QCSA Semi-Finals 29th August 2015  

QCSA  SW1 – Wrap Up  

After all is “done and dusted” the leading three teams remain in the hunt to be crowned ‘Champions”.  

In the Major S/F, even with steady rain throughout the match, Blackstone United’s dominant season wasn’t going to be dampened as they ran out 2-0 winners over neighbouring rivals Westminster Warriors. Last year’s Div.2 Premiers/Champion’s defence held strong and resolute throughout the match including an outstanding diving save from Dana Hayward to repel Westminster’s surge at one stage of the game. As always, the leading scorer in the competition, Blackstone United’s Nikki Hubbard bobbed up to score both goals, on the end of some excellent team play by her teammates further down the field.  

Blackstone United’s manager, Dave Harper, praised their opponent’s tenacity in the game and was equally satisfied with the resilience of his team in the trying conditions and the “awesome defending”. Both he and coach, Andrew Haywood, were happy with the complete team performance, as this typified how their team train and play each week.  

In the Minor S/F, West End defeated North Pine Baptist and prevented them from playing in their second successive G/F. After suffering a home loss to Salisbury Baptist in the final game of the fixtures, West End were up for this match. Goals to the irrepressible duo of Toni Turnbull and Grace O’Connor enabled West End to reach the Preliminary Final and a date with Westminster Warriors next week. Having watched the “Wizard of West End” – Grace O’Connor delivering sublime passes and scoring the most outrageous goals this season, it was no wonder that she scored with a back-heel in this game. I wonder if she has anything more up her sleeve in the next week or two???  

I’m sure coach Jorge Cabrera was ecstatic after the game….hold on … he is always ecstatic and full of praise for his team, regardless of whether the team wins or loses. I’m sure this typifies the QCSA way, of giving it your very best (100% effort!) during the game and then, the coach praises the effort of his players, regardless of the result. Some coaches should note, that the players on the park are doing the work for them and sometimes carrying injuries, sometimes with problems from outside, so, to praise them for their effort should be the least they can do, both during and after the game!?!  

QCSA  SM1 – Wrap Up  

Just as in SW1, the top three teams of the 2015 season are left to battle it out for the most coveted prize, of being Champions!  

Brisbane Athletic continued their purple-patch of form as they accounted for St Pauls, 4-2, in the Major S/F. It was always going to be tough without the influential pair of Chris and Daniel Gatto, due to injury, and they rarely put pressure on Athletic’s well-organised defensive cordon. By half-time, Brisbane Athletic took the ascendancy by leading 3-1, and then wrested the game away by flooding the midfield.  

Brisbane Athletic’s coach, Carlos Ferreira, praised the efforts of both teams, in typical finals games. He was extremely pleased with the effort of his midfield combination throughout the match as they outplayed their opponents and provided the opportunities for his team to take advantage of. In addition, this allowed him to rotate his whole squad and give them valuable match practice leading up to the G/F in a couple of weeks’ time.  

In the Minor S/F, Westminster Warriors ran out 3-1 winners over a gallant Sunnybank Saints team, who probably played their ‘final’ in last week’s final round in their do-or-die game against Logan Metro. After leading 1-0 at half-time, the Saints were overrun by the speed and guile and wonderful technical ability of the African-Australian youngsters from Westminster. Nevertheless, the Saints were well led by their coach, Keith Broome, and were possibly the most improved team in SM1 this season.  

This weekend’s P/F encounter between St Pauls and Westminster Warriors will be a beauty with the momentum favouring Westminster with goals flowing and their defence getting stronger whereas injuries are plaguing St Pauls chances of winning their 2nd G/F in consecutive years. Yet, this is finals football and the team who can handle the pressures associated with the finals will, in most cases, triumph.  

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Over the weekend, there were many instances where the lower ranked team triumphed over the higher ranked team after the fixture rounds. In most of these cases, it wasn’t the players who brought about this loss, but in fact, it was the coaching, and on very few occasions the ill-advised spectators, who were instrumental in their team’s loss!!! How?  

A story from the past will illustrate this…..  

A senior coach at the Uni. of Qld received an end of year present {from all his first and reserves players} at the turn of the millennium in the form of a beautiful shield. On it, were the scores from all 24 senior and 24 reserves games, and a special inscription quoting, “Every game is a grand-final!” The club played in a few grand finals in ensuing years, and competed successfully in each of these. The moral of the story is to treat the players from the beginning of the season (most probably in the pre-season) as if they are playing in the grand-final each week! In this way, we will not see the great speeches that some coaches believe they need to make, because it is finals, and instead, treat this game as any other with the same effort they usually put into the fixture games.  

Tell me, if I give 100% each week, can I give any more (as demanded by some coaches!?!) in the finals?  

With time, coaches mature, and they will realise that the pressure that the players face can in fact be reduced and their teams can play to their potential, as they did in the fixture rounds, which enabled them to get to the G/F.  

The other major flaw that coaches make is that they see the premiership as the ‘holy grail’ and fail to build a club culture in making every player in the squad important. When travel or injuries come about, and now there are no easy games in the finals, they are often found out and need to blame these on their own shortcomings. The experienced and wise coach will prepare for this during the season and build towards ‘peaking’ in the finals, and tinker with playing with 10 players at times to see how their team adjusts, or resting some of the more influential players in order to give others in the squad an opportunity to play their part and develop. {Note, for those reading these reports each week throughout the season will reflect that the coaches of the Premier teams, Andrew H – Blackstone Utd SW1 & Carlos F – Brisbane Athletic SM1, had been doing just that right throughout the season.}  

On a final note, I was very impressed by the U.14 semi-final between Raceview and Sunnybank Saints on the weekend @ Yandina Park. In conversation with Steve, a St Pauls stalwart collecting rubbish, putting up tents, and doing all the chores that make the game possible on weekends, we discussed the great atmosphere, colour and excitement provided by both teams and their supporters.  

Both coaches talked quietly to the players on their bench, and injected positive praise to their players on the park at times (& not incessantly). By doing so, the communication was left to the players out on the park, and duly, they obliged!  

The spectators were boisterous, but, equally appreciative of each other’s play. The two coaches were positive towards one another, and brought to the other coaches attention if their player was down in back play.  

Each coach rotated their players so as they all got “fair” game time. All in all, it was a fantastic spectacle for two people (Steve and I) neither of us connected with either of these teams.  

There were no tears after the game, as the coaches praised the effort of their players, laughed amongst one another and farewelled each of the players and their parents/siblings as they left the venue. Both coaches did not mention any ‘poor’ decisions by the referee/linesmen OR the mistakes the players did.  

Did I mention that the game was an enthralling 2-1 result that went ‘down to the wire’. {The same can be said about the U.14 North Lakes vs Logan Uniting game – even though the result wasn’t as close – everyone involved with these teams is to be congratulated on the way they contested this game, led by example on the sideline, and spectated.}  

A final comment, regardless of the nature of the game, coaches and spectators, and ultimately players, are responsible for two things – 1. Attitude and 2. Respect.  

1.      Always give 100% at training and in games (this is what makes us ALL Australians- irrespective of where we have been born or raised – as drummed into me whilst playing cricket and Aussie Rules in the streets, at school or at club level); and  

2.      Be respectful at all times! [For you to have Rights you also have Responsibilities!]  

If you get a chance, see an interview with Tim Cahill about a message he has for kids to make it in football, other sports & life in general ……. “Always be respectful & give it all you have, no matter what you do!”