York U11 Schoolboys Newcastle Festival 8th – 9th April 2014
Squad: Nathan Storr, Simeon Hopkinson, Liam White, Alfie Evans, Leo Jones, Luke Jones, Jimmy Gore, Declan Racher, Alex Kemp, Bankole Claudius-Cole, Elliot Oliver, Oliver Blackwell, Max Rigby (Tuesday)
Early Tuesday morning saw the lads set off for Newcastle for a two day extravaganza of football and fun, with two games waiting for them when they arrived at Red House Farm J.F.C ., their destination that morning.
After loosely travelling in convoy up the A1 and a weather report of warm and dry awaiting our arrival we soon found out that the weather didn’t let us down, it was windy and cold!
The first match was against Leeds B with all the lads getting a game in the blustery conditions. York took the lead with a great shot across the goal from the left from Max Rigby finding the net via the inside of the post. But “car-lag” seemed to kick in with the boys and over the two 20 minute halves Leeds B turned the game around finding the net twice.
After a short break York played Newcastle, a tight game with few chances, not helped by the wind! It wasn’t until near the end of the second half where some great interchange passing play between Alex, Elliot and Luke split the Newcastle defence to allow Luke to side foot the ball into the net. With York going one up the rest of the squad fought hard to keep Newcastle out.
With a win and a loss under their belt the team returned to the clubhouse for a shower and lunch. Elliot being the only player brave enough to have a shower but commented: “It was warmer outside!”
After lunch a tour of the “Hallowed Stadium” awaited, St James Park. Our tour guide for the afternoon was Rachel, who took us to the highest point in the stadium, which happens to be the second highest point in Newcastle underneath the cantilever stand. The boys found out that the pitch had a deliberate slope from goal to goal and enjoyed sitting in the leather seats where Ant and Dec and Sheryl Crow sit amongst others. They perused the Away dressing room and enjoyed the comforts of the Home dressing room where they enjoyed the treatment table, exercise bike and yoga mats, and of course the automatic showers (can’t let these honed athletes risk injury turning on the shower!). After the tour the boys perused the club shop, where of course the only thing that was purchased were three footballs!
After short drive to Whitley Bay to the Rex Hotel for a bit of relaxation before the evening’s entertainment followed. With an hour or so to kill a beach walk was in order; but inevitable after Simeon’s paddle in the sea and some stone throwing into the sea, the boys decided to mark out a football pitch and have a game of football, well it was a least 5 hours since they last played.
Ten pin bowling next with burger and chips thrown in, saw the boys come up with some wonderful ways on how to bowl – see photos, and a chance for the coaches and parents to take it in shifts to have a quick bite to eat and a well deserved pint.
Arriving back at the infamous Rex Hotel for around 21:00 to catch the last of the Chelsea game, with Liam, Jimmy and Banky practising their body bopping, and Luke and Leo playing football in their room.
The following morning saw the boys down for breakfast showered and dressed at 8:00 prompt, well almost, Simeon and Nathan! With two games ahead of them that morning the boys decided to have cereal rounded off with a full English cooked breakfast – I am not sure the black pudding went down well though.
Back to Red House Farm J.F.C. to play against Northumberland and Leeds A in their last two games. With Northumberland up first and fuelled by that cooked breakfast, a change of tactics was deployed with York playing without their three incredible strikers who could not make the trip. York played the ball through defence and midfield, and playing some incredible football went 1-0 down through dubious off side goal, but through some great football saw Elliot score that involved nearly all the players in the build-up making it 1-1 at the final whistle.
With Leeds A the last game, York deployed the same tactics and again went 1 up from a Declan stunning shot; but alas unable to hold onto the lead as a cross was turned in by the wind at the far post saw Leeds pull it back to 1-1.
The second day’s games saw all the players playing in each game with the football back at its best from all the players with Leo Jones and Oliver Blackwell fitting into the side with ease.
After a change of clothes – no shower this time Elliot? – It was the long trip back home via a stop of at McDonalds for lunch at Kingston Park.
The boys (coaches and Parents) had a thoroughly great time, with all the boys representing themselves and York Schoolboys in an impeccable manner that was also commented on by the Host manager.
Well Done Boys you were GREAT !!!
Photos – vs Leeds B
Photos – vs Newcastle
Photos – NUFC Tour
Photos – Whitley Bay (Hotel and Beach)
Photos – The Boys Bowling
Photos – vs Northumberland
Photos – vs Leeds A