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Holland 2019 – Top Team Takes Trophy!

Campion U13a team took the Easter Open in Holland by storm with a dazzling display of quick fire passing, pressing and non-stop running which eared them many plaudits from opposing teams and fans. The team set off with the intention of a top eight finish but far exceeded their aims and in the process did themselves proud.

The opening fixture was against home side De Zwaluw, a large crowd gathered with beaming smiles to cheer their team to victory. It wasn’t long until the smiles turned to frowns as the Campion boys took control of the game and began to push their opponents further and further back into their own half. It wasn’t long before the opening goal was scored courtesy of Cian Tevlin. This goal only served to inspire the Campion boys and quell the noise of the large home crowd. Further goals followed in quick succession as a four nil lead was opened up. In the dying minutes Razak Afolabi scored a stunning right foot volley to put the icing on the cake.

A 5-0 opening victory and the team came off feeling confident and ready to take on the next team. The next fixture was against a tough Danish side called Koge Nord. Campion got off to a flying start and earnt an early penalty which was coolly dispatched by Cian Tevlin, he followed it up shortly afterwards with a second and Campion looked in control. However, the Danes fought back, and a strong rear-guard action spearheaded by Malachi Shepherd limited their chances. The Danes put in a lot of tough challenges but could not penetrate the steely Campion defence. The slick passing of Will O’Rouke and Joshua Hickman helped to limit the amount of pressure on the defence too.

At the end of the second game the boys knew that a victory in the final game would see them in the top half of the draw for the second day of fixtures. The third fixture was against Dutch side UDI ’19. From the first minute Campion took control of the ball and never looked back. A magnificent display from all of the players saw Campion run out 9-0 winners, the endless running of Callum Massey on the right wing, the calm defending of Jack Alexander and Shay Gahan, the deft skills of James Butler and excellent finishing of Cameron Eubank were the highlight of a great result. At the end of the first day, the boys were tired but extremely proud of the way in which they had played and competed. 16 goals for, 0 goals conceded, it was all to play for on the second day.

On day two Campion under 13A team were handed a trio of very difficult fixtures which they approached with confidence and excitement. The first fixture was against a strong Dutch side called Vios ’38. Campion have endured many battles against this team over the years and knew beating them would be a tough task. The team lined up with their customary 3-5-2 formation and set about their work of pressing and hassling the opposition. The interplay and slick passing of Allen Sibotsha and Cameron Eubank began to open up the Dutch defence and chances were created. A quick-fire brace from Cameron with two well taken goals calmed the nerves and saw Campion grown in confidence. The Dutch side responded with periods of heavy pressure on the Campion goal. Keeper Jake Davies-Manton was called into action on several occasions and stoutly defended his goal. With minutes to spare Vios scored a consolation goal but Campion were able to hold on to secure the win. The team now had one eye on the final but there was still a long way to go.

The next fixture was against Danish side Lyngby Boldklub, this was an extremely difficult fixture against a very good team. Through hard work and sticking to the tactics they had been give Campion took the lead through Cian Tevlin. The assist came about after a slick turn and pass from Rolls Royce midfielder Josh Hickman. Legs were tiring but Campion held firm with Pierre Phillips leading the defence in a cool and calm way. The Danes pushed and pushed and eventually got their reward with well taken goal. The final few minutes of the game were nerve jangling to say the least. With minutes to go Campion won a penalty, Daniel Walker struck the ball true and hard but somehow the Danish keeper tipped it around the post. Moments later Cameron Eubank broke past his two markers and got a clear sight on goal. His shot narrowly fizzed past the post and the game ended 1-1.

At the end of the game Campion did not know if they would be in the final, they knew that they had to win the final fixture to win get to the final. The remaining game was against Taverham Hotspur, Campion started on the front foot and soon took control of the midfield. Once again, the slick passing of Cian Tevlin, Will O’Rourke and Joshua Hickman pushed the opposition back. Daniel Walker had an excellent game at right wing back and put all thoughts of his penalty miss behind him. He was quite simply outstanding. Another goal from Cameron Eubank set Campion on their way before a second saw off any chance the opposition had of stopping an appearance in the final from happening. After six hard games Campion were in the final and ready to give it their best shot.

The final was against Swansea’s finest, Garden Village. It was a tough fixture that ebbed and flowed one way and the other. Both teams had their chances, both teams fought hard and both teams showed lots of heart and desire to win. Two late break away goals saw the Welsh side crowned as champions despite a late surge of pressure from the Campion team. The Campion team collected their trophy and medals to a large round of applause from their own and opposing supporters. After much deliberation it was decided that Pierre Phillips was the player of the tournament, so many others deserved this title. Cameron Eubank was our top scorer with 8 goals Cian Tevlin scored the goal of the tournament with a curling 25-yard effort on the first day. Every player that represented the team performed magnificently well, Mr Lowe, Mr Houston and Mr Griffiths who coached the team were extremely proud to work with such a talented team who followed their tactics to the letter, supported each other and worked tremendously hard in each game. We may not have won this time, but we are even more determined to go one better next time and win the Easter open in 2020!

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