Bath & Wilts SFA has teamed up with Larkhall to build an outdoor cafe at Lansdown. The basic facility will allow us offer players and their families a bit of respite from the Lansdown extremities. The facility has been kindly built by Larkhall and volunteers are currently preparing the outside ready for the grand opening in 2 weeks time
The Bath Schools Trust is today launching its Christmas appeal!
We are calling on all players and associates past and present to donate items to support children and their families from the BANES and Wiltshire areas. We have two weeks to collect as many items as possible that we can then wrap up in a hamper appropriate to a family identified by local schools. We are asking for non-edible items appropriate for all members of the family young and old. No second hand items please.
Information about the appeal can be found here:
Or contact Jo Goulding on firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks for your support, let’s give 2020 with all its challenges a cheery finish!
written by T Kirk Nov 20
Today was an early start. Ahead of us was a packed day in which we would travel to the rainforest to do a canopy walk, and to the City to visit an former slavery castle. Being a self-diagnosed hyperactive who cannot sit still for more than 5 minutes, the thought of spending 4 hours on a coach did not exactly have me bouncing with joy, but there was no doubt that the boys were brimming with excitement! What helped pass the time was the various interruptions from hawkers trying to sell all manner of objects (some edible some seemingly inedible!) each time the coach lurched to an abrupt stop. Sometimes I was thankful for the break. The roads are not exactly….well, roads in Ghana. Pot holes do not do justice to the gaping gorges that sometimes appeared in the road, but it did not deter the driver from casually ploughing through whatever obstacle came his way, and that whilst drinking coke, dancing in his seat and occasionally answering his phone. Shane closed his eyes.
Unfortunately, some were feeling the effects. Having done much preparation with them boys so that they could make good decisions to keep themselves fit and healthy, we were beginning to think that we may escape the usual travel bugs. We were wrong. The familiar acidic smell reached my nose before the first hollas of horror echoed to the front of the bus. Shane being useless with anything squidgy and smelly, quickly pretended to be a sleep and so I was left to battle my way towards poor Swanny and Angel who were both looking rather on the pale side. I was rather relived when we eventually arrived at our first destination.
The rain forest was different than I expected. Firstly, the lush green canopy was sometimes intermittent with dry barren areas where trees had been cut down for whatever reason. The further we ventured the more mountainous the terrain became and the temperature changed. Secondly, the area had obviously been well visited and so the concerns I had regarding the potential threats from curious animals, any manner of insect and man eating plants were unfounded.
We followed the guide along a narrow wooden path and found ourselves suddenly above the trees. It was very high, so high that some of the parents began to reconsider their further participation. We were hoping to see at the very least some monkeys but were told they usually appear at sunrise, and that avoiding them may be advantageous; apparently monkeys really are as mischievous as their reputation demands, if not worse! As it happened, there was enough to wonder. In every direction trees reached towards the sky, some piercing the canopy stretching to impossible heights. The wooden bridges between the trees quivered with every step, the parents glancing nervously from side to side and flashing with huge relief each time they made it across to a tree trunk for apparent safety. The boys of course thought this was very amusing and preferred to make sure the walkway bridges swayed and dipped as much as was physically possible.
The next part of the day involved a dash across the region towards the coast, our destination Accra and more specifically Cape Coast Castel. Jane explained how Ghana, once known as the Gold Coast of West Africa, was one of around 40 slave castles that served as prisons and embarkation points for slaves en route to the Americas (the Caribbean, South America, and the U.S.). Thousands of enslaved Africans from regions near and far, sometimes hundreds of miles away, were taken to these castles to be sold to slave ships. The boys knew this of course from our research, but we were actually ill prepared for the feeling of foreboding within the castle walls.
Since the foundation of Bath and Wiltshire SFA in 2003 the organisation has had the pleasure of looking after hundreds of boys and their families. One of the greatest privileges and pleasures is being able to accompany young people at the start of their ‘journey’. We are aware that it is football that brings us together, but recognise that each individual’s path will be unique and can lead in any direction. There is no judgment of one boy’s path being more successful than an other’s; ‘in the long run, what people think about shepherds and bakers becomes more important to them than their own destiny’. In this sense, we see part of our role to cajole, energise and support whilst the boys figure out for themselves what their destiny could be – it is both intriguing and exciting.
One such journey stands out perhaps slightly more. Jacques Miche attended Newbridge Junior School and was a definite late developer. He may have been small, but he was lightening quick, with great acceleration, agility and a bit of trickery. This made him the perfect offensive player! He was a fantastic addition to the year group which also included Max O Leary and Zak Vyner who currently play for BCFC. Whilst Jacques played for Larkhall too, he was unable to attend all of our training sessions owing to many other commitments alongside his school work; music and dance. It was perhaps this fantastic mix that gave Jacques the skills, confidence and athletic ability that made him stand out from the crowd. It also highlighted the importance of not specialising too early; it was a practical example for us as coaches that the boys should be encouraged to do as many different things as possible pre-adolescence.
Jacques’ dedication and commitment paid off quickly. He was chosen from hundreds of hopefuls to play the role of the Artful Dodger in Oliver in the West End. And boy was he good. Indeed, it was remarkable how such a young boy could hold an audience and excel whilst showcasing a variety of talents. He sang, he danced, performed numerous gymnastics moves and acted all at the same time. Truly incredible, and a real inspiration to us all.
But what was most impressive was his humility. Jacques may have been a star in the West End, but he took it all in his stride and with the support of his lovely family, continued giving his all in school and on the sports field. No easy feat when one considers that he was leaving school early and travelling continuously up and down from London, sometimes returning at 0200 in the morning after a show. Jacques remained the polite and thoughtful young man we came to know, and even agreed to do school assemblies to inspire others to work hard for their dreams.
Jaques has just completed his run on the West End starring in Jason in Saving Jason (Park Theatre) Previous credits include; Bugsy Malone (Lyric Hammersmith); Bugsy Malone(Lyric Hammersmith); Isaac Tallentire in The Hired Man (NYMT, Nikolai Foster); Brett in 13 The Musical (NYMT); The Artful Dodger in Oliver! the Musical (Cameron Mackintosh ltd); Chip in Beauty and the Beast (UK Productions); Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol (The Royal Northern Ballet Company). Television:Daniel in The Revolting World Of Stanley Brown (Retort Productions). We are sure the journey has lots of twists and turns yet.
you can follow Jacque on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jacques_miche
Former player Ben Griffiths has joined the coaching ranks of Bath & Wiltshire Boys.
Nicknamed ‘Baby Ben’ owing to his small stature and young looks, Ben has now graduated from University and is embarking on as a career as a teacher. Still living in Frome, Ben has agreed to take one of the teams alongside his playing commitment for Frome Town FC. Ben has had a lot of experience already and had the full experience as a kid growing up. He joined Bristol City from Bath Schools and then went to Southampton FC for their U18 programme at the Bath Centre. When the centre amalgamated with Yeovil Town FC, Ben played for Yeovil Town before pursuing a more academic route at Hartpury.
No longer Baby Ben, we are delighted that ‘grown-up Ben’ will now share his experience with the younger boys in the programme, we are sure the kids will love having him as one of the coaches. Ben’s appointment also helps complete the cycle, whereby ex-players reengage in some way with the organisation. Ben also joins Alex Harrison who has coached with Bath Schools for over a year now having played himself almost 10 years ago. Welcome back Ben!
Bath and Wiltshire Boys vs Gloucester Schools u10s team
The game started off with some quick passing to people’s feet and good pressing forward when we lost the ball. It was fast paced and there was lots of movement up and down the pitch. Early in the first quarter, BWB surprised Gloucester with a quick early goal and a nice assist from midfield, but they were quite strong and equalised 1-1.
Defence played very well and got in the way of the Gloucester attackers with some good tackles, moving the ball out from their feet to the midfielders. Our goalkeeper made some great saves and firm passes back out to the defence. Gloucester had lots of shots on goal, but BWB were always running back to help defend. A few minutes into the second quarter, Will slotted the ball into the corner of the net from an awesome assist. By half time, the score was 2-1.
Throughout the second half of the game, we kept the ball forward, stopping any attacks from Gloucester. During the third quarter, Gloucester got a lucky goal. The ball was switching between sides quickly, as it was nearing the end of the match. In the last few minutes of the game, the ball was passed to the midfielders from the defence, who brought it up near the goal. They shot, but it rebounded off Gloucester’s goalie’s hands. Luckily, Harvey backed up the attack and put himself in a perfect position to score. The final score was BWB 3-2 Gloucester.
Bath and Wiltshire Boys vs Bristol Inner City u11s team
On Monday 12th October the U11’s played against Bristol Inner City. We took the lead early on and had most of the possession but two attacks and two goals from Bristol meant we were 2-1 down. We dominated the rest of the match, scoring 5 goals and making the score 6-2 at the final whistle. The person I think played especially well was Alfie K because he was always getting behind the defenders and making space. I think the team improved on our passing and stretching the opposition by playing wide, which made gaps to attack.
Bath and Wiltshire Boys vs Bournemouth hampions
On Saturday the 8th of February 2020 BWB played a football match against Bournemouth champions. The boys played a great game in the bitter weather but unfortunately lost.
The first quarter the boys tried to go up and attack, but Bournemouth champions won possession and counter attacked following up with a great goal to put them 1-0 up. The boys did not get disheartened instead quickly took the ball up to the halfway line and kicked off again and managed to get the ball into the opposition’s half but got tackled inside the penalty area by Bournemouth. Bournemouth countered and out skilled BWB’s defence and scored again. 2-0 Bournemouth champions kept getting the ball into the opponent’s half but could not finish and near the end of the quarter we had a brilliant chance to score but the ball went over the bar and went out for a goal kick.
At the first quarter break the coaches changed the teams around and BWB got ready to kick off the second quarter. BWB passed the ball into the attacking half but could not get past the Bournemouth champions backline of defence. We had a couple of good chances and brilliant passes but BWB still could not score. The ball went out for a lot of throws and the boys defended them well. It was a pretty even game even though we were losing 2-0 until finally the ball went out for a corner and both the defence went up to get a short corner but the right winger chose to whip it into the box and unfortunately Bournemouth champions won possession and counter attacked to score and make it 3-0.In the 3rd quarter break BWB wanted to try and pass more and the coaches told the team to run more to win the ball back so the BWB boys went back out onto the pitch and ran loads trying to win the ball back and when they did the team won the ball back and tried to pass out wide and they succeeded a couple of times but could not find the back of Bournemouth champions net. Eventually BWB passed out wide and the winger got the ball and struck it to the top corner to make it 3-1 to Bournemouth. After that goal BWB got inspired but Bournemouth champions managed to pass the ball out wide and the BWB midfielder did a bad foul on Bournemouth and they got a free kick. The opposition’s winger booted the ball into the box and scored in the bottom corner to make it 4-1 to Bournemouth.
It was the final break before the 4th quarter and again the coaches changed the teams. BWB wanted to make a change to the first three quarters and try and win the game. The final quarter kicked off and Bournemouth started. They started passing the ball and going on attacks, but they couldn’t get the ball past the BWB backline. Every time the BWB boys lost the ball they sprinted hard to win it back and when they won possession BWB would pass the ball out wide again and again, but we just could not get it passed their keeper. The Bournemouth side had a couple of shots but our keeper handled them well and played them out to the left wing backs who played the ball down the line to the left wing who had a shot and hoofed the ball into the top left corner to make it 4-2 to Bournemouth. BWB got a bit too confident with a corner so the defence agreed for one defender to go up to receive a short corner and one to stay back. The right wing chose to whip the ball into the box but the Bournemouth keeper snapped out and grabbed the ball then kicked the ball up the pitch towards the two Bournemouth strikers to make it a two on one then the Bournemouth players passed to each other than slotted the ball home to make it 5-2 Bournemouth. In the last ten minutes BWB played the ball out wide and won a free kick from a bad foul by Bournemouth. The defender slotted the ball into the box for the striker who scored so the score was. 5-3 A bit later after both teams had lots of shots, passed a lot and had some corners but eventually the final whistle blew.
The following boys were selected to represent the districts in the under 10 age group:
|Blajek||G||St John’s RC|
|Cole||W||St Vigor & St John|
|Maggs||L||High Littleton C of E|
|Nairn||T||St Vigor & St John|
The following boys were selected to represent the districts in the under 9 age groups
|Wright||A||St Martins Garden|
|Smith||S||Weston All Saints|
|Franklin Smith||D||Weston All Saints|
Whilst Shane enjoyed a night off, Patrick from Freiburg in Germany put the boys through their paces with a freestyle session. The new lockdown has meant that training has once again halted, but fortunately Patrick jumped at the chance to help out the Smurfs by agreeing to run some online sessions for a few weeks. Initial tricks included around the worlds and different ways to flick up and catch the ball.
Boys did really well and we plan to run the session again next Monday. Thanks Patrick…and wake up Shane!