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U18s Roar Into Top 4 Final

The U18’s are into the Top 4 Cup Final after a 3-0 victory over Perth Glory at Dorrien Gardens last Saturday.

Having already beaten Glory to the League title the week before with a 3-1 win at Ashfield Arena, playing some stellar football , the Stirling boys backed it up with another winning performance to head straight to the Grand Final.

Perth Glory came out of the blocks quickly and settled into their usual possession style of football, pegging Stirling back into their own half for considerable periods during the first half. Having A League coach Kenny Lowe on the bench seemed to give them a lift.

Glory came close on a few occasions but for the most part were repelled in attack by a solid back line of Alan Reidy, Jayden Dods, Mason Langham and Ollie Watson. When Glory did manage to get the ball on target, goalkeeper Callum Atkins was always well positioned to save or direct the ball around the goal posts. Atkins pulled off a tremendous one handed save when the Glory striker managed to breach the defence for a one on one with the Stirling keeper. The save seemed to lift the Stirling side and just before half time, Tom Balch ghosted forward to the edge of the Glory penalty box after Stirling launched a trade mark counter attack to bury a cross into the net. Stirling went into the half time break 1-0 up but the big talking point at the break from the Stirling supporters was the defence being able to hold the Glory side out after having the kitchen sink thrown at them for at least 40 minutes prior to Stirling’s goal. It was a superb display from the defence and the whole team for that matter and really demonstrated the training sessions held in ball possession to the opponent which really proved pivotal.

Coaches Keegan Ashley and a rather unwell Sam Atkins must have said the right things at the break and adjusted player rotations because the Stirling side came out with more purpose from the beginning of the second half. Ben Campbell could have given Stirling a two goal buffer early on after good work down the right from Bleron Mamudi who found Campbell on his own in the box, only for the Stirling striker to misdirect a first time strike wide of the left post. As Glory pushed for a goal, openings began to appear and Stirling managed to go another goal up courtesy of a well taken finish from Mamuidi who beat his marker, rounded the Glory keeper and finished well with his left foot. The goal seemed to deflate the Glory side because from that point, Stirling always looked the more likely to score more goals and eventually did following substitute, Denzel Tshuma’s arrival into the penalty area to put away a cross for a 3-0 lead.

The final score was more reflective of the second half performance , had it not been for the hard working defensive effort from the boys of the back four and the midfield unit of Tom Balch, Robbie McNeill, Joey Perkins and Daniel Stone, the score line in the first half could have been in the Glory’s favour. Keegan Ashley said after the game ”The boys are winners with a winning mentality and worked very hard in the first half of the game , second half we started to get on the ball a lot more and we got our rewards.

Stirling play the winner of the Perth Glory v Subiaco match being played on Wednesday evening.

The Grand Final match is at Dorrien Gardens (Perth SC) on Saturday 10th Sept at 10.30am. Come along and support the boys!

U16 NPL Win League

U16s NPL Team had a very successful season winning the NPL group B League by 9 points.

They finished the regular season with 16 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. The team scored 74 goals (highest scorers in the league) and conceded 20 goals (least goals conceded in the league).

Coach David Galbraith commented;

“I was always confident there would be a cutting edge to this team however what was really pleasing was the way the defence really came together and gave us the solid base to play off. This team was, in effect, a complete new team with only 7 of the 15 players having played NPL football before.

We started training in November 2015 and had 8 friendlies against quality opposition prior to the start of the season. This time proved invaluable in developing systems of play and as a result we had a great start to the season. Real credit goes to the players and how quickly they gelled as a team.

We won our first 13 games and never looked back playing a brand of high tempo, disciplined football.

The only disappointment was going out to Perth SC on penalties in the Top 4 Quarter Final (game finished 1-1). It is always a very cruel way to lose a game on penalty kicks.

Congratulations to the players and everyone involved with the U16s NPL team.”

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 11.00.34 AM

Left to Right: Johann Moritz Silva, Mooprusee Mg, Nikolas Theodorou, George Bull, Chris Vonleh, Amann Alshebani, Filip Ciupac, Antonio Belcovski, Samuel Dweh, Fin Elliott, Matt Lewis, Thomas Hiotis, Qulan Dique, Kyle Cass, Gal Naveh

15 Players – 11 Nations – 1 Team (Stirling Lions U16s)