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Some class hockey from U12 Girls

By Paul Linaker

Last competition underlines growth through season

Participants: Ashford; Bromley & Beckenham; Canterbury; Sutton Valence.

It was another tough day for the Sutton Valence girls on Sunday, in their last U12 Tournament of the season, with the majority of the opposition being that of "elite" clubs who train on a regular basis. As was known from previous matches Canterbury and Ashford don't take any prisoners and Brom Becks always put up a good fight! This tournament was also a test of the girls’ fitness and stamina as they played all six matches back to back - no mean feat!

Match 1: SVHC 0 : 2 Canterbury B
Match 2: SVHC 0 : 2 Canterbury A
Match 3: SVHC 2 : 5 Ashford Colts (Caitlin Calverley x 2)
Match 4: SVHC 1 : 1 Ashford Locos (Caitlin Calverley)
Match 5: SVHC 1 : 0 Brom Becks B (Caitlin Calverley)
Match 6: SVHC 0 : 3 Brom Becks A

It is hard to write an individual report for each game as has been done for most of the season, because the girls were consistent in their approach throughout. The 4 losses do not reflect in any way how hard the girls battled in the horrible weather conditions. In each game it felt like SV had the majority of the possession but despite this and their dogged determination the opposition would break and convert the chances they had. The girls were unafraid to get stuck in which led to a number of superb tackles. They used their energy and enthusiasm to keep going, running around the pitch to support each other and to make space for passes. They really did play great hockey today with their link up play showing how they have begun to read each other’s game.

Team: Isabella Gronow (Forward, GK), Hannah Shibli (Midfield), Anna Kitchen (Defence, Forward), Elyse Ratcliffe (Forward), Libby Watkinson (GK, Defence), Caitlin Calverley (Midfield), Alice Trought (Defence), Sophie Browning (Forward)

Libby was as strong as always in goal and made some fantastic saves. Libby judged when to run out to pressure the forward into a shot or stand her ground in an attempt to intimidate the opposition! When she played outfield her experience as a keeper showed with superb, well-timed tackles / clearances.

Alice showed a determination and fearless approach in defence. She was like a Jack Russell snapping at the heels of the opposition, determined to win the ball and clear it to the midfield. She never gave up and ran her heart out through every match she played. Even when she had to play on the frontline she tried her best although out of her comfort zone!

Anna showed her versatility in playing in defence for half of the games and as a forward for the other. Defense wise Anna was solid, she didn't back off from any tackle. As a forward there were no goals this time but you couldn't fault Anna for trying when she got the ball in the D - the opposition just got that little touch that stopped Anna in her tracks.

Hannah showed how much she's grown in confidence over the last couple of seasons. Her turn of speed allowed her to cover a lot of ground, making tackles when needed and taking the ball up field when given the opportunity. She made some lovely passes which led to a few of our near misses and even had a go at feeding in from a short corner - something she would usually shy away from!

Caitlin played with the confidence and determination we have come to expect from her. Her strength on the ball defeated many of the opposition and she worked hard to cover the length and breadth of the pitch, defending and attacking when necessary. Caitlin scored 4 super goals today - one from a free hit, one from a well worked short corner and the other two in free play - which were all well deserved!

Isabella played 4 of the games as a wing and showed why she has made this position hers. Her confidence when running with the ball gained SV a lot of territory today and she was unlucky not to score - she deserved a few to say the least! Her strength shone through as she fed the ball in on the scoring short corner and when she took a turn in goal for two matches; she really is fearless in the keeper’s kit!

Sophie was our stalwart centre forward as always. She showed her agility and movement in the D, making space where she could and sitting near the post when we attacked to try and pick up any rebounds. Sadly it wasn't meant to be today and no goals came Sophie's way. Sophie showed how much of a team player she is in moving around the pitch and dropping back to defend if needed.

Elyse also illustrated how much she has gained in confidence throughout the last couple of seasons. She was brilliant in channeling the ball (both attacking and tackling) and creating space - unfortunately being on the right of a lot of right-handed players means you don't always get seen for the passes your space creates! She battled hard and made some super passes in to the D.

Another week, another tournament and another week to tell you all what a pleasure it is to work with these girls. They have grown so much over the season, literally (I think most of them are as tall as Helen and I now!) and in their hockey skills. We are incredibly proud of them and each week they battle had to do their best no matter what the weather or opposition throws at them. Their self-belief, "sportswomanship", determination and stamina never fail to impress. Again I cannot emphasise enough what great hockey players the girls are and hope they continue to play with their inherent enthusiasm and passion.

I also want to say a BIG thank you again to Helen who always keeps us all going!

That was our last tournament for the season - only 2 training sessions left on March 11th and 25th. Helen and I won't be at the training next week but we hope we will all see you for fun and games on the last session of the season.
Report by Coach Nicola Shibli

Updated 09:58 - 5 Mar 2018 by Paul Linaker

Where next?

SVHC Golf Day - 6th July 2018 Come play Golf at Weald Golf Course , Dinner and Prize giving.
Folkestone U10 Tournament 4th February 2018 Valence play really well in all four games


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Sat 6 Apr
Sutton Valence Vets Canterbury Friars
Friendly 3 – 3
Sat 30 Mar
Sutton Valence 3 Cobdown 3
Friendly 2 – 2
Sutton Valence 2 Burnt Ash 5
League 3 – 3
Cup 0 – 5
Sat 23 Mar
Sutton Valence 3 Sutton Valence Vets
Friendly 4 – 0
Cup 0 – 1
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Friendly C – C
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League 2 – 1

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