West Juniors update | The season so far
Taken from our programme for the visit of Burscough, here’s a look at how our Junior sides have been progressing over the past few months. Expect regular updates over the course of the rest of the season.
The Junior setup continues to go from strength to strength with 11 teams playing this season and another three to be added for next season, including our first Girls team for quite a few years.
The Juniors play in the Timperley and District Junior Football League with the Girls playing in the South Manchester Girls League. Follow the progress of the teams on the Full Time website – www.fulltime.thefa.com where all the leagues are listed or look out for the weekend round ups on the club site. Supporters are always welcome to Hardy Farm on Saturday and Sunday mornings to support our Junior Teams. There are some cracking games and many skilful and comedy moments.
The dry savanna that is Hardy Farm has stood up well this autumn/winter under the increased workload of fixtures. Thanks to our tireless groundsman Bozz for preparing the best natural playing surface in the league.
The following team reports feature The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I’m not referring to the collective U13 management team, but the high octane shootouts that the dirty dozen or so youth teams have endured so far this season.
Under 7 and Under 8 are both training and playing small-sided games (5 or 6 aside) run by Timperley and District Junior Football League at PowerLeague near the Trafford Centre.
They have won, lost and drawn in non-pressurised no league/cup formats. The manager tries to count their skills in attack, in defence and in goal. He looks like Captain Mainwaring as he puts ticks on his sheet. Just before Christmas, he counted a combined total of 190 skills over 6 x 15-minute games. Well played to all the children.
They have also had a good laugh – perhaps at Joe’s team talks when he tells the players that it is not a matter of life or death, it is much more important than that.
U9’s have two teams. The Eagles have come out with all guns blazing in their debut season. They narrowly lost 3-5 in a cup final showdown at the Powerleague, but still have the league and another cup to play for.
The U9 Owls also finished the half season as cup finalists against Alderley Edge Wizards at the Powerleague . The game ended 4-3 to Wizards in a tense showdown, but a controversial goal was outlawed and made it feel like some kind of great train robbery. The brave little scrappers played some intense football and still enjoyed a great game. I’m sure the young Owlets are all wiser for the experience.
The Under 11s have transitioned from 7 to 9 -a-side and the introduction of offside extremely well. Many boys are starting to earn their spurs at this level.
Their results have been mixed with some good stand out wins against strong opposition. The boys have taken well to new positions and a mid-season review of training should see them concentrate on drill plays as the boys are ready for the next step. The coaching team have great confidence that they “could do something special in the second-half of the season” Straight talking from the Wiley Tim Bamford there.
The under 12’s are currently mid table material in division 4 of 6 divisions playing their second season of 9 a side. They have a small army of 16 gun slingers, so competition for a starting role is tough. Whilst the squad is full, any mavericks wishing to audition as goalkeepers would be welcomed.
U13 Badgers have taken to 11 a side football like a sitting duck to water. Last season’s all conquering carnivores have found the promotion to Div 3 life a battle too far. Winless in the league but still in the ¼ of the Cup, plans are afoot for the remains of the season with a new coaching set up. Thanks to Elliott for his services. Rumours that he has departed for a few Dollars more are unfounded..
Their feathery friends the U13 Magpies have also found adaptation to big lads football similarly tough. They are still looking to regain that cowboy strut of a vintage 2016. A record of Played- 13 W – 3 D – 3 L – 7 Goals For – 46, Against – 70 Has the critics clamouring for a new casting director. Top gunslinger – Jack “The Hitman” Haworth has 21 goals and midfield Duracell bunny Charlie Atkiss has 18 assists. The body count against us remains too high. As a result the ruffled Magpies have a Rawhide.
The WD&C u15s are the currently sitting pretty at the top of their division having played 10 in the league, winning 8 and losing 2. The boys are 1 point clear at the top but have 2 arch rivals pursuing them in their dusty wake. The only blemishes on the season have been a first game defeat to lowly local rivals St Johns, an early cup exit to the bottom of the table Unicorn Athletic and throwing away a 3-0 goal lead against second place Beechfield (Unforgiven). Key to the teams success has been our “Butch and Sundance” strike partnership with Nicquille Clifton topping the goalscoring chart with 20 goals and Daniel Eaton in fourth with 15. If the team can win all their games in the second half of the season the title is in their own hands!
Once upon a time in the West archives there was no under 17 team, but this season the club have fielded a team for the first time in its history. These plucky young street fighters have had to learn their craft fast in a league of teams aged 18 and 19. At times, they have literally scrapped for the Wild West, but are proudly holding their own as they sit 2nd in the league and in the cup semi final at the halfway point.