Moor Mead U9s are in good shape as the half term break approaches. Coaches Chronnell, Cole, King and Hayes felt somewhat, to borrow a phrase beloved of English cricket, under-cooked in terms of preparation. Plans for a coaches' tactics evening have been stymied by the merry-go-round of book clubs, class drinks that abound in SW London polite society. But as coach Chronnell commented, "We can't use that as an excuse, we know that the games in the Epsom & Ewell league come thick and fast, and there are no easy games at this level". And so it has proved. A double promotion sees Moor Mead reaching the dizzy heights of Epsom and Ewell league Divsion 4 where the games seem to be won by the odd goal. The last week in January saw a perma-frost descend on Marble Hill park. An interesting pitch report by Chris S from the U10 Cosmos at 8.30 am ("I've checked the pitch and we are on") proved somewhat optimistic. Our game eventually did manage to kick off but the conditions underfoot were far from ideal. Many thanks to our visitors that day, South Park, who showed up, didn't complain and played the game - M Mead sneaking it 1-0 in a closely fought game.
The following week we travelled to Sanderstead to face a strong St Gertrude's Knights side in a league arranged friendly. St Gerts play in the division above and showed great technical skills and played a good style of football. Moor Mead that day, under the Pulis-esque guidance of coach Hayes were somewhat more direct in their play, but nevertheless strung together some neat passages of play. Bessie, Paddy and Barney all worthy of a mention in dispatches. Both sides defended well and the ensuing 0-0 scoreline was not reflective of the goal line action and skills on display.
The next game saw coach King assume the reins away at Brockham Badgers. The Bristolian (Rovers) has been having a rough ride of it recently with his beloved Gas, but put this to one side in inspiring his team to a victory. The normally mild-mannered Moor Mead following were frothing at their latte-machiatto-drinking-mouths with his final quarter substitutions. They of little faith. One of King's signings, Brendan (normally our keeper), popped up in the box in the final quarter to scramble home the winner - 2-1 to Moor Mead having been 1-0 down.
Much credit goes to the latest output from the Italian production line of fine defenders, so, make way, Baresi, Maldini, for Giulio..........Giulio, whilst some others have reached for the "I only play striker card", has knuckled down and produced a consistently strong line of performance at the back, normally as captain, taking the ball and sometimes the man (after the ball). A lesson there folks - play where the coaches tell you to, play well, and suddenly you are the first name down on the team sheet..............
Season 2017/18 will see Moor Mead enter a Cosmos team as well - the future's bright, the future's lime green.