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Academy Match Reports


13th Dec 2021


Bucks RTC U14 vs Bloomsbury U14


Pre-game, the message was clear: dominate. Press high from the first minute and allow the opposition zero time and space to operate.

That’s exactly what the U14s did. Ale Salford drove through and played the pass to Prince who scored to give us the lead. Right. From. The. Off.

Start as you mean to go on. The domination gradually increased as the minutes ticked by, continuing to play fantastic football particularly down the left side with James and Jorge who were finding many creative attacking solutions. Playing a 3-4-1-2, James was fantastic on the left side of the three, combining excellently with Jorge in the left wing-back role. He stepped into the space very well, making multiple split passes breaking the oppositions press. Next to him was Dylan who engaged with a very big, physical and quick striker, but dealt with him calmly and assertively. A day where every player had a special performance – they all worked tremendously and found themselves in a much more flattering position than previous weeks due to their absolute focus from minute one, something the team should notice and carry forward. The strikers spearheading our attack were equally sensational. Elijah playing on the blind side of the centre-back and Beckett dropping into the pocket to play the penetrative passes, was a combination excellently effective. Beckett played some unbelievable reverse passes completely shattering the oppositions back line which were just superb. The pressure followed with Elijah’s headed goal from Jorge’s cross and later, another goal Prince with his first touch outside the box after coming back on! A brilliant day for the U14s, and the perfect reward for their tireless resolve after a difficult start to the season. They move onto next week with the opportunity to finish the year with six wins from six.

Bloomsbury Girls U7/8 Whites vs Pro Touch SA U8 & Academy FC U8

Two close battles for the Bloomsbury girls where although they found themselves narrowly on the wrong side of the score-line in both bouts, their learning and adaptability shone through.
Worked on during the week was using the inside of the foot to pass, control and shoot, and positioning, something in which the girls categorically displayed their understanding, with each reset and kick off the girls were straight in their set-ups with no confusion and stuck to their roles the whole match. A tactical introduction for this game was the defenders going wide at goal kicks so that Diane could use the options, the girls struggled with this during the first match, but in the second, they nailed it. Especially Alexandra, Ava, Rose and Diana. The progression, in the space of just one match, emphasises the character of the team, their willingness and application. Every single one of the girls pulled their weight over the two games, and never made a fuss when subbed or when it was their turn to be in net, exceptional team camaraderie.

It doesn’t mean there’s not things to work on however, though the performances in both games was great, the girls showed their tendency to pass to across their own goal or backwards which sometimes created a shooting opportunity for the opposition and so the focus for the next games is to try to be more penetrative and progressive with our passing. We didn’t get the results we wanted, but the improvements from the girls especially with their use of the inside of the foot to pass and control the ball, are clear, obvious, and so encouraging.

Bloomsbury U7 Gold vs Sport London e Benfica U7

Coram’s Fields was the lucky setting for this Camden Youth League (CYL) thriller where the spoils were shared. Constant goal mouth action from both teams.

The U7s weren’t able to clinch the victory, but that shouldn’t detract from a great performance: they played successfully with two formations. In the first half the group lined up in a square formation with two defenders and two attackers in front of the goalkeeper, and in the second half, a diamond formation with one sole defender, two wide players and one striker protecting the goalkeeper who was imperative to the way the team played. Both these set-ups were well received by the group and their comfortability exploring and understanding the different roles of each position on the pitch was especially encouraging and telling of the team’s capacity, versatility and intelligence. Every single one of the group was fantastic, especially Guy Morgan, the complete performance: a constant threat when in possession of the ball as well as being extremely combative when defending, crucial in creating a number of chances and bagged a brace as well to boast.

Bloomsbury U8 Gold vs East End Lions U8

Another end to end display, once again Coram’s Field the lucky setting but this time with Bloomsbury clinching the win in the CYL, containing many positives and very few negatives. A fantastic passing display from all involved which lead to plenty of chances, many of these attempted first time, great to see considering that the week’s theme and topic was all about ‘finishing first time in the final third’. One change that was made at half time was the distance between the two strikers and how they can affect the play by being in different areas of the pitch, which ultimately lead to a lot of chances. Huge credit however to East End Lions who made this a very difficult game for us, but gladly Bloomsbury prevailed, a deserving win for a group that is going from strength to strength. Special mention to Tommy Woods, a fantastic display in a variety of positions, capped off in the best way possible: with the winning goal.

Pro Touch SA U8 vs Bloomsbury U8 Black

A very, very impressive display from the U8 Blacks in their CYL fixture against Pro Touch that saw an excellent run from Odessey down the left-wing beating his man and calmly finishing into the opposite corner, brilliant finishes from Marco (who ran superbly all game, defending when needed and lead the attack superbly) for each of his strikes in his hat-trick, great work rate from Robert constantly running forwards and backwards attempting to get involved in all areas – topped off with a well-placed penalty for his goal, a strong performance from Ivan in goal making class saves and also some brilliant tackles when later outfield, and a solidly defensive performance from Christian who gave the opposition very little shooting opportunities.

Especially impressive was the team’s finishing, even sweeter considering the week’s theme and topic in training was ‘finishing in the final third with a first time finish’, the players were thrilled to have scored so many goals, a real confidence booster for some, as lots of shots were taken by all players using both feet and the inside and outside of the foot, plus great decision making from the players when choosing to either, dribble, pass or shoot, leading to many scoring opportunities. An all-round solid performance with a brilliant score-line to reflect!

Bloomsbury U8 Gold vs East End Lions U8

Although it was a very narrow loss, it was unfortunately a very disappointing Saturday for the U8s, against opposition they hammered only a few weeks ago. The main concern being the lack of shape on show, concerning because their new diamond shape has been worked on extensively the last couple of weeks to great effect. However, the desire to rescue and overturn the score-line, which was ever present earlier in the season, was back, and as a result many attacking opportunities were created. Amongst these opportunities were many first time attempts on goal which was brilliant to see as that was this week’s theme and topic. If a settled shape and discipline were applied as it has been throughout the majority of the season, then the result most certainly would have been a different story. A small blip that for sure will be fixed as this team is extremely talented, especially Guy Morgan who deserves a massive shoutout for stepping up from the U7s. He looked to impose himself on the game whenever he could both in an attacking and defensive sense, in what was a very physical game that even some of his older peers found tough to handle. He never looked out of place and took on board all instructions and coaching points, asking questions himself if required. Quality, physicality and engagement, a brilliant triplet to have as characteristics.

Bloomsbury U9 Gold vs Highbury Wolves U9

Riku Takami’s brace either side of Bastian and Deniro’s strikes clinched for the U9s an excellent victory in the Camden and Islington Youth League (CIYL).

The U9s started like a house on fire, their intelligent, aggressive pressing caused a number of early turnovers and refused the opposition any space to operate. The counter-attacks were executed with speed and precision, the players dominated their 1v1s battles, and the expansive possession was free-flowing. It culminated with Christian receiving the ball in a wide right position, cutting it back onto his left foot and playing a delightful through ball eliminating two opposition players setting up perfectly Bastian Davis to finish.

But the game was quickly flipped. Due to sloppy defending and a very good opposition left-winger, the boys were 2-1 down and found themselves in a tough predicament, one that would be a true test of how far this team has come, as their experience in losing positions is minimal. Just before the halftime whistle, Riku finishes with a finger to his ear, a celebration he’s starting to love! During the halftime team talk, the demand from the coach was to match and surpass the aggressiveness set by the opposition and dominate this game, and the boys’ response was perfect, starting the second half even stronger than the first, with Deniro Elleston bundling the ball over the line after an intense desire to force change within the game. Shortly after, the opposition winger, for his hattrick rounds the keepers and finishes, simply well deserved. With minimal time on the clock, George Thompson’s long-range strike is palmed to Riku, waiting to volley into the back of the net. A special goal, celebrated Mbappe arms-crossed style in front of the incredible Bloomsbury parents: deservingly earning an ovation from our most dedicated fans, a wholesome moment for the Bloomsbury family.

An incredible victory, the first time the U9s have come back from a losing position to win the match. The team have added a different side to their game, being aggressive without causing excessive fouls, defending the team and fighting for the badge. The added steel and ferocity beautifully complements the team’s ability to play expansive and exciting football, and is why the sky the limit’s for the level the U9s can reach as a collective.

Bloomsbury U9 Gold vs PFA United U10

It may have been their second game of the day, but that didn’t stop the U9s from achieving their motto: ‘start strong, end strong’.

A great start was capitalised through Kurt McDermott, the ball nicked off the opposition centre-backs thanks to a brilliant press and placed in the back of the net. Up against U10s, the physical battle was always going to be tough, and despite a number of questionable challenges, the boys to their credit, remained unfazed and continued to play, matching the physicality and aggression, further emphasising the impressive improvement of this side of the game from this team.

Conceding three goals, all caused by blips in concentration, put the team in a difficult position, and whilst that should act as a lesson for the boys in staying focused and the potential consequences, they should be immensely proud of how they represented themselves. They were the side playing the positive, exciting football that had the crowd purring. With five minutes left on the clock, George Thompson burying the ball into the bottom left corner crafted an exciting end to contest.

Unfortunately the boys weren’t able to produce the comeback, but to perform in this manner, against challenging, older opposition, showcases the fearlessness of this talented group.

European FA U10 vs Bloomsbury U10 Black

Excellent finishing to eclipse European FA earned the U10 Blacks an exceptional CYL victory. Beautiful to see during the game the tonnes of examples of the week’s theme and topic of taking the shot first time, several of which lead to goals. Not only finishing, but the whole team pressed incredibly, swarming the opposition forcing mistakes and intercepting the ball all over the pitch. The players were seriously impressive, everyone played their part and performed extremely well, another convincing win after a great performance! Burt, who started the game on the bench made a massive impact, his excellent footwork beat players and gave the opposition a very difficult time in all areas of the pitch, capping his cameo with a classy assist as he received the ball in a wide position before dribbling past his man and cutting it back to Seb for a simple finish. Adam had a great game as well, adding two more goals to his name with a brilliant finish for the second, pressed very well and when playing defensively allowed nobody to get past. Kieran was extremely solid at the back, positioning himself in ways that allowed him to intercept or clear the ball with ease, made some great passes forward to initiate attacks too. Zak and Yili dominated the wings, both proving very difficult to rob of the ball and putting in excellent crosses for their teammates, both deserved a goal. Otto had a great game too, excellent dribbling and two very well taken goals, causing lots of misery for the opposition with his penetrative passing that lead to plenty of attacking threats. Sammy controlled the game in midfield, using his clever footwork and great passing to retain and create on multiple occasions, topping his performance off with a sneaky goal after closing down the opposition’s defence. Mo closed down attackers with great speed, limiting their options and forcing errors, keeping Bloomsbury’s conceded goals to a minimum, and Seb played great in both the defence and attack, being used as a quick outlet from wingback and was a nuisance for the other team when playing up front, fully deserving of his goal.

West Ham United Foundation U10 vs Bloomsbury U10 Gold


Braces each for Samuel, Vanya, Oli and Archie, complemented by Jacob and Jon’s goals saw Bloomsbury’s U10 Gold maraud their way past West Ham United Foundation.

Early departure times and long distances to travel can very easily be the genesis of a disappointing away day, but not for Bloomsbury. The nature of this performance against a Foundation side belonging to an established Premier League club and category one Academy, was absolutely fantastic. Everything clicked into place, demonstrating with aplomb every topic covered during the second block of the Bloomsbury Foundation Phase curriculum. Demonstration of the use of different type of passes to not only create goalscoring opportunities but recycle possession, pressing high up the pitch as a team in order to win possession back, counter attacking with speed in order to catch the opposition unaware, using the goalkeeper as an outfield player, and first time finishing, all evident throughout all four of the fifteen minute quarters. Every member should be extremely proud of the performance put in, but most importantly, be hungry for more as they look to build on the performance to ensure that they as a team are in the best position to develop further in preparation for their upcoming challenge, nine-a-side football next season. The very high engagement before, during, and after each quarter contributed hugely to this massive performance. Although the team were dominant, every single individual still wanted more, which tells you everything you need to know about the character of this team. The abundance of sweaty smiles told the story of a hugely successful away day.

Welwyn Pegasus U12 vs Bloomsbury U12


Despite two stunning first half free-kicks courtesy of Ethan, Bloomsbury’s U12s were defeated in the Junior Premier League (JPL) away at Welwyn.

They played a very difficult fixture, but matched the opposition for the majority of the game, asking lots of questions and dealing with problems they caused. The boys started to take more risks being 3-2 down with a quarter of an hour left to play, and the opposition, to their credit, took advantage and completely, and coolly, finished the game off. The effort was unmatched; however retention of the ball was a key error within the game. It’s never nice to lose in this manner, but the overwhelming positive is that this fixture will stick out to the boys as the ultimate lesson of the importance of being able to keep possession, and the consequence of not communicating, positioning, and working as a team effectively to move the ball quickly and smartly.

Bloomsbury U13 vs Bows Academy U13


The opening goal of the U13’s defeat in the JPL came midway through the first half after an evenly matched opening spell. Both sides were battling hard in the fight for third in the table, but Bows Academy broke Bloomsbury down with a right-footed shot from the edge of the area that crept under Sami and into the bottom corner. Bloomsbury then found themselves 2-0 down before half-time with a lapse in concentration costing the boys despite both sides having chances.

In the second half, Bloomsbury managed to muster some attacking threat they lacked in the first half, with Dante taking matters into his own hands dribbling through the majority of the Bows team and firing into the inside netting to half the deficit.

Sadly though, the one goal deficit didn’t last long as Bows broke away to score their third, leaving Bloomsbury a mountain to climb. In their quest back, the formation changed to a 3-5-2 which allowed for more opportunities for both teams to score. However, it was Bows that would get the fifth goal of the game, exposing Bloomsbury on the counter attack to put the final nail in the coffin and affirmatively end our chances of picking up any points.

Despite the result, it was good to see the defence’s organisation, understanding their roles holding a line making it difficult for Bows to play through. Upon winning the ball, the back four managed to play some excellent balls forward, particularly down the line to Simon who looked dangerous all afternoon.

This group continues to improve, with this loss being the first in seven. However, the team were disappointed that this week’s theme of ‘finishing in the final third’ was not seen as frequently as they would have liked. They had very few shots in the game and didn’t create enough chances to win despite showing some excellent finishing in both training sessions this week. Despite this, Che ran tirelessly all afternoon, chasing down every loose ball and pressing from the front.

Bloomsbury Girls U13 vs Vicky Park Rangers U13


This week saw the last fixture for Bloomsbury Academy U13’s and Vicky Park Rangers U13’s, and what an entertaining game it was! Coming away with one point, after a 2-2 draw, against the current runners up in the league really highlights the progression and development that these Bloomsbury girls are making already in the season.

During training this week, the girls focused on ‘finishing in the final third, close range finishing’. This involves anticipation, self-belief, timing of movements, dealing with stress and attempting to score through different ways- some of which include headers, volleys and one touch finishes.

Many of the girls showcased their knowledge from training, through the abundance of shots towards the VPR keeper. A name that springs to mind when mentioning the finishing in this game is Yas, due to her grabbing two goals for her side- one of which was a calm and collected penalty. Laura contributed to many of these progressive plays, one of which resulted in Yas opening the scoreline very early on in the game. VPR were also strong in attack, which placed a lot of pressure on Bloomsbury’s defence and created many 50/50 chances. Georgia and Emma in particular were very effective in pressing, as well as sitting off and protecting the space in behind. Also, Emma had a quick winger to mark, which she did effectively, in many one-on-one clearances.

Sadly the girls’ brilliant efforts and skill weren’t rewarded the full three points, but the point has secured their position in the top three going into the New Year. These girls were arguably the better side, as they created many chances, which enforces excitement into what they will be like after the break when certain finishing aspects are developed.

Bloomsbury Girls U14 vs Lymore Gardens U13


The Girls Super League (GSL) saw another tense and exciting game, with Bloomsbury Academy U14 taking on Lymore Gardens U13, with only a point between them in the table. The game saw a 1-1 draw, after Bloomsbury’s hard work was rewarded with a last minute equaliser.

During training this week, the girls focused on ‘finishing in the final third, close range finishing’. This involves anticipation, self-belief, timing of movements, dealing with stress and attempting to score through different ways- some of which include headers, volleys and one touch finishes.

The girls, in particular the last minute goal scorer Malaika, proved to have successfully learnt the knowledge taught at training, as were able to get many shots away and eventually end up on the scoresheet. Malaika’s goal was thoroughly deserved, as she had no fear of failure when attempting to shoot, which is something that has been intensely worked on in training. Not only did the team to well up the pitch, but another key player in the match was Shola for her incredible saves and resilience, rescuing Bloomsbury in many incidents.

Although Bloomsbury were on the back foot throughout the majority of the game, something Coach Kieran found remarkable was determined attitude and passion which meant they never gave up and got what they deserved. This was a tough game to end the year on, but all players should walk away feeling proud of their achievements, as many are really starting to show their progression this season.

Bloomsbury U15 vs AIFC U15 


What looked to be the sixth win on the bounce for the U15s instead concluded as a disappointing Friday night defeat in the JPL. As Joao Paolo Ferreira reflected, “we didn’t start the game brightly as we usually do, and we were lucky not to concede first. We managed to score two really nice goals before half time, but we let ourselves down by losing our concentration and giving two goals away”. A frustrating loss, but not one of entire gloom, one of the shining lights being Dylan Symmerhayes: a positive presence for the whole game, worked hard on and off the ball and managed to score and create many chances. He carried last week’s theme and topic too, recognising brilliantly the right moment to retain possession of the ball.
A day to simultaneously forget, but also remember, as the team must focus and keep working hard to improve those individual and team mistakes.

Bloomsbury U16 Black vs Somers Town U17


Straight from the off in this excellent victory, the U16s looked the better team. Their character was especially impressive, their grit and determination in the tackles and aerial dules was a superb, endearing sight. At times the boys got drawn into the opposition’s game, but they stayed switched on and defended cohesively, with their strongest point of the game being their fight to win the ball back and retain possession. Once the boys were able to put combinations of passes together, they immediately looked dangerous making the opposition look frankly, out of their depth.

A collective performance that included so much individual excellence. Aman flaunted his intelligence as centre back, quickly working out the opposition’s game plan in the early minutes of the match, allowing the team to control the game as the defence, marshalled by Aman, anticipated the long-ball. At half-time, the coach expressed the necessity to play the passing game, the team resoundingly agreed knowing the performance could be improved. Luke and Alex recognised they couldn’t afford any complacency, and were both integral to the team sealing the game. Their repetitive practice of one touch finishing during this week’s trainings on ‘finishing in the final third’, outstandingly paid off, Alex showed no signs of giving up until he got his goal, that relentless endeavour a brilliant attribute to have as a footballer. Luke was just as important on the wing with his close dribbling and creating chances for himself to get a shot off, unfortunately the goal didn’t happen this week, but considering his inspiring attitude to improve, it most certainly will pay off eventually.

The boys were excellent, by far the better team, and best of all, only going to get stronger.

Bloomsbury U16 vs AC Finchley South


Finchley flattened by Freddie’s fantastic four.

Convincing and comfortable were our U15s in their Watford Friendly League bout. Although the opposition actually scored first, it was Bloomsbury who controlled the game. The week’s training theme and topic ‘finishing in the final third with short range finishing’ prepared the boys perfectly for this contest, especially Freddie. An incredible four goals the forward, two penalties plus two great finishes including a sumptuous lob over the keeper. But it wasn’t a solo effort, the fight and commitment from every one of the players was very commendable, with their desire to win they together flashed four past AC Finchley. Didier worked tirelessly in midfield tackling toughly, alongside him Luke orchestrated the game in centre midfield assisting the goal scorer to net a ‘short range finish’ – straight off the training ground. Saul replaced Luca which gave us the edge to push on and get the third and fourth. Philo and Alexey worked hard getting up and down the wings, never fatiguing. Our back three Aman, Carter and Kam defended cohesively and superbly, not only did they cut out the short and long passes, but they had the composure and technique to play those passes themselves.

A classy performance: one that displayed the player’s ease in their 3-6-1 formation over-running the midfield staying compact but also wide when needed, one that required full engagement with Hyseni advising on the potential opposition threats and the team switching on to the opponent’s tactic, cutting it out from the source pressing together to not allow any build up play, but most importantly one that wasn’t without improvements – the team must create more chances by making runs in behind and playing the ball through the lines with the correct weight of pass.