As we approach the end of 2015 it is a good time to reappraise what the Academy has achieved over the past 12 months.
I believe we can confidently say that real progress has been made. We have without doubt some of the finest and most dedicated coaches running our teams, from the youngest minis through to our under 18’s. The talent that we now have coming through all age groups is exciting. Some of those players have outstanding potential. It is a very tough call to be taken on by a professional club but for those who really want it enough, the ball is very much in your court. All of the top pro’s will tell you of the many hours of additional practice and training they put in as aspiring young players after the formal standard sessions had been completed. They will tell you that they listened to and considered all the advice they were given, particularly from their coaching mentors. As young players they recognised that diet and personal fitness is a key aspect that makes the difference if you have the talent.
Our link with Gillingham FC is strengthening and proving to be a real bonus. Already 12 of our young players have spent time at the Gillingham Academy training alongside their elite youngsters and appearing for Gillingham in competitive matches against other league clubs. In addition last year’s talented under 16 squad went on a 3 match tour of Kent to play three top sides including Gillingham FC under 18’s As a bonus they were also fortunate to have coaching sessions with Darren Hare and Kevin Bremner. In recent weeks Darren Hare has spent 4 days with us taking training sessions, presenting to our coaches and attending two matches. One alongside Coach Anthony Lister on the bench throughout the game
During the past 12 months the facilities provided by the Club have improved out of all recognition, to the benefit of all Academy players.
The progress that we are making is reflected in the remarkable record that we have achieved over the past 4 weeks. Taking all age groups we have played 19 Academy matches, winning 15 drawing 3 and losing only one in difficult circumstances. Last Sunday our under 12 B team were forced to put out a weakened team against Rozel A team and were extremely unfortunate to lose by the only goal of the game.
The most rewarding feature has been the improvement in the quality of our play generally, keeping our shape, maintaining our concentration, our passing and movement. The self belief that we are gaining was epitomized by an under 16 performance that I was fortunate enough to see last Sunday. Playing the top team, Grouville, who had won all of their previous matches this season; they found themselves 2-0 down at halftime. St Peter pulled a goal back through a brilliant Elliot Stephen’s strike only to concede again to go 3-1 down with 20 minutes to go. That’s when the game really came alive, our young team fought back with such intensity that they pulled a goal back with 15 minutes to go through a Harrison Cummins penalty and Mark Boarer equalised with just 5 minutes to play. It was now all St Peter and we could have actually won the game but for a superb save by the Grouville keeper from a fierce Jacques Antiquiel strike.
We have to keep our feet on the ground, we are only half way through the season, but the signs are good. If we can maintain and even improve on the performance levels of the past 4 weeks, we can make 2015/16 season one to remember. Please put everything into your coaching sessions, always give a 100% on the pitch and work for each other. Soccer is above everything a team game.
As a St Peter player it is important to always play the game in the right spirit. Please set the example for other teams to follow, shake hands with the opposing team both before and after the game. Thank the referee and the officials and respect their decisions.
Good luck to all of you for the remainder of the season, play with pride and let’s make it a season to remember.
I would take this opportunity to wish all of our coaches, players, parents, committee members and indeed everyone associated with St Peter FC and the Academy, a most enjoyable and peaceful Christmas. I hope the New Year brings you and your family, good health, good fortune and happiness in abundance.
I am very honoured and proud to be part of such a well respected football club and amongst so many dedicated and talented individuals.
Chairman St Peter FC Academy
9th December 2015