THE Future of the Mareeba United Football club seems assured after the Mareeba Youth team qualified for the grand final this Saturday at Endeavour Park in Cairns.
At the start of the season the team consisted of 6 fifteen year olds and 6 sixteen year olds which in anyone’s language is a very young side for an under eighteen competition.
Unperturbed by the situation coach Luch Avolio knew he had some work on his hands to mould these young lads into a winning combination. Time was of the essence to get the team to gel as a unit and become cohesive and to the point where they could play together.
Luch Avolio knew that with persistence and hard work he could make a team out of these boys.
“We did it hard the first round we lost some games and drew others and beat the easy teams, when the boys really started to gel we started getting better results against the better teams and so we kept in touch with the leaders of the pack,” said Coach Avolio.
“By the time we started the second round and after some hard work and some serious training the boys finally found their rhythm and began to dominate teams.
“By the third round we started to get belief into the team their confidence grew and went 11 matches’ undefeated winning 11 on the trot including the 2-0 win against Edge Hill United last week to make it into the grand final”.
“We just missed out on the premiership by 4 point it goes to show the effort the boys put in after jumping all those hurdles.
“It’s a pity we don’t have Dean Alterio in the side, he would have loved to play in this final, I think there was some mismanagement with Deane and because he didn’t start enough games in youth as he was needed in the premier team he now fails to quality to play for his own team.
“From a training point of view we are not going to do anything special it will be all about mental preparation, getting these boys in the right frame of mind to play in a grand final.”
Assistant coach and Manager Genio Quintieri said “Because the boys have won the last 11 games doesn’t mean they will be complacent come the finals, you can see it in the training sessions, they’re really switched on and are getting better and better as we progress, it’s their goal to win this final, the training is still quite intense.”
“We need to be ready to go from the first whistle we’ve learnt a lesson in the past where we came out slow and got punished for it, that won’t happen this time, we have to execute our game plan and if we do that we are going to be hard to beat.
“Some of these players have had the opportunity to play in reserves and the premier team and when they come back to play for the youth they bring all that experience with them and it rubs off on the rest of the team.”
All these young men should be very proud of themselves for their achievements this year, you don’t get many at this age and they need to enjoy the occasion and bring the cookie home.
KICK OFF: 12noon at Endeavour Park, Cairns.