With an average of four goals per game, John Lyon’s young footballers in Year 9 were the ones to watch in the Autumn Term Football season.
Boasting four competitive teams and getting a result in 18 of 25 fixtures, the Year 9 U14s showed both great strength and depth from September to December.
Leading from the front, the A Team continued to progress on promise shown in the previous years to come away form the season with seven wins, three draws and three losses. This record included two 9-0 wins over Chigwell and Kew House and a 7-0 win at home to the always daunting Westminster School. The U14Bs recorded the biggest win of the season, 11-0 against Chigwell.
At the top of the School, the 1st XI had a mixed season with a handful of narrow losses. However, they secured victories against the big trio of Harrow, Merchant Taylors’ and Westminster, as well as a classy late 3-2 victory over Forest School to mean they go into Christmas with hope of more success in the spring.
Another highlights was the U13As reaching the third round of the ISFA Cup.
Across the School, 20 different teams played matches, with more boys than ever before involved in competitive fixtures.
The increase in numbers follows a concerted effort to drive participation as well as excellence in the School’s major sports.
Head of Football Mr Rob Rice said: “In addition to our regular block fixtures on Saturday mornings where we often see up to 12 teams playing, we were also keen to introduce inclusive football weeks to the football programme, where up to 20 teams can play competitive fixtures during their games afternoons. With the addition of C and D team football in Years 7 to 10 we help ensure our football programme not only encourages excellence, but also maximises learning, enjoyment and inclusivity.”
After Christmas, John Lyon’s young footballers in Years 7 and 8 boys have a fantastic opportunity to train Liverpool FC’s Melwood Training Centre on a mini-tour to the city.
At the end of term awards lunch, U14A team coach Mr Leigh Parry gave a poetic report of his team’s season:
Saturday, it’s match day, “good morning Mr Parry”,
but Ashton and Jake greet me, with a “waagwaan My G”.
So on the bus we get, seat belts on, and onto your bums,
“How long’s the drive sir?” – “It’s an hour”, then I have to say mums.
First game together, off to Brentwood we go,
a 7-0 loss to begin with, was this my fault? I don’t know.
So we decide as a team to work hard and not be slack.
and turn our awesome defence, into a devastating attack.
With Imran in goal, we called him the wall,
he makes unbelievable saves, he’s strong, he stands tall.
Then there’s Alex and Jason, who are always out wide,
playing out from the back, we start looking like a good side.
With Toby and Joseph and sometimes Roko too,
the other teams had no chance, they had no way through.
From the four at the back, we needed to tighten the screw,
Oscar, like superman, always came to our rescue.
Then Luca thought it’d be a good idea to go and break his wrist,
now this is a player we would really miss.
But we pulled together and fought, even keeping a clean sheet,
there was no team out there that we couldn’t beat.
We move to the middle, and here we had class,
moving the ball left to right, finding that great pass.
Jake right, Kiyan left, both out on the wing,
watching them beat players all day long was a beautiful thing.
Tunde’s quick feet and Aston’s great vision,
Raul was left with only one decision,
and that was quite simple, when his foot and ball met,
the opposition goalkeeper had one job, picking the ball out of his net.
Thanks to Hassan and Max who were sometimes a substitute,
but their efforts and skills were always quite resolute.
Three losses, three draws, and seven awesome wins.
scoring from crosses and penalties and a few top bins.
It was going so well, was this just a dream,
or are we John Lyon’s greatest football team?
But seriously, as a team we’ve never looked down,
I remember saying every weekend, “you guys make me so proud”.
But this is not the end, it’s only the start,
stay together, be strong let nothing rip you apart.
I sometimes thought it was me, I thought that I was the reason,
but it was you boys, and your team that had the great season.
So I wish luck, Merry Christmas, I know you won’t stop,
“I’ve been Mr Parry, your coach”…