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Campion At Holland 2017

"Netherlands" literally means "lower countries" and in no way was the football played by teams from St Edmund Campion low. In fact, the football played by the three teams can only be called high standard.

The under 19 team started with promise after finishing 4th last year, but football has a way of knocking you back to earth. With high expectations can come high falls. Losing the first game one nil. Winning the second game under very difficult circumstances the U19 are back on track. (The team we beat was disqualified from the tournament because of unprofessional conduct in both their two games. Football is meant to be a gentleman’s sport) So the U19 had to beat the third team by two goals. Again expectations, but we lost. So the second day playing for pride.

From defeat character can develop, from the lowest moment pride kicks in. The three games on Sunday all won without letting in a goal, even beating an old foe from Newcastle. (First time beating them).

So though we had a bad first day, great effort and pride resorted the following day.

The under 17 team are an example of winning by sheer will. If there ever was a team that represented their mangers, the U17 did. With Mr Brooks and the two Mr Evans’ in-charge the team played football with combination of skill and grit. The first day total ending with us winning all three games scoring 9 goals and only considing one. So top of their table on the first day.

With the U17 now playing at their limits they pushed and worked to achieve the goals. And as with the under 19’s, football can bring you right down to earth. A loss in the first game on the second day. But no shame at all, sometimes you need put up your hands and say you was beaten by a better team. So second game, still running towards the goal of success. A win, two-nil. Can they win the last game? A loss, a near loss, one – nil but in the end winners. Joint 5th overall the best this team had achieved in its long Holland run. And the only real defeat was against the Champions of the U17’s.

In the 20 odd years of participating in the Holland trip, only three times has a team got to the final. Now the 4th and the youngest. Chances were created and missed by both teams and even though the U14 lost on this day they showed the beauty of football. So heads up U14, next year we’ll do one better!

On a personal point I would like to thank all the pupils who came to Holland and the staff who spent their time in following a dream. So very proud of you all. And see you next year.

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