My last game as a soccer coach was 8 months ago, in the last round of GPS Tournament as a coach of Brisbane Boys College Y10 B side. It was a good season, even though I lost the first game and that result pretty much sepulted our chances to be champions.
However I learned a lot from that experience. I realize now the importance of planning all the substitutions ahead in my mind, since all the players need to get decent match time in an amateur environment. In this game, since I didn’t know half the squad, I had to learn their positions as we went.
As I said in my last post, my main objective was to continue building the squad’s fitness and also test the shape and the behaviour of my back line. My central defenders, two hard-working, disciplined asian twins probably won’t play a lot of matches in that position throughout the season, but that’s what I had available.
So, for this game I had, from my squad: GK, RB, CB, CB and LB; CDM and CF. So I didn’t have two midfielders and two wingers. My right winger had two sessions with me, but he’s super raw and still younger than the other boys, so it will take some time before he’s up to the rest of the team’s standards.
We faced a very organized side, a team well-coached in the past years, a very competitive U13 team, that would press us high. The result was what I expected: We had to defend a lot and couldn’t get out from the back. Specially because I couldn’t put together any session on building-up. Since our mids and wingers were inferior, we couldn’t keep the ball, so we got pounded.
The bright side was that, even though their team kept possession, we wouldn’t let them penetrate a lot our back line. We did lose control of the midfield, since my CDM is not used to that position and didn’t have a lot of help to protect our back line, but most of their shots in the first part of the came were from out of the box, which wasn’t a real threat, as most U13 players don’t have a powerful shot.
We ended up conceding the first goal from one of those shots, in an individual error of our goalkeeper and the second from a corner. We did decrease their lead to 1 goal in one of our rare counters, but, having subbed both center backs to allow the younger kids some match-time, we conceded a penetrative attack that resulted in their third goal. The result was 3-1 with 30 to 7 shots against (including blocked shots).
Overall, it was a good experience, where I managed well the match-day (warm-up, subs, team-talks, parents) and could get to know my team a little better.