It's nearly Christmas! Oh sorry, you didn't know? Well you need to get active online, not just with the shopping but assisting Duncan in his managerial role by responding to his Teamer requests. Click to repond to 'Christmas touch'please. So far it's only Nigel "Willing, although not necessarily able" (pictures speak louder Nigel!) As much adult support as possible is needed vs the youthful opposition & as you can see rugby ability is not necessarily a prerequisite…..
And as the youthful opposition goes, the friendly with Warriors the Sunday before last went very well. Brilliant match report from Dave Hawkins below …...
WINTER WARRIORLAND On Sunday 29th November we had an away day training session kindly hosted by our near neighbours at Wimbledon Warriors. Unfortunately we didn't quite have enough players to put out a full Wimbledon team but after a brief warm up session we played a game of two mixed squads.
The overall quality was excellent and without being biased (honestly!) man for man the Wimbledon players outclassed their Warrior counterparts.
Notably was Man Boy mountain Freddie, still strapped up recovering from a wrist injury, who quickly demonstrated his credentials as a match winning, powerful ball carrier by scoring two quick tries (one from deep showing a clean pair of heals!) and Joshua, who's tenacity and tackling belies his stature; seemingly holding hands with an opponent as he was dragged, bouncing, down the pitch and over the try line!
Although some of the boys were playing out of position due to a shortage of forwards from both clubs, everyone accounted for themselves well and some of the attacking play was great to watch.
Warriors also enjoyed themselves and we managed to avoid the rain as a bonus!
Hopefully, next time we have "B" match we'll have enough players to put out a full Wimbledon team and play a competitive match. Importantly, the day demonstrated what a great squad of players we have in the U13’s with strength in depth.
We have had a good start to the season with a number of players joining us from Kings and other newcomers adding to the size of the squad.
We have added an additional training session on Wednesday evenings (7.00-8.30pm) which is regularly getting 15+ players attending. This session is vital for those players in the squad that might not be playing/training regularly at school. We have worked a lot on basics such as timing, lines of running and handling skills, tackling, working as a defensive line and rucking. Please come along / continue to come along. We are the only Junior squad that trains during the week and, with the attendance of Jesse our sponsored first team player, it is a chance to have a chat and ask any questions as well as benefit from a bit of coaching from him.
Our league campaign is going well with two sizeable wins so far. Our approach to selection for league and friendlies is one of inclusion. Where possible we will look to create a blend of experienced and lesser experienced players in squads allowing for development within our year group.We have plenty of league and friendly games coming up in the new year so if you feel this has not been the case so far please be patient (come and have a chat with me). League fixtures create a problem in a squad our size where 22 (we will always be taking the maximum players we can and rotating subs during league games) out of perhaps 34 players who would be training on a Sunday are selected to play a match then providing a meaningful training session for 12 players is sometimes challenging. As Dave has written above, a couple of weeks ago we had a joint session with Warriors which went well; we shall try to arrange more in the future. At this point I would like to thank Duncan Groves for all his work in coordinating things. It is a very challenging job, thanks Duncan.
With Christmas parties, friendlies and league games and tour coming up it is up to us to take advantage of the hard work people do organising events and participate.
Stuart's Attack Philosophy
We looked at our Defence philosophy in the previous edition of the newsletter. Since then we have started working on our approach to attacking. We have looked to give the squad some tools to help them take the ball forward and penetrate/out flank the opposition's defensive line. Our philosophy in attack is to simply set up a structure in possession that gives the ball carrier several options to take when moving forward. The ball carrier can then choose an option based on the information that they are processing at that time during the game. This may be to give a flat ball to a player running a hard penetrative line or play the ball back to a second attack whick looks to getting the ball wide. We have worked on creating a pattern of same way attack building phases and maintaining possession. If you or a player has any questions on this please come and have a chat.
A word on Wednesdays from Nigel:
A really good turnout last night - and a great effort all round from 20 boys on a wet, blustery night. Lots of mud and puddles to run those lines through! Well done. Huge thanks must go to Jesse too, who came along again to help coach the boys. For those who don't know, Jesse plays for Wimbledon First XV and will be helping us this season - as much as his weekends allow. We'll look forward to seeing him again in a few weeks when he's back from New Zealand. As for everyone else, look forward to seeing you on Sunday...
Des’ tour extravaganza is coming on well. Raise a glass to that man & Joe for all the organizing that has gone on there! Additionally, Steve’s past form of having the canny knack to take money from us every Sunday without anyone quite knowing what it was for, has recently been channelled into successfully acquiring tour sponsorship from 2 blokes on a train on his way home from a boozy night out - so it’s silly socks (& lots more!) all round. Well done Steve! There are also attempts to organise a coaches night out. Sure the 2 are entirely unconnected. Speak to Duncan or his doodle if you are on the coaching team.
20th Dec Christmas party
Duncan’s talking turkeys & Steve’s insinuating with stuffing. Help is needed on TeamerLINK TO HELP
The format for the youth xmas lunch this year (20th Dec) follows with tradition, whereby each age group supplies turkey for their players and the club provides all the trimmings (veg, etc.)
Initial count is we have we have 30 attending. We need additional volunteers to bring a cooked turkey (which we can reimburse you for).
Serious Stuff will be at the clubhouse this Sunday the 13th December so if you want to buy kit or balls, special or otherwise, ring Rhiannon 02035442626 and Serious Stuff will bring your order to the clubhouse for collection, thereby saving you postage.
Any player playing in the league match this Sunday & NOT able to stay for lunch please let me know so I can give numbers to Mik (If I don't hear from you I will assume you are staying for lunch).
Players who are training this Sunday, please keep an eye out for Teamer alerts as it may be starting at the later time of 11am (due to it being the minis Christmas party).
Hopefully that's everything covered for the year. If I don't see you beforehand have a lovely Christmas.