Generation Next League

We have entered two teams, the U13 and U16, in the annual Generation Next Saturday league, which started in January and should be ending at the end of May. The tournament is been played at the AUA (American University of Antigua) complex, which is situated at the southern end of the Jabberwock Beach, close to the old Navy Base.
Currently the U13 is in the 8th position, from a total of ten teams, after eleven (11) games with a total of 11 points; 3 Wins, 2 Draws and 6 Losses, with 7 goals For and 16 Against for a goal difference of -9. As evident by their position, they have not been performing to the standard of most of the teams in their division and a lot more time for coaching and organization is necessary for them to make a mark in the competition.
The U16, on the other hand, is in the top position, from a total of ten teams and eleven games. They have a total of 26 points, with 8 Wins, 2 Draws and 1 Loss, scoring 19 goals and having 2 scored against them for an average of +17. Despite the fact that the team is winning, it is not dominating in a manner that is expected.
At least 10 of the goals have been scored by the number 10 striker, Rakeem ‘Beauty’ Joseph, who has tremendous speed running on and with the ball. He is likely to be the most prolific scorer in the league to date. The problem is most of the other players seem to be satisfied with that and become onlookers whenever he is in possession of the ball. They will just kick it down the center of the field and call out to him, of course expecting him to retrieve it and score; which he is able to achieve in most of our outings so far.
We played the second place team, Generation Next, last weekend and it was apparent that the game plan was not to allow him any time on the ball. For most of the game he was surrounded and hassled by two and three defenders whenever we were in possession and even more so when he received or approached the ball. In these instances it would have been expected that other players would step up and hold on to the ball a bit longer or get themselves in positions to provide greater support. This was not forthcoming and he was outjumped, pushed off the ball or dispossessed whenever he came close to the ball. At one point in the first half of the game, he got so frustrated that he beckoned to the bench for his own substitution and walked to the sideline.
At the break, both coach Luddah and coach Yaya, drew these same points to the players’ attention, but enough of the members did not buy into the adjustments to make a drastic difference and the second half came and went without any major changes and the opportunity which we craved never presented itself.
The game ended in a nil-all draw and we remained 2 point ahead of our closest contender.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *