As the Cambridge U-13 boys’ youth team goes into the second half of its season, coach Shaun O’Brien has praised the players for the progress they have made.
“I am seeing continuing improvements within the group, with the boys gelling as a team both on and off the field,” he said after the team’s latest game in the WaiBOP Federation Youth League.
Cambridge lost 5-3 at Rotorua United’s Neil Hunt Park but coach O’Brien liked what he saw from the boys.
“I feel it was our best performance to date,” he said.
“While the final result didn’t go the way we hope, during the game the boys implemented, for the most part, what we have been working over the last few weeks.
“So, from a coaching perspective, it was pleasing to see that happen on the pitch.”
Cambridge have been playing an exciting style of football, leading to a series of high-scoring games, as the boys step up to higher levels of play against strong opposition teams containing the best players of the U-13 age group in the region.
O’Brien says he feels the team has a lot more to give and wants to see the players continue their develop into the 2019 season.
“If we look at how we started and where we are now, I feel the team has made significant progress.
“It is encouraging to see the players listening and working hard during training and on match day.
“I can’t fault them for their efforts.
“We seem to be a team that, no matter what the result is during or after the match, keeps their heads up, continues to try hard and ultimately enjoys what we are doing. There is no lack of effort.”
O’Brien thanked the parents and supporters for their continued positive support of the players, whether they helped with travelling long distances for games, running a line or washing kit.
“It all adds up to making an enjoyable season for the squad.”
O’Brien, who travels from Tauranga to coach the squad, said he had found his role with the team a “positive experience”.