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Footballers compete in Mediterranean Cup

  • Secondary News

St George's Under 14 team for the Mediterranean Cup in Verona included a mix of boys from Years 7 to 9, and with the inclusion of the four Year 7s, we were among the youngest teams to compete, as teams are typically just Year 9s.

We started strongly on Thursday, brushing aside Tunis of Tunisia by 4-0, with goals from Alex K (2), Sebbie K and Jaime R with a thunderbolt.

We then met Prague Vlastina of Czech Republic in our second group game and won by 2-0 with goals from Alex K and Fred T before a 0-0 draw with Padua of Italy took us into lunch in second place in the group. The top two teams from each group of six would qualify for the elite section for Saturday, which is the highest tier.

After some pizza, we managed to squeeze past Milan Cavaglia in game four, winning 1-0 with a goal from Gabriele Basile, securing our qualification to Elite section. We changed the team around before a defeat to Geneva in our last game on Friday as we prepared for our Elite group of Brussels, Casablanca and Warsaw on Saturday.

We travelled to the city of Verona on Friday night where the boys got some ice cream and a walk around.

On Saturday morning we started well against Warsaw with Andrea B giving us the lead but lost concentration and conceded two quick goals against a powerful team. Alex K equalised for us late in the game to earn a point.

We knew we needed to win our next game against a very physical Moroccan team but after an excellent free kick from them we were left chasing the game and conceded a late second to lose 2-0.

We then faced the unbeaten British School of Brussels (who were eventual overall champions) and went down 1-0 in a game where all our Year 7s started and fought brilliantly.

This set us up with a qualification derby against St George’s of Rome, in which we came from behind to win 2-1 with goals from Alex K and a winner from Harry W. We would again meet Warsaw in the ‘Elite Bronze Final to play for 9th place overall, out of 36 teams. 

While all was challenging on the pitch on Saturday, Sunday at 01:00 proved more dramatic than the many penalty shootouts as a fire on the second floor saw the hotel evacuated and we were forced to wait in the car park for 45 minutes. All our boys were safe and responded well to the evacuation, and responded even better to being allowed back to bed.

The final on Sunday morning was a sleepy affair but after we were awarded a contentious penalty for a foul on Rafael, Jaime R coolly converted to give us the lead, which we defended heroically to win 1-0 and secure the Elite Bronze trophy for 9th of 36 boys teams.

Qualifying for the Elite section was a great achievement for this young squad and they have all learned from the experience. Our standout players for the competition were defensive duo Andrea B and Alexander G, who were very hard to get past, as were goalkeepers Sufian and Jamie.

A big thank you to self-titled ‘Strength and Conditioning Coach, First Aid Maestro and Dead Ball Specialist’ Mr Browne for his assistance with the team, and commendation to the boys for once again representing us with respect, kindness and determination. 

– By Mr Lemon, Secondary Sports Coordinator