Pan-disability team play their first match for Omonia Youth FC
April 26, 2023
On Sunday, community grassroots club Omonia Youth FC, sponsored by Diamond Corp. Ltd were represented by two teams from the club’s inclusive training squad as they embarked on their football journey by playing their first ever football match. There was an Under 12 team and an Under 16 team and it is wonderful to report how much all the players enjoyed playing. Both teams were playing in the Herts Youth Inclusive Football Tournament. Club Chairman Myri Demetriou, who was instrumental in setting up inclusive football at the club, said: “There were so many happy faces and they managed to score a few goals and win some games too. Parents were so thankful and we are hoping to be doing this every month. I would like to say well done and thank you to Mary Tryphona for organising the trip and for taking the teams today.”
Elsewhere, with the season drawing to a close, reams are involved in important matches at the business end of the season.
Sophia Karanicholas’ Under 12 Girls were 6-4 winners, but it took the girls some time to get back into the swing of things after three weeks without a game. Positionally the girls were quite open which resulted in the opposition taking the lead. The Under 12 did manage to get the equaliser before half time. The girls were encouraged to think about their positional discipline, taking more care with the ball and to pass around rather than just kicking it long. They heeded the advice and the girls had a much improved second half and they scored two goals in the last five minutes to win the game. Well done to all and special shout out to Rayna for getting stuck in, in only her second game and Evi, who also joined after Christmas and who took on a player brilliantly to set up a goal that gave her team the lead. Player of the Match was awarded to Melina who scored three superb goals and demonstrated great resilience and commitment to win the ball back.
Samuel Arthur and John Frangou’s Under 13 Green ran out 7-4 winners in what was described as “…the best performance we have seen the team play…” Zac (2), Aston (2), Noah (2) and Theo were goal scorers in a performance where the significant difference was the team’s composure. Not a single player panicked, and their play was very controlled. They scored seven past and beat a team who just three weeks ago beat them 6-2. Something has started clicking and the team is now gelling on the pitch. The boys were stringing together sequences of passes and each attack could have led to a goal. Even when 2-2 at half time, the coaches could sense that the team wanted it more. They won nearly every 50:50 ball and the opposition couldn’t get out of their half for much of the game. The one moment that sums up the entire game, was when Alex (playing in central defence) was running towards his own goal to clear the ball with two strikers on his back. He could have kicked it out to safety, but calm as anything, he turned the players, looked up and played an amazing pass, kicking off an attack that led to a goal moments later. Alex was duly named Man of the Match.
Christian Noble and Mary Tryphona’s Under 12 Gold Tiger Girls put on an excellent performance playing against a team two years older and playing 9 a-side where their league is currently 7 a-side. The girls started the first half started a bit shakily as couldn’t get tackles in or move the ball but Elysia in goal made a great penalty save to keep the scores levels. Ava and Zoss had some chances at goal. In the second half the opposition were brilliant and they played with 7 players to even up the competitiveness of the game and only reverted back to 9 towards the end of the match. Gabriella made some great runs even though she got slightly injured but she was a trooper came on for team. Mia held her position well and helped cover at the back. Great saves from Xenia kept the second half at 1-0 and the girls should be so proud of themselves for never giving up. Girl of the Game was awarded to Elysia for her outstanding penalty save and helping out in goal showing a great attitude in both halves.
Michael Pieri and Harry Theodorou’s Under 18 White played their final ever home match and their final ever league match in grassroots youth football. The boys have already clinched the league title if the boys avoided defeat they would end the season as unbeaten champions. The game turned into a bit of a battle and the boys looked disjointed. Energy levels were lower than usual but their football was superior and it was no surprise when they took the lead. A beautiful finish from centre half Louie Socratous after he burst through on a transition to dink it expertly over the advancing goalkeeper. The opposition’s only hope was long punts and from set pieces and minutes before half time the Under 18 White gave away a poor free-kick. The resultant and a mix-up at the back saw the opposition equalise. In the second half the boys started poorly as the opposition pressed for a goal. They hit the post and as the match edged to its conclusion, a speculative effort from long range Michael Pavlou went through the goalkeeper’s legs; 2-1 and game over. Their players slumped to the ground. It was the fourth time the Under 18 White had beaten the same opposition this season.
Man of the Match was Billy Cook who played 90 minutes at centre-half; the only other time he had played there before was on tour in Cyprus back in February. And so the Under 18 White’s final league campaign ended as played 12, won 9, drew 3 and lost none. An outstanding end to their grassroots youth league careers.
Jack Markou’s Under 12 Greens played a double header as they look to catch up on league games following two long cup runs. The first game was pretty even with our boys finding it pretty difficult to play their football on a terrible grass pitch. The finished 1-1. The second game was an altogether different story once the boys adjusted to the playing conditions and they won the game comfortably 5-2. They still have a chance to end the season as league winners but still they will have to do so havibg to play midweek and Sunday doubleheaders.
Zino Vryonides Under 15 Green had to contend with missing players and lots of injuries. Even though they lost 4-0, the players who played gave it their all and stepped up playing in different positions to help accommodate deficiencies in personnel. Hopefully players will return in the next few weeks to end the season strong.
Jason Plysi and Tony Stylianides Under 12 White Lion Girls were defeated 3-2. The girls hadn’t played a match for over a month and faced a team second in the league who had only lost once this season. There was pre-match worry that the players would struggle with the lack of practice. The girls were challenged to try and get as many shots on target and score as they had not hit the back of the net in the last few games. The game itself was evenly balanced for long periods. The opponents were very physical and had players that were taller, but the Omonia girls’ effort and desire didn’t waver. Their defending and decision making was excellent and they pressed as a team. They were rewarded for their collective efforts with an equaliser midway through the first half. They did though concede two deflected goals shortly and while the opposition had many more chances to score, the Omonia goalkeeper was in fine form today. In the second half, the team played the perfect game. They defended soundly and created more goal scoring opportunities and they scored their second with a brilliant corner finding a player on the back post meaning they won the second half 1-0. This perfomacne will no doubt give the girls a great confidence for the rest of the season. Player of the Match was awarded to Mahdiya who made some fantastic saves and kept her team in the game. A special mention too to Gracie, one of the youngest players on the pitch who set up both goals.
Ali Koca-Emir’s under 10 Girls had a productive match. All the girls were communicating on the pitch which is something they’ve been focusing on for the last few weeks. The girls pleasingly exhibited good passing and moving which created lots of spaces and positive situations.
George Sammoutis and Angelo Siracusa’s Under 11 Silver played in the WFL tournament and had a really good day. The boys lost their first two games then picked up seven points from the remaining five games and only conceding four goals from seven games. Unfortunately it was enough to progress the group stage but they finished third in their against good competitive opposition which is a massive improvement for them. The boys all had a great experience and lots of fun with parents and coaches also enjoying the day.
Finally, Demi Shiamishis and Vas Soteriou’s Under 13 Girls won 4-0 thanks to a brace each from Player of the Match Andreanna and Emily. The girls performed excellently after several weeks without a game. They came out of the blocks quickly but resorted to an uncharacteristic long ball game. It result in the first goals as they went ahead after a few scrambled chances through Emily. The second half was a different matter as their girls reverted to their usual passing game, with good movement across all positions with triangle formations as they have been working on in training. The girls were strong in defence with Bella and Katina marshalling their forwards and Claudia and Sophia providing the energy in the wide areas. A further two goals from Andreana and another one from Emily saw the girls come away with a comfortable victory which takes them to the top of the table.
Should you feel enthused and want to know more about Omonia Youth FC, you can contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org, via the contact page on the club’s website www.omoniayouthfc.com as well as following the club on twitter @OmoniaYouthFC and Instagram @omoniayouthfc1994.