2021 Football Diary Of Coach David
I coach the U11, U13 HOPSOL and U12/13 LFL (Liquid Fruit League) or as we coaches call it “Europa League” this is where we also give a chance for developing players to play competitive games in aid of their development. This still does not change anything as you will still be watching exciting games full of drama, action and amazing goals scored by our young stars.
First of all let me start off with the U/11 HOPSOL TEAM. As their coach I can say I am very privileged to coach such a very young talented group of boys. Each one of them make a difference in the team. I grew a strong bond with everyone one of them not just as a coach but as a friend off the soccer field where I got to learn some of their backgrounds. To some, I am a role model, and they look up to me but once on the soccer field we understand each other that it’s time to work and get the job done.
The U11’s where unbeaten for very long run. They were on top of their group with only a draw against DTS and after that remined unbeaten until they reached semi-finals where they were so unlucky and lost that game. But one thing about the boys is that they never held their heads down because they knew they got to the semi-finals unbeaten, so they were very proud of themselves and as their coach, I too can say I was proud of their outstanding performances throughout the season.
As for the U13’s, I have absolutely no words for this bunch of talented clowns of mine because they do their talking on the pitch. They are the true definition of the ACFA RED ARMY.
Hard Work, Determination, Respect, and Love for the game. They move the ball so well from the back all the way to the front and most importantly, most of the goals that are scored were top class footballing goals plus they can hit a soccer ball like a grown man at such a young age.
I call them clowns because they joke around, tell the funniest stories and do pranks on each other but at the same time respect each other individually and fight for each other on the soccer pitch. In other words, they have fun on and off the pitch.
The U/13 also went throughout the soccer season unbeaten and was trailed by DTS very close with points but we were ahead with goal differences. We`ve gone through the soccer season with only conceding 4 goals resulting in our goalkeeper, Derick winning the leagues golden glove for the 2nd year running. But unfortunately, we just lost out in the semi-final as well on penalties. It was heartbreaking for the boys who really worked hard throughout the year but we as coaches believe these setbacks will only make them stronger individually and as a team.
U12/13 LFL Teams were the most exciting group I ever had. These players were committed and most never missed practice sessions. If they did, they would ask their parents to call me, and the player would talk to me and tell me why they won’t be able to come to practice. This showed maturity and respect. This group was so fun to coach. You have different kinds of characters and personalities with one thing in common: enjoying football with their teammates. This made it easier for me to coach and for them to learn!
At the begining of the year, it was going well with everyone coming to soccer practice and looking forward to the season. This was until COVID 19 cases in Namibia was busy rising and all contact sports had to be put on hold. So we as coaches decided to implement online training to try and help the players to somehow keep fit at home. It wasn’t the same and it was difficult to motivate them. Soccer is after all a team sport and young players need that interaction with their teammates. After all the months of waiting for the return of contact sports to be allowed, most of the kids had to start from scratch in terms of their technical skills. One could see that they really missed soccer and missed their teammates, but most importantly missed the thrill of being on the soccer pitch.
This year has been such a rollercoaster with its ups and downs but we did manage to pull through it all. Like what my boss once said to me “David, just know that we are all in the same thunderstorm, but we are all in different boats, however in the end, we will make it out.” Just like that it has been my successful 2 years at ACFA and I can’t wait for next season!