Wests ju­niors show good form

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

Western Sub­urbs showed off their ju­nior foot­ball tal­ent when fin­ish­ing run­ners-up at the re­cent un­der-19 na­tional tour­na­ment in Napier.

Wests were in the main draw for the group stages. Games were 25 min­utes each way.

The first-day matches on Oc­to­ber 25 went as planned, with wins over Cash­mere Tech­ni­cal (4-0), Fen­ci­bles (2-1) and Hibis­cus Coast (4-0).

On Sun­day, Wests over­came the other un­beaten side in their group, Western Springs, thanks to a goal from Ti­nashe Marowa.

The fi­nal game against Pe­tone ended 0- 0, but Wests were as­sured of fin­ish­ing top re­gard­less of the re­sult.

In the quar­ter- fi­nal, against Wellington United, Pa­trick O’Keefe showed his class by scor­ing all three goals.

Wests were drawn against Western Springs in their semi­fi­nal. Tthe match fin­ished 1-1, but Wests’ penalty-tak­ers held their nerve and the team went through 4-2 in the shootout.

In the fi­nal, against Birken­head, Wests raced out to a 2-0 lead, but were pegged back.

The Porirua club led 3-2 with just min­utes re­main­ing but con­ceded very late and then again in ex­tra time to go down 4-3.

Coach Lloyd O’Keefe – who also coaches the club’s Cen­tral League side – said a style of play em­braced by the club and Ole Foot­ball Academy was bear­ing fruit.

‘‘We have a clear iden­tity based on keep­ing the ball and mov­ing it quickly, with ev­ery­one un­der­stand­ing their roles,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s highly en­ter­tain­ing and we work proac­tively to get the ball back. The play­ers re­ally en­joy that style and it’s en­ter­tain­ing for those watch­ing.’’

O’Keefe said all 18 play­ers in the squad were a credit to Wests over the week­end, on and off the pitch. After eight games in three days there were tired bod­ies and legs, he said.

Many of the teams at the tour­na­ment had play­ers aged 18 and 19, whereas Wests will have only two not avail­able to play in 2015. Six of the Wests squad are only 16.

Rul­ing the roost: Joash Suther­land in ac­tion dur­ing Wests’ dom­i­nant per­for­mance against Cash­mere Tech­ni­cal.

Pho­tos: SHANE BILDER­BECK

Threat: Pa­trick O’Keefe was a key goal-scor­ing men­ace for Wests at the Napier tour­na­ment.

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