotherham College (UK), with Kickstart’s lone goal coming from an unstoppable direct freekick by Jadyn Rochester that went in off the underside of the crossbar. Less than 18 hours later, the teams were at it again, with games against Massapequa Soccer Club. The 14s were again successful winning by a score of 3-1 behind goals from Ethan Bryan, Drew Brooks and Kyle Lewis while the 16s, clearly tired from their hard match the night before and still short-handed, lost by a score of 1-7 against bigger, very physical opponents, with Christian Smith again scoring the lone goal for Kickstart.
There was no rest for the weary after three tough matches, with a day-long training session at the Cedar Stars Academy Summer Camp at St Benedict’s College in Newark, New Jersey. During the sessions, they were put through their paces by the camp’s coaches, and also interacted with the camp’s other attendees. After the camp, players and parents were taken on a tour of the college, which is attended by former Kickstart player Nicholas Black, now a member of the Cedar Stars Junior Varsity team.
The final matches were against Northport Cow Harbour United at Northport Soccer Park, which was easily the best field that the teams played on during the tour. The 14s continued their excellent effort, matching their bigger opponents stride for stride to come away with a commendable 0-0 draw. While the 16s lost their final game by a score of 0-5, their commitment and team effort could not be faulted against a team that has been together for 4 years. The final score did not reflect the effort put in by all of the players, with 3 goals being conceded in the last 15 minutes.