And Now The End is Near....
... and so we face the (Cup) final curtain.
By the time next season comes around the AC Hoylake Meteors U9's will be no more. After 4 exciting years together the team is splitting it up.
However, before we reach that sad conclusion to what has been a testing season, the Meteors will get one final shot at a trophy. On Saturday 28th April the team will line up against JFC Greasby Blacks for the Fiorentina Invitational Cup. This final has come as a surprise but it's a great opportunity for all the teams that otherwise wouldn't get the chance at a medal through the normal cup competitions.
It will also give the Meteors a shot at redemption! Two years ago the team were runners up in the last cup final they graced, losing on penalties. The kids deserve a trophy after a season that has seen them win just one game in 19 attempts. In each and every game they have played they have tried their best but unfortunately it just hasn't happened for them. But when it comes to attitude and application they cannot be matched. Its for that reason, despite the odds being stacked against them, that we hope they find a way to get their first victory since October 2017 and lift a trophy.
Last Saturday there were signs that a Cup Final shock might be on the cards. Lining up against a strong Cammell Lairds side (who they lost to 12-0 earleir in the season) the kids seemingly didn't stand a chance. But they put up a great fight to walk away with a respectable 6-2 loss. The aim for the team was to score a couple of goals and tighten up defensively. They certainly did that!
So does this give us a hint of what to expect of Saturday? Well, let's take a closer look at the team ahead of their day of destiny on Saturday.
Do we have any match-winners?
Charley Hodgson (1 x POTM)
Improving every season, Charley has become 'Mr Reliable' as one of two keepers we can depend on. The range of saves he's pulled off this season have been as impressive as his personality. In many ways, Charley is 'Mr Meteors'. He represents everything that is great about his team. Selfless to a fault, he is always the first to encourage his team mates and would do anything for anyone.
Leon Woods (1 x POTM)
Leon joined the Meteors last season as our second goalie. Another kid with a superb attitude, he has earned the nickname 'The Cat' after an impressive display of lightning reflexes throughout the season. Without him we would surely have conceded more! Add to all this his incredibly positive attitude and ability to stay motivated in the face of so many attacks on his goal, and you have a player who is vital to the team!
Sam Disley (1 x SOTW)
Sam joined late in the season after moving to the UK from his native Australia. It must have been a shock for him having to swap the sun for the snow and ice but his calm performances at the heart of our defence and his willingness to organise those around him hints at a bright future for our import from down-under.
Dylan Price (2 x POTM)
Dylan is another Meteors veteran who has been with the side from the beginning. Utilised primarily in defence over the last few years due to his terrier-like tackling, he has made a step into midfield where he has proved that he is very adept at breaking up opposition attacks. The question is "will he play in defence or midfield come the final?" Wherever he plays he will certainly give 100%.
Matthew Hayes (3 goals this season, 1 x POTM)
Another player to join last pre-season, Matthew has experienced a number of different positions. initially he came in as a striker, packed with skills and an eye for goal. However, following a sensational game at right-back against the Comets, he has become a solid presence in our defence. He's got a touch of Seamus Coleman about him!
Toby Whittaker (4 goals this season, 3 x POTM)
They say that the modern game is lacking characters. Perhaps Toby is the one we've all been waiting for. Characters don't come much bigger! His power on the pitch is equal to his bounding personality off it. Without him over the years the Meteors would have been a dull place to play your football. Come Saturday, Toby's energy will surely settle our nerves.
Charlotte Pollard (2 x POTM)
If anyone deserves a winners medal on Saturday, it is Charlotte. After a difficult spell with the Meteors in seasons gone past, she found herself playing in the girls team. But, against the odds she would find herself back with the Meteors after a change of management. She has since gone on to establish herself as key player in the side, making more appearances than ever before. We can be sure on Saturday that she won't shirk a tackle and will give everything she has for the team.
Alfie Phillips (1 x POTM)
Alfie is a legend. Throughout this season he has demonstrated a willingness to learn as much as he possibly can. Upon joining the team it quickly became apparent that Alfie would need to learn from scratch. What we didn't expect though was his work ethic and tackling skills! Whenever given the opportunity he has never let us down. He would run through a brick wall if we asked him to! That's what makes Alfie a valuable member of our team. It's not all about ability, it's about working hard for each other. We get this in abundance from Alfie.
Barry Gibbons (7 goals this season, 5 x POTM)
Dancing feet, vision, balance, awareness, skills. Barry has all the qualities to create a moment of magic that could win us the cup. Playing either in midfield or as our striker, Barry has the ability to bring other players into the game with his range of passing and in the big pressure moments you can rely on him to finish calmly when presented with a goal scoring opportunity. He's our "Bazzadonna!"
Harry Johnson (1 goal this season)
A quiet personality off the pitch, an uncompromising tackler on it! Harry is renowned for his tackling ability in our team and offers us real bite when our backs are against the wall. It's also fair to say that Harry has bags of skill. It's not unusual to see a cheeky drag-back or step over in difficult situations! He's a real player, a modern player and has a bit of everything in his locker.
Jude Davies (4 goals this season, 4 x POTM)
The first name on the team sheet (his dad is the manager!), Jude is the heartbeat of the team, he never ever stops! Whatever the game, whatever the weather he is covering every blade of grass in his efforts to connect with the ball or an opponent! Another original member of the Meteors, Jude has enjoyed every second of his time with the team and has grown from a fringe player in his early days to a vital part of the side we have today. And although he has added skills and dribbling to his game, he is still our little "Psycho Pat".
Having joined the Meteors last season, Ethan has shown that he is a match for anybody when he gets on the pitch. Very rarely does anybody win a 50/50 ball against him, as his determination wins time and time again. his determination also extends to training where you'll find him working just as hard as he does on a match day. Also enjoying rugby in his spare time, Ethan is as fit as a fiddle and plays his football from the first minute to the last with bags of energy.
How can we lose?