|Posted by www.colinvalleyfc.co.uk on February 7, 2010 at 5:06 PM|
With a Bang
2010 has started with a bang! With both teams recording impressive wins in their first games of the new year Colin Valley FC has been provided with a great platform on which to build from for the 2nd half of the season. And with numbers still high in training and more players coming in – could we be looking at something of a hallmark year for C.V.F.C?
Goodbye yester-years!! That’s right - long gone are the days of having to cancel a Tuesday night training session because of low numbers. Loong gone are the days of scraping together a squad for proper training sessions on wet and cold Thursday evenings. Looong gone are the days of Dutta and Spud worrying whether they’ll have enough players come Saturday to put out an effective team. And even loooonger gone, are the days of Dutta and Spud being forced to play people who did not attend those training sessions during the week - for whatever number of worthless reasons.
As said before this is a different Club we are all now attached to (and the quicker people start to realise that the better). A more progressive and forward-looking club: A more ambitious and resourceful club. A more dedicated and talented club: But most importantly – a more Disciplined club. And isn’t it about f***ing time too! Finally, Poleglass has a club that just might be going places...
With a resounding 8-2 win for the first team in their opening game of the year against a tough and football oriented Rosario second string in the Junior Shield, Colin Valley really laid down a marker for the months ahead. A statement that proclaimed: “Yes! We can win big..” and “Yes! We can score goals..” has had heads turning in the ranks of the Junior Divisions. And although a defeat to Crumlin Star in the next round soured things a little, the team bounced back with a resounding victory against a team 2 tiers above us in the Clarence Cup. 5-1 against a team that put St Pats out of the Cochrane & Corry Cup is another ringing endorsement of the quality within the club.
Iveagh Utd presented what many thought would be a tough test for the 1st team, and with 4 mainstream players out for various reasons you could have been forgiven for believing it. But once more Valley showed that on our home turf we are a force not to be slighted at. Power play is the term that comes to mind as the Valley elite literally tore chunks out of an Iveagh team that by the end of the game looked like it had been eaten up,chewed to mulch and spat back out onto the Valley Park soil. From a 25 yard screamer by Paul McDonald to a deft lob by Ciaran Quinn after a sublime one-touch passing move across and back across the pitch it really was a vintage and destructive display by the 1st team. Long may this form continue!
Ye Oldé Guard
For the Reserves they had to wait a little longer to get their first win of the year. It wasn’t that they got beaten – hell no!! It’s just that with the damn snow and rain, and the 1st team still being involved in so many Cup Competitions they had to wait to play at home. Even then it was an early kick off as St Theresa’s visited Valley Park looking to upset the odds and take away some of the spoils on offer. Again Valley went into the match with several of their regular starters missing. But once again the players who came in, like Michael McClinton and Liam Skelly are all talented in their own right and were not just there to make up the numbers – rather they were there to stake their own claim for a right to start and even keep that place when the next fixture comes about.
As it was both set of players looked a little short of match practice throughout as the long 9-week period without a game took its toll on the quality of the match. But like in some of the other games the reserves have played this year it was the experience of the Oldé Guard that served them well. The mantra of an old but lasting television series comes to mind, it goes something like this: “If you have a problem, if no-one else can help, and if you can find them, then maybe you can hire ….”.
That’s right Mark O’Rawe, John Burns, Jimmy McCabe and Tom Hall became Valley’s very own version of the A-Team on Saturday afternoon as they drove the team to what had previously seemed an unachievable task. After stubbornly clinging to their jobs for the first hour of the match the Valley team began to grow in stature and from there the experience began to show. With Hall and Fennell marshalling well at the back, McCabe applying the pressure in midfield and Burns’ and O’Rawe’s relentless pressure from long-throws causing havoc in their box, the St Theresa’s team seemed to have the desire and belief visibly sucked out of them during that last half hour. And although eventually it was Brendan Mallon who got the telling contribution and was able to bundle the ball home for the only goal of the game - without the effort of the aptly named Oldé Guard no win would have been possible. It was strangely fitting though for young Mallon to get the goal as he had just returned from a bad illness which had kept him out for several weeks – and with him being one of the young success stories of Valleys season so far, it couldn’t have fallen to a better man. With Portavogie dropping their first home points of the season also it could just turn out be the telling contribution of the season as Valley now hold the fate of their title aspirations in their own hands – of course with a long way to go no-one should be counting their chickens just yet!!
Aside from the promising results we also have other reasons to be excited with the way 2010 has begun. It was especially nice to see two new players make their debuts for Valley teams this week. Patrick McDonald – brother to Paul - made his full home debut for the 1st team and acquitted himself very well, scoring the 3rd goal against Iveagh Utd and putting in a faultless performance. Another new comer Paddy Moore came on as sub for the reserves to grab his first minutes as a Valley player against St Theresa’s and played a telling part in changing the game at a time when the visitors had seemed to be on top.
With Kelly, Dunlop, Mallon and McDonald all being in imperious form of late, the spine of the 1st team is looking strong indeed – and with the above mentioned Oldé Guard in the reserves fulfilling the same role there, then things are definitely looking promising.