Coach pleased with squad’s development
Four months into the football season, Shaka Moody asks coach Tony Crook for his views on the performance so far of Wells City FC under 18s
WELLS City’s under 18s side have started well in the league this season, sitting in fifth place after playing six games.
I spoke with the team’s coach and manager Tony Crook.
Crook has been part of the Wells City FC youth development since 2001 and is a respected member of the local football community.
To what would you attribute the team’s positive start to this season?
Crook: The mix of experienced 18-year-olds, plus obviously outstanding coaching! [He laughs.] You need good players in the Somerset Floodlit League, the quality of the teams is very high and we have to match them. Our goal is to stay in the Premier division because it is the best league for them. Many of the younger players have made their mark already. They don’t look out of place at training, and after getting past the nerves of games they don’t look out of place at all.
How is the overall team spirit of the side?
Crook: The team’s spirit is good, especially during the first month, September was very good thanks to some good results. October wasn’t bad, we had a good run in the FA Youth Cup; we won three games to get there and then went to the fourth round and lost to Eastleigh. The team spirit was good and the quality of football was good, we usually play on the floor. We don’t tend to go long and we play through the thirds, trying to get everyone on the ball. When we do that we are a difficult team to play against.
What is the most rewarding aspect of coaching and managing the team?
Crook: To see the pleasure the lads get from it and also for me seeing them play for the senior teams. One of the highlights of last year was on the last day of the season for Wells City Reserves eight of the starting 11 were then under 18s.
As a current member of the under 18s squad I would agree with Tony’s assessment of how the team has performed, and appreciate the amount of time and effort he and the other coaches have put in during the season. We look forward to the rest of the season.