Vital Football

Latest Leeds United News

Vital Leeds: Oakwood Owls Update

Vital Leeds: Oakwood Owls Update

Oakwood Owls have formally entered the U15`s Soccer City Premiership league and Owls youth worker/ head coach Rod Christopher gives us an excellent report of the events of the first day in competitive football.

We came, we saw and we so very nearly conquered!

The Owls headed for their first ever competitive league match on Friday 17th August 2007, but lost out in a very close match against Leeds Youth in Soccer City`s' U15s Premiership league.

I arranged to meet 3 of our boys on the way to the centre. Elland Road stadium was our meeting point and we somehow found a bit of time to pose for photos at the Billy Bremner statue capturing a few pictures of the lads on this historic day for us! We then headed for the venue, which is only minutes away from the ground (behind the kop & under that little bridge!) We all gathered in the changing area, where I firstly informed the group of other planned football activities during the school holidays, then I cornered (not literally I hope ed) captain Nathan Gerrard to hear which 5 players he thought we should start with.

I knew we had a pretty strong side today, but did we have enough there to defeat such organised and experienced opposition? Only 28 minutes would tell, but I was quite confident that we could get a result against any team with the players at my disposal today.

Our boys really did themselves and me proud today. We had to play a team that were last seasons champions, the current unbeaten league leaders (5 out of 5) & the centre staffs' firm favourites to collect the title again in our very first game for points as a group in a league. A tough baptism in anyone`s eyes, but my boys seemed to take to it like seasoned professionals!

None of us seemed nervy at all, but I could clearly see the opposition squad & officials appeared bothered, as they sized us up before kick off. I saw a look of worry in their eyes. A look that told me they knew they were in a real game today, a look that I`ve seen so many times in the past. Not one single player let me down; playing great team football that deserved far better rewards at the end of the day.

All 7 in the squad were a credit to the Oakwood Owls youth service group. Our passing game really impressed me today too, as we created chance after chance & at one point we were 5-2 up! It was brilliant to watch & the comments coming from the sidelines were very very clear. 'Watch these boys' seemed to echo from the observing coaches, supporters & officials and I can't blame them either.

For me, we fell short due to having 3 regular squad players missing and also lacked a bit of know how in this league (i.e., when to slow things down to our own pace). A few of our lads had gone away on family holidays, meaning that my first choice squad was diminished beyond recognition. Had Jack, Bryant & David been involved they would have definitely given us a different result as it was clear that we missed them in this 5 v 5 match over 28 minutes. No disrespect to the squad I took however who are all good players, who performed out of their skins, but perhaps we were inexperienced at this level at times and I do feel that this cost us in the long run.

Obviously the Leeds youth side also had the advantage of having played together at this venue for the past few years & we eventually ended up on the wrong end of a 7-6 defeat, a result that was only literally confirmed on the final whistle. To me experience of playing regularly at the venue & together is very important, as players can get used to the turf, surroundings, their team mates strengths and weaknesses plus the dynamics of the place. They were not a better team than us, in fact I really do feel that we played the far better football overall. I can honestly see us running them even closer the next time we meet in week 15 of the 18 fixtures that we have to play, so what could the score be next time?

By then the league SHOULD be well and, as we have started this league 15 points behind all others, due to joining after the league began, but as you all know - 'football is a funny old game', so I will hang onto this proverb for a little while at least! Putting things into perspective, I think we played some hot stuff today and there was a great ambience among the group from the time we came together today. Every honest person that witnessed this game will tell you that we gave these boys a real fright. I can assure you that that is not a biased opinion at all, but a very honest and open one. I'm being realistic and truthful to you all, as a youth worker, coach & role model to young people. I really look forward to sending you our results from here on too, if only because i know in my heart of hearts that things will only get BETTER with our time involved in this league!

Oakwood Owls: Richardson, Owino, Kinghorn, Rodley (Captain), Walker, Shaw, Farrar

'Well done boys, it really doesn't get any tougher than this for our baptism!'

Rod Christopher

Youth worker/Owls coach)



Join the Vital Fantasy Football League - its Free!

Writer:LUFC1
Date:Sunday August 19 2007
Time: 3:07PM

Login to post a comment

Recent Leeds United Articles

LUFC O'Kane Looking Forward To Huge Fixture

Leeds United midfielder Eunan O`Kane is looking forward to the clash with Aston Villa on Saturday

Monk Expects Former Spanish International To Commit To Leeds

Leeds United head coach Garry Monk says he expects midfielder Pablo Hernandez to sign for the club on a permanent deal in January

500,000+ Season Tickets Sold In 2016/17

More than 500,000 Season Tickets were sold in the Football League pyramid for the 2016/17 season.

LUFC On This Day - December 2nd

A look back at what happened on this day December 2nd in the history of Leeds United.

Archived Vital Leeds Articles

Vital Leeds articles from

Site Journalists

Dazza71
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

How do you think Leeds will do against Aston Villa?
Suggested By:
Win63%
Lose30%
Draw7%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 19 13 1 5 40 21
2 Brighton 18 11 5 2 38 17
3 Reading 18 10 4 4 34 6
4 Birmingham 18 8 7 3 31 5
5 Leeds Utd 18 9 2 7 29 1
6 Huddersfield 18 9 2 7 29 -3
7 Sheff Wed 18 8 4 6 28 0
8 Norwich 18 8 3 7 27 -1
9 Derby County 18 7 5 6 26 3
10 Fulham 18 6 7 5 25 4
11 Aston Villa 18 5 10 3 25 3
12 Preston 18 7 4 7 25 2
13 Forest 19 7 4 8 25 1
14 Bristol City 18 7 3 8 24 2
15 Ipswich 18 6 6 6 24 0
16 Q.P.R. 19 6 5 8 23 -8
17 Brentford 18 6 4 8 22 3
18 Barnsley 18 6 4 8 22 0
19 Wolves 19 5 6 8 21 -3
20 Burton 18 4 7 7 19 -5
21 Blackburn 18 5 4 9 19 -7
22 Wigan 18 4 6 8 18 -4
23 Cardiff 18 5 3 10 18 -12
24 Rotherham 18 1 4 13 7 -25
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Leeds United Results (view all)

Leeds United Fixtures (view all)

Dec 3 2016 5:30PM : Aston Villa (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 9 2016 7:45PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 13 2016 7:45PM : Reading (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 17 2016 3:00PM : Brentford (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 26 2016 3:00PM : Preston North End (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 29 2016 7:45PM : Aston Villa (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.ultraleeds14
2.dazza7110
3.Tiny T8
4.montysvision3
5.Salazzar2
6.Oyper2
7.SimonTVW2
8.johnlufc2
9.rod christopher1
10.Monster13501
Vital Football Comment