Henderson Boys put in Braveheart performance at Pleasant Hill “World Cup” by Ed & Rose

@ Plesant Hill Middle School

Toby and Noah reached the penultimate week of their PHMSA Spring Academy fitba football soccer training. Both had improved leaps and bounds, Toby in his first ever season, Noah, a veteran in his 4th season (Spring, Summer, Fall and Spring).

This week was a mini World Cup for all the kids involved. They were split up into small teams and each team played in a round–robin format to find a winner.

Toby was in the 7–8 age group, Noah age 5–6.

Noah

Noah pre–tournament
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Noah pre–tournament
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson

Noah was up first and was (to be honest) put with a pretty average team, which also only had 3 players. All of their games were against better teams of 4 players which was very hard work for a weaker team of 3.

Noah proved himself brilliantly, despite his team losing all 3 games heavilly. At times it was Noah vs. 4 as against the flow of the opposition, he non–stop dribbled, tackled, ran and scored his wee purple socks off.

He scored 8 goals in total (2, 4 and 2) and was many spectator’s star of the tournament.

This was (in my mind), Noah’s BEST EVER performance. His confidence in his ability is overflowing, his attitude is spot on and his workrate is fantastic. Always willing to have–a–go, dribbling and always looking for a pass.

With a more capable team around him, he should do well in the Fall season (real games).

Noah getting stuck in
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Noah getting stuck in
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Noah starting another attack
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Noah starting another attack
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Smallest dude on the field punching above his weight
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Smallest dude on the field punching above his weight
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Unfazed by what lies in front of him
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Unfazed by what lies in front of him
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Goal from long range
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Goal from long range
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Goal from close in
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Goal from close in
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
He spent every minute of the games with a smile on his face (at times we could hear him chuckling)
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
He spent every minute of the games with a smile on his face (at times we could hear him chuckling)
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
The opposition started to double team him
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
The opposition started to double team him
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Noah with his classmate, opposition but ultimately his friend, Genesis
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Noah with his classmate, opposition but ultimately his friend, Genesis
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Noah lining up a pass
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Noah lining up a pass
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Noah keeps going, deep into Game 3
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Noah keeps going, deep into Game 3
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
One last strike for Noah to earn a consolation goal for his side
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
One last strike for Noah to earn a consolation goal for his side
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson

Toby

Toby pre–tournament
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Toby pre–tournament
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson

Next up was Toby who is a completely different person and player from Noah. Two months ago he had never even played football and now he was having a great time playing in his first tournament.

Toby wants to be a goalkeeper and since they don’t play goalies till age 12, Toby has agreed to play outfield and learn the rules and basics now. What a champion!

Toby’s team was much better balanced and they won their first two games. They reached the final game to decide the winner (which even with 10 minutes extra time), still ended in a draw. Toby’s team, equal winners!

Toby also scored two goals in the tournament and stopped a few others. This included a superb goaline stop which accidentally hit his hand. Even when the opposition kid called him a cheat, Toby ignored him, walked away and got on with the game. I am very proud of him for this response.

One of his goals was an absolute cracker, involving beating two players and holding the third off to rattle the ball into the net. It certainly brought the loudest cheer of the day from myself and another Dad!

Toby is a dreamer of course and sometimes when he plays he drifts off. I find shouting his name every 30 seconds seems to keep him ticking over. When he tunes in and focuses on the game, he is a solid fast defender who LOVES keeping the opposition team from scoring.

He also manages to sneak the occasional wee goal in as well with some good dribbling skills (as demonstrated above).

He is strong, low–centre–of–gravity–lad who has self–taught himself the art of using his shoulders to shield and fight for the ball (legally of course).

Toby can only improve and every game he plays is a step up from the previous.

I love watching Toby play.

Toby in full flow to the goal
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Toby in full flow to the goal
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Too much time to think about his next move, Toby slows down and asks the ball for advice
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Too much time to think about his next move, Toby slows down and asks the ball for advice
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
This was Toby’s pregame ritual, he stretched off (we have no idea what he was doing)
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
This was Toby’s pregame ritual, he stretched off (we have no idea what he was doing)
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Shouting instructions to the touchline (or more likely, asking for a snack)
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Shouting instructions to the touchline (or more likely, asking for a snack)
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Toby and team working together awaiting the opposition (friend Charles in the background)
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Toby and team working together awaiting the opposition (friend Charles in the background)
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Toby breaks down an attack in the final
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Toby breaks down an attack in the final
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Toby and best friend Max (and his snack)
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson
Toby and best friend Max (and his snack)
📷 Photograph: Rose Henderson