Young side­makes mark at tour­na­ment

Kapiti Observer - - MOTORING - STAFF RE­PORTER

The fu­ture of Ka¯piti Coast United un­der 19-foot­ball looks bright af­ter its team’s ad­mirable per­for­mance at the U19 Na­tional Youth Tour­na­ment in Napier.

De­spite all but two of its play­ers be­ing aged be­tween 15 and 17, the KCU team held its own, fin­ish­ing third in its group of six teams, made up mostly of 18 and 19-year-olds.

KCU won two games, drew one and lost one; nar­rowly miss­ing out on pro­ceed­ing to the quar­ter­fi­nals.

Coach Magno Vieira said they fin­ished only two points be­hind the qual­i­fiers Have­lock North and Tau­ranga Col­lege – the rub be­ing that they had beaten the Tau­ranga team one-nil in an ear­lier game.

‘‘The boys did very well, and were just un­lucky not to qual­ify for quar­ter-fi­nals. But, that’s foot­ball for you.

‘‘How­ever, I’m very proud of the boys and they should be proud of them­selves.’’

Vieira said they were play­ing against not only older, but also phys­i­cally stronger play­ers.

‘‘With teenagers, even one year makes big dif­fer­ence, but our boys were still able able to match them on the field.

‘‘The tour­na­ment was a mas­sive ex­pe­ri­ence for our play­ers, and they will have grown a lot from those four games.’’

Vieira said nearly all the play­ers hav­ing sev­eral years ahead play­ing at un­der-19 level and be­yond.

‘‘Our first team has just been pro­moted to the Cap­i­tal Premier com­pe­ti­tion, so our un­der-19s will con­tinue to de­velop and hope­fully step into their shoes.

‘‘And, with a good bunch of younger play­ers com­ing through, the club’s fu­ture is look­ing bright.’’

The foot­ball sea­son had now fin­ished, ex­cept for so­cial fivea-side foot­ball play­ing every Fri­day evening un­til the next com­pe­ti­tion pre-sea­son kicked-off early next year.

KELVIN TEIX­EIRA

Ka¯piti Coast United Foot­ball Club’s un­der-19 team, in­clud­ing man­ager Danny Quy (top right), head coach Magno Vieira (bot­tom right) and former coach Paul Jones (top left).

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