November 26, 2021 By Jordan Off

Newsletter (06) Term 4

Training this week provided many different highlights for all different programs. Across all programs players seem to be getting more comfortable as they gain momentum from their consistent training habits.

The Mini Mongo Train group were introduced to a new game “Me” which certainly created some laughs and smiles for the players during the session. These game-based learning activities are designed to create a fun learning environment for the players. The Mini Mongo Play group had a similar experience practicing some of their little celebrations after scoring goals.

This week the Pre-Academy programs looked to develop shooting technique with both left and right feet which saw some significant improvements in the accuracy of finishing as well as some impressive ‘top bins’ finishing. In addition to this focus was also placed on positioning in larger game situations as players were introduced to notion of overloading runs.

Early in the week Academy players continued development of positional play in situations with a numerical advantage with a focus placed on quick passing and movement. Later in the week players began work on different movement patterns in behind the defence. We have been very impressed with the players development leadership on and off the field. In post training discussions players are feeling more comfortable expressing their compliments and concerns with one another regarding how they trained. This leadership is transferring onto the field as players look to encourage and motivate one another during sessions and games.

Saturday skills sessions focussed on the development of players decision making with a fun naughts and crosses exercise. Additionally, players worked through coordination and technique exercises.

In preparation for the Sydney International cup our u8, u13 and u14/15 teams played some friendly matches. This proved to be a very valuable experience for both the players and coaches as it was the first set of competitive games since the covid lockdown. Players will undoubtedly be excited for the opportunity to test themselves against other players in a competitive context.

A tournament such as this provides a unique experience for players as the demands are different from traditional weekly football leagues. This marks the first tournament for some of our u8’s. Players will need to manage their emotions in order to compete from the first game of the tournament. The nature of tournaments means teams that do not have a strong start can struggle for promotion positions required to win the tournament. Regardless of performance the tournament should be a fun learning experience for the players.


Ole sacked

Manchester United have finally bitten the bullet and sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the move appears unlikely to address the deeper eight-year malaise at the club that dominated English football for two decades.

Since Alex Ferguson ended his 26-year reign at Old Trafford with a 13th Premier League title in 2013, four coaches have come and gone without a serious title challenge between them.

David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer brought vastly different attributes and levels of experience to the job.

Van Gaal and Mourinho were proven winners, Moyes was handpicked by Ferguson as a worthy successor and Solskjaer was cherished as a club icon who scored the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final.

But what they have all had in common is an inability to turn United’s dysfunctional off-field structure into sustained success.

“This is the third time in the last eight years that a manager has been given a long-term contract or an extension and lost their job within a few months,” said former United captain Gary Neville. “The planning hasn’t been great.

In confirming Solskjaer’s sacking, United also stated their intention to appoint an interim manager until the end of the season rather than seeking a permanent appointment straight away.

That has led to more criticism of the club’s owners, the Glazer family, and outgoing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward for seemingly giving up on a season that still has six months left to run.

Although realistically out of the Premier League title race, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea, who United face on Sunday, there remains plenty to play for.

Victory against Villarreal in caretaker boss Michael Carrick’s first game in charge on Tuesday would secure a place in the Champions League last 16.

A spot in the Premier League top four is also attainable and the FA Cup offers the chance to end a barren run stretching back to 2017 without a trophy.

Comparisons have been made to Chelsea’s swift response to a similar slide under a former club legend in January.

A day after Frank Lampard was sacked, Thomas Tuchel was installed as the Blues’ new boss and went on to win the Champions League four months later.