By Martin Cooke
The Belvedere Academy took two teams of seven players to play in the Newbridge Town Under 8 Funino 5-a-side tournament on the Bank Holiday Easter Monday. As the first game started at 10.30am it was an early start for everyone.
For people not familiar with the concepts of Funino, the pitch comprises of four goals, so teams have two goals to defend and two goals to attack. There is a 6 metre scoring zone so a player must be inside scoring zone in order to score, there are no goalkeepers.
In order to keep the games competitive and equal, a four goal Handicap system applied. If a team lead by four goals they take off a player off to make it 4 v 5, if they scored again then its 3 v 5. It stays 3 v 5 until the score returned to a four goal margin then it was back to 4 v 5 or 5 v 5 if the game returned to a three goal margin. There are no throw ins and players dribbled or passed in from the side-line, the same applies for free kicks or corners. Fouls inside the scoring zone resulted in a 1v1 penalty.
A Central Timing system was used and all games started and finished when the hooter sounded.
The Belvedere teams were
The 4 coaches were Keith Doyle, Stephen Coakley, Martin Cooke and Ciaran Duffy
The tournament was restricted to 16 teams and included teams from Newbridge Town, Athy,
Crumlin Utd, Bush Celtic , Peamount Utd , Templeogue Utd , Maynooth and BBC United.
As all of the other teams were Under 8 and playing league football, our players found the games more intense and quicker than they were used to. However, they are quick learners, and by the second round of games the boys were more than equal to the task. There were some great individual displays and one of the most pleasing aspects of the matches was the way every player encouraged their team mates with not one word of complaint, even when goals were conceded.
There were plenty of goals scored and it was great to hear the players giving detailed accounts about the ones they scored ... obviously no one was responsible for the ones we conceded. With parents, grandparents, family and friends, we must have had in excess of 40 supporters and as the games were scheduled every 15 minutes, everyone was able to watch and support both teams in all their games. This created a great atmosphere for the games, something that was not lost on the boys, as they got plenty of encouragement from everyone.
For a lot of the players, this was their first 'competitive' game and they played the way a Belvo team should play with good passing and movement and when tackles were required, despite to difference in age, they got 'stuck in'.
The coaches would like to extend a warm thanks to Newbridge Town for their hospitality and also a huge thanks for all our supporters who travelled and gave us great support.
For all the info you need on the academy just click this link http://www.belvederefc.com/facilities.918.html