Tuesday night, the 29th of November it was the turn of the U15 team to play their first match. The FE-A U15 played against Avanti Wilskracht U15 on the ground of CVV Sparta Enschede. FE-A U15 struggled with a physically strong and compact playing Avanti Wilskracht which resulted in the FE-A being 0-1 down after the first half. The second half was an improvement over the first one. Thanks to the variation in the attack the FE-A U15 managed to come back and win 3-1.
We asked both coaches for their reaction.
First we interviewed Olivier Amelink. Olivier is the Head of Academy Football Development and the coach of the FE-A U15 team.
1. What made you choose Avanti Wilskracht as your opponent?
Avanti Wilskracht U15 is a team lead by coach Jacob Heinze, a colleague at our FootballEquals Academy. That is basically the way it happened. It is also a good thing that this team plays in a strong league which means that they would provide good resistance for our first match.
2. How did you prepare your players for this match?
The last couple of months we trained the players individually based on the principles of a specific way of football. I held a short talk in which I explained what I was expecting from every player.
3. What were your expectations prior to the match?
I find it difficult to make an estimate of a match. You never know how your opponent will play. What I did know is that there would be a disciplined, dynamic and attractive playing FE-A U15 on the pitch.
4. What is your analysis of the game?
When I look at my own team, I am pretty satisfied about the intensity that we played in, especially in defence and when we lost the ball. We can and have to be a lot better when we are in ball possession. We need to work on this. Avanti Wilskracht played with a lot of physical power and a compact organization. We were not able to play through this in the first half. In the second half we played better. We had a lot more threat and depth with Ilyas Abatui up front who brought more variation in our attack. It allowed us to create more chances and win deservedly.
5. What is your conclusion about the match and where did you see areas for improvement?
Everything we do, can and has to be better. We have not yet reached the maximal potential of these players. When I look at the team process of the U15 team, I think that we could improve the most on the adjustments of the game principles that we apply, so that we can really dominate and control a match.
After the interview with Olivier Amelink we spoke to Jacob Heinze. Jacob is an assistant coach of the FE-A U15 team and the coach of Avanti Wilskracht U15. We asked Jacob for his opinion about FootballEquals and his reaction to the match.
1. What do you think of the concept of the FootballEquals Academy?
I am an assistant coach of the FE-A U15 team. I think that it is an excellent concept which I really support. That is also the reason why I want to be a part of the Academy.
I think it is nice to see boys and girls train together. The training also allows the boys and girls to develop themselves socially. I also think that the communication is getting a lot better and that the FE-A is very involved. I really appreciate the work of the people who are trying to convince everyone that the FE-A wants the best for all their stakeholders.
2. You are the coach of Avanti Wilskracht and of the FE-A. Does your approach differ per team or do you treat both teams the same?
I am who I am, it would be strange to treat the FE-A U15 different in comparison to the U15 of Avanti. The only difference is that I train with Avanti to play matches on Saturdays. At the FE-A I am only present on Tuesdays, which does not give me the opportunity to train them as much.
3. What were your expectations of this match?
I knew that Olivier would press very early and I discussed with my players how to handle this. We wanted to use this friendly match to practice our ability to play ourselves out of the pressure and quickly get behind the defence of the other team.
4. What is your analysis of this match?
In the first half we did a good job at playing ourselves out of pressure and deservedly scored the 1-0. In the second half, Olivier’s team played with more variety. Because of the adjustments in their formation by pressing with an extra player, they were the deserved winners in the end. The goals we conceded were unnecessary. But then again, when is conceding a goal necessary?
5. What is your conclusion of this match?
There was good opposition for both teams and I am very satisfied with the way we presented ourselves. Playing this friendly match on a Tuesday is another chance for us to develop ourselves. We definitely want a rematch!