Friday 5th October was a special day for seven lucky Reception and Prep 1 football fanatics. The Manchester City Football Club held their annual football tournament at the amazing Academy, surrounded by Youth Team players and young stars of the future.
With seven teams present, it was going to be a tall order to get to the final, but the boys were in a confident and excited mood. First up was The Ryley’s School and Bridgewater dominated the game early on. Mason thought he had opened the scoring only to find the goal was disallowed for sliding into the keeper and not just because he had his boots on the wrong feet! Moments later, the opposition keeper could not hold onto a shot from Christian and carried the ball over the line to give Bridgewater a 1-0 lead. The game finished this way and we moved onto play Wilmslow Prep. Both teams had chances to score as the game flowed from end to end. Jacob made some crucial saves in goal, whilst at the other end, the opposition goal somehow managed to stay intact. A 0-0 draw was probably a fair result and we moved onto the next opponent, Terra Nova.
Terra Nova looked a cut above the other teams, with a Liverpool FC Academy player running the show. Oliver C had moved into the net and made some great saves, but the pressure on the Bridgewater defence finally told. In the last minute, an error at the back led to a goal for Terra Nova and a 1-0 defeat. If Bridgewater were to book a place in the final, nothing but victories from here on in would do.
The goal of the tournament came in game four, when right from the kick off, Mason dribbled past three players before firing into the bottom corner. The stunned opposition Moor Atherton barely had time to recover before Oscar added a second and then a third in quick succession. Mason scored the fourth goal, before a jubilant Sam completed the 5-0 rout with the last kick of the game and the best celebration of the tournament.
St. Ambrose stood in between Bridgewater and a place in the final. Henry was a rock in defence and Oscar was growing in stature and attracting attention with his energy and dynamic approach play. Goals from Mason and Oscar again ensured a 2-0 win and a place in the final against the undefeated Terra Nova.
Much to the credit of the Bridgewater team, fear was not on the agenda and the only thoughts were of victory. Even after Terra Nova took the lead, the belief remained and when Sam equalised the celebrations were a joy to see. Unfortunately, with seconds to go, Terra Nova were awarded a penalty and with the last kick of the game, won the match 2-1 and the tournament overall.
The U6s can take enormous pride and credit for how they played the game. Their enthusiasm was infectious and the pleasure in just playing the game was so refreshing to see. The future is bright for the talented youngsters and I for one cannot wait to see them in action again.