BOLTON, England – The EduKick England football academy boys played their first game against Manchester College, and though they played hard, Manchester triumphed, 2-1. Though the loss was disappointing, Bolton Wanders FC International Academy Manager (and EduKick England Technical Football Director) Dave Bailey noticed much improvement on the pitch.
“We thought after we went a goal up, we would have kicked on and that the goal would have settled us and given us confidence to take control of the game,” Bailey said. “But we gave them a soft goal and seemed to become very unsettled after that.
“We felt at times the boys–even though they have adjusted well in other aspects: education, host family, training, etc.–that they showed some naïveté when it comes to the games.
“Expectations are high amongst the boys, and I could see and feel how some of them were as disappointed as we were. They are showing a step in the right direction when it comes to that winning mentality.
“In the English game, teams have a lot of fight and have a great passion and pride about themselves. We may not have the technically gifted players throughout all our players in this country, but we have attitude.”
The boys had been training on certain things, and Bailey could see improvement in their game.
“We had worked in training on certain things and we could see that coming across from one or two of the boys,” he said. “Today we were much better in certain areas–mainly fullbacks–but we still had a few boys have good, solid performances. We see that the fitness is getting sharper and they look to understand the game little by little.
“We have two weeks before our next game, which is a big test. It’s a men’s team and they are the fire service team, which we, as a club, have close links with. We will be back on the training pitch Monday and be preparing the boys for this. We look forward to the challenge.”
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