The 2003s North Region League Cup Final was contested by Aberdeen Ladies FC and Elgin City. Aberdeen fought back to lift the trophy, sealing their victory with a 3-1 win. Philip Sainsbury, team secretary for Aberdeen Girls U13’s and also the Vice Chair for the whole of Aberdeen Ladies FC, spoke exclusively to YFS to share his thoughts on the match and to reflect on the team’s season thus far.
The final was a competitive match, contested well by both sides. Sainsbury said, “Overall the girls competed exceptionally well against a very strong Elgin City team. Great credit goes to Elgin who kept battling away in the second half and it was only when we scored our third goal with two minutes to go that we realised we were going to win. Our girls kept their shape really well. They won a lot of personal duals and, more importantly, never let their heads go down after Elgin scored first.”
Sainsbury felt that winning the trophy was significant for the team, with a number of players moving up an age group next season. “They all worked tirelessly hard and took the opportunity to win the final. For some of the older girls, this was their last chance at this age group to win a trophy.”
He added, “We also got great backing from parents as well as other people who are part of the Aberdeen FC Ladies set-up. Furthermore, our three coaches give up their own time for our girls, week in and week out. At the end of the day, they are only volunteers so their level of commitment must be recognised at all times.”
As they approach the middle of the season, Sainsbury reflected on their performance in the league thus far. “Our league performances have been strong in parts with some good wins. However we have also lost on two occasions. Now the cup competition is out of the way, our focus will turn 100% over to the league.”
Yet in addition to results, player development remains a focus. “We have a squad of fourteen players so have to be very mindful of equal game time across the whole season for the girls in order for them all to develop. Some of our girls are from the 2004’s and 2005’s age groups so this season is a learning curve for them all, and they will benefit greatly from this season when they are playing U13’s again next season.”
The girls will continue to train during their summer break, which begins after their league fixture on Saturday the 25th of June, with two weekly training sessions before the season resumes in early August. The team will then continue to challenge in the league through to the end of the season in November. Sainsbury said, “At the very end of our season in November, we always arrange an end-of-season award night along with the other teams within the Aberdeen FC Ladies set-up. This year, we also hope to try and arrange a trip for the team to go and watch maybe an English Premiership match and play a friendly against a side from whichever City we visit.”
Looking ahead to next season, Sainsbury noted that there will be a number of changes, with the girls moving into different age groups. He said, “Half of the team will have to go up an age group into the U16s, although this may change to U15s, and the other half will remain together for another season in the U13s. The younger ones will benefit hugely from the experiences this season and take that into next season.”
Everyone at YFS offers their congratulations to Aberdeen Ladies FC on their win in the North Region League Cup Final, and wishes them all the best for the rest of their season.
Photos of the final available @ http://www.yfsphotos.co.uk/p163954912