The Lluidas Vale Sporting Academy said its Under-17 footballers surpassed expectations, although they did not advance beyond the semi-final round in the St Catherine Under-17 Football Competition.
They lost 1-0 to Black Lion Football Club at the Owen Palmer Community Centre on July 19.
Jacques Small, who manages the Lluidas Vale team, admitted: “The team was somewhat disappointed. At the game, we had to be telling them ‘hold up your heads; there is nothing to be ashamed of‘. They really wanted to go all the way, but they are work in progress.
“It was a hard-fought [semi-final] game. We had a questionable goal that was not given to us. It is understandable that, based on what happened, the referees weren’t in any position to give that goal; we weren’t playing with technology that the international games have at their disposal,” Small further told The Beacon.
He stated that the response to the team’s overall performance has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The feedback that I got from even persons in the St Catherine Football Association is that they are overwhelmed as they weren’t expecting to see such a well-rounded team, especially because we had been out of organized football for so long,” Small explained.
“The community also was in a sense of surprise of how well the team performed in the Under-17 [competition]. Even at the semi-final, we had a large group of people from the community who actually travelled for that game.”
Small, in the meantime, said the Lluidas Vale Sporting Academy is continuing to work with its players to achieve better results next time round.
“We are going to continue to work with them to see how best we can assist them in their love for the sport and to progress as far as they can,” he told The Beacon.
He added: “I believe this is the least talented Under-17 team I have ever coached, and, for the most part, they have exceeded everybody’s expectations. I am pleased with their effort and I am looking forward to them doing better next year – reason being, we have more than half of the squad that will be eligible to play next year.”
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