Thursday, 21 st November, saw 80 pupils and nine staff travel to Phuket for the annual BISP Soccer 7s Football Tournament. We took teams across the U11, U13, U15 and U18 age groups, both boys and girls, and what a delight it was to see so many representing the school in one of Asia’s biggest football tournaments.
U11 & U13 Tournament
Well, it is over but once again the Phuket 7s was a massive success. With girls’ and boys’ teams at U11 and U13 we had a large contingent travelling to Thailand. Unfortunately, three teams went out in the Plate semi finals, two on penalties, while the U13 girls had an outstanding Friday by winning their group with two wins and two draws only to go out in the Cup quarter finals to Shrewsbury School. Overall, a wonderful experience for the pupils who certainly did themselves proud. A massive thank you must go to Miss Brooke, Mr Harvey and Mrs Patten for all their hard work and commitment; they were outstanding and the players were lucky to have them as coaches.
The U15 girls’ first game didn’t come until early afternoon and so nerves had been building all morning. They did, however, play outstandingly well, drawing 0-0 to Harrow Bangkok (eventual Plate winners), with a quick turnaround before our next two matches but we won them both comfortably – a 2-0 win over Taylor International School and a 4-0 win over Epsom College. On Saturday we had two very tough games resulting in us missing the Cup semi-final by one point, but getting into the Plate Semi-final. We were successful in that and had a comfortable win over ISKL to proceed through to the final were we played Harrow once again but unfortunately, in the last few minutes of the game, they managed to get a goal past us. Despite the girls doing everything they could it just wasn’t quite enough and we were Plate Runners Up. A truly amazing but emotional weekend for all but outstanding performances all round. Special mention to the weekend goal scorers; Anya (4), Gigi (3) and Aleysha (1). Most Improved Player – Cady Tulloch, Manager’s Player – Dimansa Ralapanawa and Players’ Player – Anya Benham.
The U15 boys had a very successful first two games with a 5-0 win over Dulwich College Yangon and a 5-1 win over Dulwich College Beijing. The next game they knew was going to be tough against hosts BISP-Orange, but the boys played tremendously well, although unfortunately lost 4-1. Saturday saw the boys in the playoff against Harrow Bangkok resulting in a penalty shootout. Special mention to goalkeeper Louis Holden for outstanding saves and Tommy Triggs for a rocket in the top corner. The boys progressed through to the Cup quarter finals where they faced UWC East, but despite giving it their all they came just short and lost 1-0. It was a fantastic performance by the boys all weekend. A shout out to the weekend’s goal scorers; Alfie (4), Sammy (3), Jack (2), Umar (1), Tommy Triggs (1 and penalty). Most Improved Player – Victor Del Valle Rocafull, Manager’s Player – Tommy Triggs and Players’ Player – Sammy Patten.
The U18 girls had a mixed first day; they started the day very early but successful with a 3-0 win over SIS, followed by a tough game with a 0-1 lose against KLASS. However, after a good break, some food and a motivating team talk they had a solid 2-0 win over KISP. The final game of the day saw them face StAB where unfortunately they lost 1-0. Another early but successful start saw the girls face TES with a good 1-0 win, coming third in their group. The final game was make or break, with a win needed to progress to the Cup semi-final. Unfortunately, they faced UWC East who they knew where a strong side. The girls put in an outstanding performance but, unfortunately, drawing 0-0 resulted in the girls making the Plate semi-finals. Nonetheless, they put in an outstanding performance, pressuring their opponents and hustling for every ball but unfortunately once again came up short and lost 2-1. Special mention goes to Heather Richardson for top goal scorer and Player of the Season, Most Improved Player – Ella Illes, Players’ Player – Steph Sullivan and Paris Coulson is awarded the Captaincy for next year.
The U18 boys’ highlights of the two days were the performances against both Nexus International School and KLASS in the Cup quarter-finals. The team showed great skill, poise and determination in both these games. Against Nexus the team scored some tremendous team goals and illustrated the style of quick play that we are targeting and developing at MCM. To be defeated in the quarter-final against KLASS once again was devastating, as in 2018 but, to see the difference in the players’ skill levels, application and attainment in 12 months was tangible. To lose to what can only be described as the best double-save by the opposition goalkeeper that I have ever seen was frustrating but, it also recognised how far we have come. It is important to recognise the development and progress and not just the results; although, hard as it seems. KLASS had one shot; we had nine. We peppered the goals only to come up against the unstoppable Johnny English. To see Arvin’s face after the saves will always stay with me. Head in hands, mouth agasp; shocked, amazed, devastated. Simply astonishing! Special mention goes to Players’ Player – Morgan Davies, Manager’s Player – William Roue and Most Improved Player – Ciaran Lynch.