MEET THE TEAM
JOSH CALLAHAN –
Josh is capable of doing whatever he wants to in the game, he has great technique and is a great manipulator of the ball, he has a very clean strike and is our set piece delivery specialist, more than capable of scoring from distance from free kicks and in open play and also super delivery from corners usually onto the head of his buddy Josh Prykan. A boy who once again is capable of playing in many positions such is his technical and mental quality in terms of …reading and understanding the game. He is another who just cruises through games, he always has another gear to call upon, plays us out from the back very well and has formed an excellent partnership with Jacob Masi, I keep telling him he is too nice on the field, but I suppose being nice is not a bad quality to have, if he adds a little aggression to his play when he needs to he is capable of being whatever he wants to be in this game. He is an absolute diamond of a boy to have around.
We used to call him little Josh because Josh Callahan was big Josh, but he is not little Josh anymore, and you would know that if he tackled you trust me. This boy has an insatiable desire for the game of soccer, in 2 years i cant honestly remember him missing a single practice, i am sure he must have but i cant remember, and he has hardly missed a minute of any game, besides its not worth the earache he will give me if i do take him off. He actually has everythi…ng you need in the modern game, he is physically strong, has good technique, is brave, good header of the ball, good pace, can score goals, and maybe above all he is absolutely great in his attitude to work rate, he is non stop, sometimes his tongue goes just as fast as his feet but its all ok because mine can go faster than my feet these days, he keeps me on my toes, if he continues he will go a long way, needs to keep his feet on the floor and continue to be a good leader. He is maturing very well and he understands more what it is to be a captain, by setting examples and encouraging people and getting people to follow what you do. His long and short passing is very good, he has a powerful strike in both feet and has scored more headers than any other player in any team i have had since i came here, including 18 year old boys teams, because he wants to, he drives me mad at times but the good ones always do because they are demanding of themselves, other players, and the coach.
Nothing but admiration for this boy, has been with me 2 years and has consistently played against boys that are almost 2 years older, you would never know it if you saw how he played during that time. Cole possesses great pace and has added an intelligence to his game over time that is beyond his young years. He is what I call a natural goal scorer, he sniffs chances out in the box and scores all types of goals which is what real goal scorers do, he is always there… when the ball drops, you cant teach that, its an instinct. He has learnt his runs and is a constant threat to the back of the opponents defence, once he gets there even though the players he is against are older they find it very difficult to stop or catch him, he is going to be a very interesting proposition when he plays in high school having played with and against older boys all his young career, His technique has got better and better, he plays much better now when his back is to goal and understands that he can set attacks up for us by retaining possession and blending the ball back into midfield. He can play equally as well as a central striker or as a wide right attacker, he is a good crosser of the ball and even though now his real age are not playing 11 v 11 he has taken to that like a duck to water, in some cases it can be hard but I genuinely believe that in cases where you have gifted players that extra space whilst physically is harder, it actually comes as a relief when they have practised in small tight areas like they do with us, when it opens up it helps them. Cole lies just behind Lincoln in the goal scoring charts and whilst both of these guys understand that they cant score without the service and work of their team mates they do the most difficult thing in the game, they put the ball in the onion bag.
JACKSON LATTNER –
Very rarely seen a young player as completely and utterly committed as Jackson, if you could bottle his desire, tenacity, willingness to work and sell it we could all retire. He has played almost every minute of every game for two years, partly because he wants to never come off and partly because on the very rare occasion I have taken him off with say 2 minutes left he has always given me stink eye. He is an absolute soldier, never ever has an off day and put…s more miles on the clock than Fedex. Technically he gets better and better all the time and will continue to as he gets stronger physically, very much looking forward to what his next growth spurt brings as I believe he will really jump forward in terms of his strength. He is naturally able to beat people on his outside and is comfortable on his right as well, can play anywhere down the left side and up front, I believe in future he will either be a wide left winger or a very very effective modern day wing back or full back, full backs these days need to be able to cover the length of the field and Jackson can cover the length of 2 so he is going to be more than fine.
SARAH HUNTER –
Sarah has been with us for 2 years, she has not only played in the girls team but has always down to her ability alone played up with the boys, I can honestly say that she has never ever looked out of place, once again this was proved in the first game this season when she had an excellent game and helped herself to 2 fantastic goals. Sarah has the great ability to play very well off either foot, she has a very strong strike with both feet and is an excellent and… accurate passer of the ball, if she is within striking distance of goal she will score, there is no doubt about that. She strikes a moving ball equally as well if not better than a dead ball and can find team mates with long and short passes. She can play anywhere on the right side and would probably be able to do just the same on the left, she is also a very good and willing header of the ball which is very rare here in America and with her height i expect her to be a threat in the penalty box in years to come if someone serves her the right ball, equally she could be taking the corners and free kicks such is her ability to strike the ball. Sarah is also a very good tackler and has perfect timing and bravery, its often underestimated but a very vital quality to have.
JUSTIN GEORGI –
Justin joined us a little later than the rest but I am genuinely delighted with how far he has come in such a short space of time, i spoke with him in the beginning about one small technical flaw when he was receiving the ball and he listened and has been doing it ever since, he is just getting better and better in every practice session and every game. He is a very hard worker, has good pace, strikes the ball cleanly and is actually a very good tackler which is… an art that is not fully appreciated but nevertheless one that is absolutely crucial, after all if you can tackle you cant stop the opposition attacking nor get the ball from them, its a very vital quality to have. He is a very valued member of the team who is appreciated by all his team mates. He has played right back and right midfield and has looked equally as comfortable in both positions, he has been a fine contributor to our 3 victories so far and I am looking forward to watching Justin progress.
CAMERON MILLER –
Cameron is a another player we have who has an insatiable appetite for the game, his work rate and desire to get better are superb. Cameron is an excellent technician who should he retain his enthusiasm for the game will be a very very good player in the future, you can trust me on that. He is willing to accept the ball in all situations and work his way out, bravery takes 2 forms in the game, one is physical, ie tackling, heading, running when you think you cant , but also bravery is taking the ball when others are hesitant, you have to be brave to get on the ball and not worry that you may give it away. Cameron has both types of bravery, he is a fighter who will stand his corner, he is fit and athletic and never stops running, he is a leader by example which is what I ask all the boys and girls to be. He is also the player that makes us tick in an attacking sense, has great footwork and manipulates the ball in tight areas very well, he is capable of going past players with ease and I will be working hard with him to get more goals instead of just being the creator, scored a great goal last weekend and that is the start of many to come. In time he will learn to mix his game up a little so he is harder to play against, he will be targeted so you need to keep the opponent guessing. Another player who I cant wait to see in years time just how much they have developed physically.
JACOB MASI –
Great to see Jacob back after suffering a broken arm last season, of course injuries not only can be debilitating physically but for some mentally coming back from injury is harder, Jacob has shown great courage to come back and play so well. The one thing I know when I look at this player is he has the ability to play anywhere, he is like a Rolls Royce, he cruises through games and always has another gear, he has great technique, is a very good passer of the ball, brave in the tackle, he has a very good footballer and reads the game excellently, has played at the back in the first few games and I don’t hesitate when I say that I cant remember him making a mistake, has formed a great partnership with Josh Callahan and I am looking forward to them both playing further up the field in the coming weeks.
LINCOLN HORTON –
Lincoln is simply an enormous threat, not only with his pace and power but he has excellent ball skills and is able to beat defenders not only with power but from a standing start with his skill. He is physically more advanced than others at the moment and its always interesting to see how that evens itself out but with Lincoln I have no concerns whatsoever when people may catch up because he shows already that he has a great intelligence for the game. He makes well timed intelligent runs to the back of the defence, as well as knowing when he must show in front, once he is facing the opponents goal and going at pace he is very very difficult to stop, if I was an opposing coach I would encourage my defenders to do 1 thing to try and nullify his threat, but its a secret and they wont be able to do that in a years time because it will have been improved upon. He creates chances for others very well and a very unselfish in his play, as a striker sometimes you need to be selfish but Lincoln has a great appreciation of those around him and is always willing to make a winning pass. That said he is our leading scorer so far with 6 goals and bearing in mind I know I could play him at the back and he be equally as good that’s a nice position to be in for me. One of the fundamental parts of a strikers game is your back to goal play, Lincoln understands the value to the team that when he receives the ball with his back to goal it is essential to keep it so we can build from him and off him. He is an absolute pleasure to work with, he loves the game and wants to get better, he listens and is able to take critique very well, not that I often have to critique him but just to keep him on his toes. Watch out for the name.
Konner is an absolute dream to work with as a coach, I know I will sound like a broken record but the boy just has an incredible attitude and willingness to give everything in every single practice and every single game, I ask him does he want a break and to come off the field, always the reply is ‘no i’m good’, believe me some players ask and need a break ,that`s fine, fitness levels at this age are not all the same, they are not pro athletes, that said they do a…t this age have to learn to play smart when they are fatigued. Konner never stops running, he is strong and direct which I love and has very good technique when he is caught in tight areas. He has a great ability to beat defenders on both sides, on the outside and on the inside, he has been at the forefront of all the good things we have done in the opponents half and has formed a fantastic working relationship with Jackson Lattner, they are great at interchanging their positions, both capable of playing well as wingers and both capable of playing as left defenders. The energy down that side of the field is incredible and they are behind a lot of good things we do down that side. Konner has good pace and excellent balance so even when he encounters physical contact he is able to ride the contact, so excited to see how he progresses, he loves playing i can see that and if he continues to love the game he will have a great career. Konner also clearly has great awareness of when he is having his picture taken on the field as he is the only player to manage to get his mum in the picture in the background….or was it mum who photo bombed him.
TRAVIS MILLER –
Travis has started the season exceptionally well, like a couple of other players was coming into a new environment and getting to know players and everyone was getting to know him, sometimes you can underestimate the time it takes to settle into a new group, new coach etc etc. In professional football for example in Europe they would say that it takes a professional 12 months or so to fully settle. Pro’s are not usually anxious when they move but young people ca…n be, they want to prove themselves and can become nervous doing that. Travis took about 3 practice sessions to really settle in, he has done extremely well in a variety of different positions, right back, right sided striker and also as a central striker, he is strong and protects the ball well as you can see in the picture. He is a good crosser of the ball on the run and has very good power when striking a moving ball, his work rate is fantastic and has really shone in the games and practices so far, he grabbed his first 2 goals last week showing super intelligence to get in on the back post when the ball was on the other side, he has contributed greatly to some really good performances from the team and will continue to do so.
GRIFFIN PETROCCI –
One of the perks of being able to play equally as well as goalkeeper and outfield player is you get two pictures on the meet the team focus.I cant recall in my career in football (you use your feet) whether I have seen someone who is a very good goalkeeper be just as good as an outfield player. In terms of goalkeeping Griffin has everything you need, he is brave, agile, has good hands and probably in the modern game one thing that has become ever more important is the ability to distribute well with both hands and feet. His distribution is excellent, being able to set us off on attacks with his fantastic throws and his ability to actually play long passes as opposed to just kicks. Only conceded 1 goal in 3 games and managed to score two himself, one of the best if not the best keeper in the area and if he played out all the time he would be one of the best as well. A terrific boy to have with us and a great guy within the team.