Friday, 10 September 2010

Another Youth Football Team

On Wednesday evening Benedict practiced with another football club, the Spartans. This club plays their home games at Boston Manor Park near our house, but they do their training in a park a couple of bus rides away from us called Carville Mall Park, perhaps due to the massive Audi and Mercedes dealerships nearby. Still, it's closer than the Whistler's training field we visited last Saturday. Again, because of his birth date he was grouped with the under 13 boys. Had he been born one day later he would play with the under 12s, as he does in Texas.

 The difference between the Spartans and the
Whistlers is enormous. The Spartans take their football much more seriously. Very hard core from a football standpoint. For one thing, they practice twice a week instead of once, as the Whistlers do. They also have practice uniforms as well as game uniforms. There is no running laps or extensive physical training as with the Whistlers. All age groups, 12 and up, run through the technical drills together. On Wednesday nearly all the drills focused on dribbling and ball-handling skills. These drills lasted about 45 minutes. Then there was a half hour of scrimmaging. Everything was extremely organized and the boys focused. There was no time to fool around or get to know the other boys. The skill level of the boys was very high, as was their physicality. The scrimmage was very fast, much faster than what Benedict is used to.

Starting next week their Wednesday practices will be indoors for an hour and will focus entirely on technical drills. It's beginning to get darker earlier, and the training field has no lights.

We decided that since we will be out of London for several weekends before we leave, the best alternative was not to join a club. For a fee both clubs allow non-club players to practice with them, so what Benedict will try is practicing with the Spartans indoors on Wednesdays and practice with the Whistlers on Saturdays when we're in town. He liked the Whistlers better because the practices included smaller number of players, and he also got a chance to talk to some of the boys, which really didn't happen with the Spartans. So we'll see how it works out.

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