Manager Eric Tocher
Asst. Manager Simon Wilson
Can I first thank my partner in crime, Simon Wilson; his support at training and on match days has been invaluable. Next, to our sponsor and dodgy ref Martin Gerred. A huge thanks for the sponsorship money which allowed us to buy waterproofs for all the boys and for his calm, assured and impartial refereeing on match days.
Now onto the season and the boys: -
We came fourth in a very strong league, and were 9 points ahead of the 5th team. We scored 67 goals in all competitions and conceded only 27 league goals. We played with honesty and dignity and were commended on several occasions by the opposition's management, referee or parents. Our own loyal band of supporters were, as always, fantastic; giving support and encouragement to the boys, but also recognising and acknowledging quality in the opposing teams.
In goal we had Oliver Cox and in the New Year Aidan Barber shared the responsibility between the sticks. Between them they kept 8 clean sheets and conceded only 12 goals in the last 12 games, representing a continuous improvement throughout the season.
At the back we had Luke Nugent, Luke Wilson and Sam Harris. They were absolutely terrific all season; they developed not only as individual players but an excellent understanding was forged when playing as defensive duos. They also all scored great goals this season.
In midfield we had Sam Waller, Robbie Tocher and Nicolas Cortes. Sam and Robbie showed the ability to be equally effective on both flanks. Not only that, they scored an amazing 16 and 19 goals respectively and were a handful for most of the opposition. Nic commanded the central midfield role and scored his only well deserved league goal, with his last kick in the last game of the season!
Up front we had Jamie Gerred, Oliver Verlander and a late addition to the squad Nicholas Wing. Jamie scored an amazing 21 goals in 20 games. This was well deserved as not only does he find the onion bag with aplomb but also works really hard for the team. Olly, again this season linked the play superbly between the midfield and attack. Towards the end of the season he added some determination to his game which was great to see. Nicholas joined us half way through the season and has shown tremendous energy and an eye for goal, one to watch next season I think.
It's been a real pleasure working with the team this year and I bet you can't believe I didn't mention SPURS winning the Carling Cup!
We are in the Watford Friendly League Under 9 Blue Division.
Eric pulled back his curtains this week not to a snow covered mountain but back in sunny Watford with a massive match ahead. Whilst Robbie was tightening his studs and pulling on the purple shirt to face Bushey Youth; Eric was preparing for his trip with Spurs to Wembley, unfortunately Eric was to miss another exciting game for the Hawks.
Bushey Youth in their second season as a club and first in the WFL started as a solid team and always look confident. On an initial attack they managed to slot a ball through to take the lead. Nascot fought back and both Sam W and Jamie's shots on target being saved by the BYFC keeper or just going wide/over. This game was far from over.
Oliver C had an excellent first half in goal making some good clean saves. The second half saw a keeper change for Nascot with the return of Aiden back in full fitness, actually he must have been having secret training as straight away he was challenged by a shot in the top corner which he dived and plucked out of the air (Sky Sports would have been repeating that all day). Nascot kept the pressure up in attack and defence until Oliver V was brought down for a free kick. Robbie stepped up to take the free kick, he had put the afternoons challenge for Spurs to the back of his mind for the game, and this was to be his first taste of victory. A beautiful free kick that end in the top corner, there was no way that ball was going to be stopped. The game ended up being a 1-1 draw, probably again a fair result, However, I felt again that we had the edge.
The Fat lady has just sung, so the Spurs v Chelsea game is about to start, lets hope Eric gets his tickets worth! I know our supporters today definitely did. Next week we are against Sarrat Rebels on Mothers Day (Remember the Cards and Daffs lads) all goals to be dedicated to ours Mums on the line.
As the curtains were pulled back it revealed a bright cold winters morning, with blue skies overhead and the ground covered in white. However as Eric gazed out on a snow covered French Mountains he could only but dream of being back home heading up the U9 Hawks. Yes we too had a white frozen ground but by the time of kick off the pitch was in excellent order. The opposition (Strides) looked very organised complete with their matching training balls (next season lads)
The game started off fairly even with an unfortunate deflection from a Strides throw wrong footing "Safe hands Cox" to put them one up. As usual heads were still up and we made many chances on the attack. It wasn't long until "Hot feet Waller" turned the ball onto that killer right foot which sailed through the defence line past the keeper to bring the score back to 1-1. The game then saw Hawks fresh singing from the January window of Nicholas Wing take to the mid field and with solid determination Nick played some excellent football, a very promising player. The second half proved to be as entertaining as the first with plenty of end-to-end play, good to see the boys passing moves and find space up front. We defended well and looked dangerous on attack. If it was a boxing match I think we would have won on the judges vote, but in the end I think 1-1 was a fair result. A good game played in the true sporting spirit from both sides, a pleasure to be part of.
We found ourselves playing on White Hart Lane......the world famous home of the Spurs! Well not quite, it was a school playing field just off White Hart Lane opposite the New River sports centre, but we can all dream. Drawn again Alexandra Park who are joint top of the division above us, we expected a tough game, but not to play against a team of giants! Giants may be a slight exaggeration but they were the biggest team we've played against in 3 years.
We started brightly and you could tell that game was going to be a tight one, but in usual Hawks fashion we gave a goal away in the first few minutes. A ball that should've been hoofed out of the area found itself at an Alex Park players feet and somehow the ball was looped over Olly into the net, 1-0 to Alex.Pk. The boys looked a little shell-shocked and I thought for a minute they were going to drop their heads, but this was not to be the case. We took the game to Alex. Pk. and created a couple of chances for Jamie who went through one on one on both occasions,considering he was wearing Sam Waller's yellow boots, goals should've been certainties, but it was not to be and both shots went wide ( I blame the boots!). Before half time Alex.Pk. scored a second, some would say fluky, some brilliant, but the shot from the throw in line, went straight over everyone's head including Olly's into the back of the net 2-0 to Alex.Pk.
At half time I was convinced we would win the game 3-2 and I told the boys so, with the slope in our favour and a good few fans behind us, swelled by the Nugent clan, we set about them with gusto. A neat passing move allowed Sam to break down the right, there was only one outcome.....a goal 1-2. As we continued to press Nic Cortes had two shots on goal within 5 seconds of each other, the second striking a defenders arm, the ref gave a penalty, which it was, but generous all the same considering we were the away team. Sam stepped up and coolly stuck it away..........2-2, game on. At this point I must give all the boys a mention, because they were fantastic, Olly in goal made several telling saves which kept us in the game, Sam H, Nugget (my man of the match) and Luke were magnificent at the back, Robbie, Sam and Nic gave their all in midfield, Olly V superbly linked the play between midfield and attack and Jamie ran his heart out up front. So when in the last minute of normal time a poor keepers clearance fell to Robbie.......on his left foot........with an open goal.........`Mystic Eric's' prediction was about to come true..............but this is football and a great big hand came out of the sky and said `It's not you' and flicked the ball away for a corner !!!! Okay that's a lie, Robbie shot the wrong side of the post and into extra time we went.
Extra time was evenly matched without too much incident, so penalties would decide this cup tie. The boys were given a simple instruction, hit the target I asked no more, we won the toss and Sam W went first and stuck his penalty away. When AP's first squirmed under Olly, I felt it was not going to be our day and I was right we lost 3-1.
The boys should be proud of their performance today, I was. Anyway we can concentrate on the league now.............god I sound like a Hornet.
After what seemed an age since our last game before Christmas, a 4-0 defeat away to table toppers Whetstone, we were greeted by bright sunshine and a slight frost at Radlett CC. With fours teams at home the ground was awash with purple & black rug rats dashing in every direction, so to bring order to the proceedings the agreed "Ramos weigh in" commenced.......needless to say I need to loose a little, although Andy from the U10 Hawks beat me hands down!
So to the football, we started one squad member down, the Gerreds who are allergic to UK Xmas & New Year festivities were sunning themselves in Tenerife, so Jamie was in swimmers rather than shorts, Dad Martin was on San Miguel rather than tea and Nicky was on the "vino callapso" as usual!
Sorry I did say I was going to write about the game but I've got a big chair by my computer and after a few wee ones I do tend to get the Ronnie Corbett's.........so there was this Paddy who walk into a pub..........]
We started very brightly and in the first five minutes we were awarded a free kick well outside the area to the left of the goal.................you know what's coming next don't you!!!!!!!! and by golly your right, Sam Waller stepped up and struck the ball sweetly with his right foot and it sailed into the top RH corner of the net. 1-0 to the Hawks.
Like all our games against Abbots the rest of the half was fiercely contested, with neither side giving an inch and with Tony's G's pal `Hi Ho Brian Silver' officiating, there was no nonsense either. just before the break we conceded a bit of a soft goal, after a corner a weak clearance was being closed down by 4 of our players, the Abbots player simply chipped it into the space and one of three waiting forwards poked it home. Olly had no chance. 1-1
In the second half we were by far the best side creating several chances, but we found their goal keeper in fine form and to be fair, he and our two goalies Olly and later Aidan never put a hand or foot wrong in the whole game. If we keep improving as we have been and compete like we did today for the whole 40 minutes, I expect us to be in the top 4 this year, prove me right boys.
The weather created the back drop for one of those cup fixtures which it definitely turned into. After the Home pitch was ruled unplayable the fixture was switched to Cassiobury's ground. The game started well for Nascot, some good passing moves led to Sam Waller with a long shot beating the keeper in the air to put us in front after 7 minutes, Sam was to make this 2 just two minutes later which took us into the half time ahead. The second half saw us playing into the wind and sun, due to an unlucky deflection Cassiobury scored. This lifted the Cassiobury team who then intercepted the ball to bring the score 2-2 forcing extra time. Nascot team realising that they had let Cassiobury back into the game looked to close the tie. Sam Waller scored in the first period of extra time, this was then sealed in the second period by Jamie Gerred leaving the score line as 4-2 to Nascot.
Well done to all the boys and thanks to our loyal supporters for cheering us on, apparently there was light rain!
Today we found ourselves up against high flying Borehamwood 2000 from Division 1 in the League Cup. With the boys under the leadership of Mr Wilson today, it gave me the chance to relax and watch the game without the incessant `when am I going back on ?' from the lovely little rug rats. Now our record and performances against teams from higher leagues have not been good, that coupled with Borehamwood unbeaten in the top division, having scored 17 goals in their three league games, you might expect to be heavily beaten or outplayed. I'm very proud to say neither was the case today.
We fell behind quite early on. A hopeful lob into the area, fell to one of their players despite a pack of purple shirts around him, the shot was well saved by Olly, but as is our luck in these situations, it fell to the only other Borehamwood player in the area and he slotted it home, 0-1 . About three minutes later, their very impressive number four, left a couple of our boys in his wake as he weaved his way into the box and sweet as you like crashed a shot passed the helpless Olly, 0-2 . The same player scored again minutes later coolly chipping over Olly as he tried to shut the angle down, 0-3. At this point it sounds like we were getting a tanking, not the case, we were well in the game, but not really creating any clear cut chances. That was about to change just before half-time when a through ball was mistimed by one of their defenders, Robbie prodded it to Jamie, who hit a lovely shot which the keeper couldn't hold and it crossed the line, only for Andy `Mr McGoo' Crayden to play on'. In his defence he said he didn't see it.......bl**dy right he didn't!
In the second half we gave them a right old game, totally dominating the first ten or so minutes.In that time we created several good chances, Nic smacked a super shot just over the bar, Robbie hit the bar with a lovely left foot curler and Sam had a couple of shots from distance. The game then swung from end to end with both teams playing lovely passing football which was inevitably broken up by some fantastic tackles from both sides. As the game entered the last minute Sam broke down the right and hit a lovely cross cum shot, which was met by the on rushing Jamie, who just beat the keeper to the ball and side footed it into the corner of the net, 1-3. A fully deserved goal and just reward for a fantastic team performance. Simon in charge again next week for yet another cup game, I'm off to a camel football training camp in Morocco!
With last minute international goals ruining my Saturday, I was determined that there would be no repeat of that feeling again today.
This was an excellent all round team performance. In the first half playing down hill in the freezing wind, we got off to a good start dominating possession and some of the passing was a joy to behold. Things were going so smoothly, there was little need for direction from the sidelines and I felt it was only a matter of time before we broke through. Unfortunately this didn't happen, despite one magical move from the back which found Sam Waller on the right wing, who looked up and picked out Jamie with a 30 yard pass, Jamie, cool as you like attempted to lift the ball over the keeper which would've resulted in a goal, but the excellent Bushey goalie just reached it. Half time 0-0.
So after a quick half time pep talk, the boys took to the field, blue legs and all, only to be held up by another Bushey group hug! This was followed by 10 minutes later by a tactical conference on the pitch between their Manager and the Ref which lasted a couple of minutes, very bizarre. But with 5 minutes left Nic Cortes won the ball outside our area and carried it forward, he pushed it to Jamie and first time deft flick to Sam Waller dumbfounded three Bushey players, and sent Sam clear on goal from the half way line. It was like a pack of dogs chasing a fox, (no not Sam Fox!). Sam carried the ball into the area and I'm sure resisting the urge to blast it, he curled the ball beautifully into the corner of the net 0-1. Bushey continued to try and push forward and use the great kicks from their goalkeeper, but there was no way passed Sam Harris and Nugget who protected Olly Cox (who had only one save to make all day) superbly. Luke Wilson, Robbie and Olly V played their part also in as I've already said in a great all round team performance. Well done boys.
With a cup competition bringing out the best in us last week, we looked forward to another cup tie against Hertford Town Youth. After a warming up on the Wii at my house, we set off at around dawn for our 10:00am kick-off. As the sun came up we could see the pitch was in good nick, but very small. Unfortunately with a very fussy Ref (the leagues not Hertford's) the game never really got the chance to flow.
The first half came and went without either side having a shot on target, we had too many to remember that went close, it was like the old spot the ball, with xxx's all around the goal on yer coupon (explain that one to the boys).
We got off to a great start in the second half when Sam Waller cooley slotted in a penalty won by the persistent Oliver Verlander, at last we got ourselves in front.
Don't ask me what happened next, but we conceded two soft goals and found ourselves chasing the game. Things looked to be slipping away when Robbie latched onto a through ball and was tripped inside the box only for the ref to give nothing. It looked all over when in the last few seconds Jamie's shot was parried by the keeper, but quick as a flash he turned on the rebound and stuck it away. There was barely time to re-start and into extra time we went.
We again dominated in extra time and just as penalties were looming, a neat passing move by us was broken up by a defender hoofing it down field, the ball fell between Sam & Nugget and the attacker scored when he hit a speculative shot, which just evaded Olly's dive. We found ourselves out of the cup and losing a game we should've won at a canter.
However disappointing the result, we will learn from today and it should make us a stronger unit.
The only thing to really remember today was all those brave soldiers who gave their lives, giving us the opportunity to encourage in English, even though we don't all speak it the same way!!
What a transformation. After our drubbing at the hands of Whetstone last week the boys bounced back....with style.
It took less than a minute for Sam Waller to break from his own half, swerving passed a couple of defenders like David Ginola he found himself on his own bearing down on the now trembling Abbots goalie and with aplomb blasted the ball into the back of the net, 1-0 to the Hawks. Now considering we have played Abbots several times with only three goals scored in all these meetings, this was a superb start.
This goal opened the game up into a right old fashioned cup tie with both teams giving it their all. Abotts equalised mid way through the first half when a very dubious free kick was given against us right on the edge of the area for no apparent reason. The shot and goal that resulted gave an indication why! We battled back and when Sam W was tripped on the edge of their area, things were about to be evened up, to the amazement of the watching hundreds, nothing was given........you could hear the groans on the Tudor. Despite this set back the boys continued to press and when we broke with a 4 on 2 advantage just before half time, with the crowd surging forward, the ref blew up! Good job I'm not related to John McEnroe.
At half time I told the boys the only way we were going to win this game was to have a two goal cushion and to battle for every ball. Oliver Verlander obviously took this to heart, in our very first attack of the 2nd half he won the ball in their area, which he had no right to win and Cooley prodded it across to Jamie who gleefully converted. 2-1 to the Hawks. No sooner had the crowd taken their seats when Sam `Ginola' set off down the right and with everyone (including me) expecting a shot, he picked out Jamie with a perfect pass, 3-1 to the Hawks.
As you can imagine Abbots came at us with a nothing to lose attitude, but our boys were like dogs with bones and battled like I've never seen before. Despite this Abbots pulled one back after Aidan has made an excellent two handed save, but it fell to another attacker who stuck it away. Game on!
This was going to test our boys who had given everything, but shortly afterwards another break down the right from resulted in........yes you've guessed it and a cool finish from Jamie for his hat-trick, it must be having his Dad's name on his chest! 4-2 to the Hawks. To top off a fantastic display, a corner routine that we've been working on in training came off, a perfect chip into the area from Nic Cortes was headed.......yes headed home by Sammy W, 5-2 to the Hawks. With the half going into it's 26th minute Abbots scored the goal of the game, a sublime overhead kick which looped over Olly to make the final score 5-3 to the Hawks.
Despite the ref and his Ferguson watch, it was a great game and all credit to Abbots Youth who played their part. They are a fantastic sporting bunch of boys, run by a gent in Steve Tooley.
It's a funny old game!
With the added bonus of having the Wilson's and young Aidan back in the fold after their holidays, we kicked off full of optimism looking to carry on from where we left off last week against Bushey Rangers. It wasn't long before reality struck in the form of an excellent Whetstone Wanderers team, who to be honest wanted it more and fully deserved their convincing win.
In the first half we lacked shape and discipline and we didn't win a single 50/50 or even a 60/40 tackle, so it was no real surprise we ended the half three nil down. To be fair to the boys, they identified themselves where it was going wrong in the break and were up for doing something about it.
Although we went on to concede a further three goals in the second half, the performance was a massive improvement on the first, and we were very unlucky not to score more than the one from our man of the match Sam Harris. Another positive note was obvious signs of what we have been working on in training, being tried out in the match, although it didn't always work............it will in the long run.
Despite having two members of the squad away sunning themselves, the Hawks got off to a winning start in our league campaign, beating Bushey Rangers 5-3.
We seem to play better when coming from a goal behind, so things went to plan when Olly C in goal made a good block, the ball rebounded to the same Bushey Rangers forward who slotted it in from only a yard out, putting us that goal behind! We hit back soon after when a slick passing interchange between Robbie and Sam Waller gave Sam the chance to pick out Jamie who made no mistake, 1-1. Unfortunately a `Groundhog Day' moment happened shortly afterwards when Bushey Rangers scored a goal identical to their first, this was not part of the plan! Still just before half-time Jamie returned the compliment to Sam and teed him up for the equaliser 2-2.
After giving the lads an honest assessment of our first half performance and a couple of tactical changes I was convinced we would end up victorious, as the second half kicked off. It was not long before the boys compounded my faith when another neat passing move between Sam & Robbie gave Jamie the chance to put us in front for the first time, 3-2. Just as I was lighting my cigar, a goal mouth scramble ended up with Sam H poking it into his own net passed a helpless Olly C, 3-3.
We went back in front again when a quickly taken corner (see they do listen!) from Robbie gave Sam the chance to make it 4-3, which he duly did smacking it through a crowd of players and passed the keeper. As the game came to a close we scored the goal of the game, after typical battling in midfield from Nic Cortes he won the ball (again) and found Robbie who played a lovely first time ball into Sam who did likewise releasing Jamie who carried the ball into the area and cracked the it across the keeper into the bottom corner of the net.
Although Jamie & Sam bagged the goals it was a fantastic second half performance from the whole team, Nugget & Sam H were outstanding at the back, and little Olly V linked up play very nicely when on the ball. You can imagine how chuffed I was when checking the Mitoo web site later that evening for the others scores and found we were in the same position as the `Hornet's' TOP OF THE LEAGUE.
With the sun shining through on a beautiful Sunday morning at Radlett CC our County Cup campaign got off to a winning start. Straight from the off NWR dominated the opposition and it took only a few minutes before a Sam Waller shot from outside the area was turned passed the unfortunate keeper by a defender.
Within a couple of minutes the referee (who had a fantastic game!) gave a penalty against TT after Robbie was tripped in the area. This was judged to have been very harsh by the opposition Dads & Wags, and a debate ensued, the penalty stood and Robbie duly blasted it, high and wide. Nascot continued to dominate and after hitting the crossbar, Sam Waller got on the goal sheet with a lovely shot from way out on the right hand side which deceived the keeper and ended up in his top right hand corner.
With only their second venture into Nascot's half Tring secured a corner, from the resulting cross Aidan in goal managed to pluck it out of the air, but unfortunately fell back just over his line 2-1.......lots of Ref's wouldn't of given it!!!!! There was still time however for Robbie to convert a lovely passing move and continue in a rich vain of scoring form to make it 3-1 at half time.
In the second half the game was far more evenly balanced, but we still managed to create and miss several good chances Nic, Jamie, Sam & Olly V all going close and their keeper making several good stops one in particular from Jamie who broke clear and struck a lovely shot, which he turned round the post.
Any TT advances were duly blocked by the solid triumvirate of Sam, Nugget & Luke at the back and with literally the last kick of the game another Sam Waller special made it 4-1 making the score reflect our dominance.
A special thanks to Aidan and Sam H, who deputised for Olly Cox in goal, who missed the match through illness, we wish him a speedy recovery.
After a very tight opening few minutes, we fell behind to a well worked goal from the cougars. It didn't take long before we bounced back, a good move down the right ended up with Jamie controlling with his left foot and volleying in with his right from 6 yards giving the keeper no chance. We went 2-1 up shortly after this with a speculative shot from Robbie which `nutted' the keeper. Minutes later Robbie added another with a left foot shot which deceived the goalie. Just before half time, Luke Nugent made and excellent intervention at the back and carried the ball forward, as the space opened up in front of him he hit a lovely shot which ended up in the back of the net, taking a slight deflection off a defender en-route.
The second half started like the first with us giving away a goal before we got going. Our fifth goal was rather fortunate, a big clearance from the back was being chased by a couple of our players and the defender attempting to clear, stuck it past his own keeper into the net.Number six and Robbie's hat trick followed soon after, tapping in with his right, yes right foot after Sam Waller had hit the inside of the post. We created several chances before we scored the seventh, a great run and shot from Jamie coming in from the right hand side. An excellent all round team performance, which should set us up nicely for our County Cup game next week at home.
The boys did really well today, playing against a very good Croxley Guild side. After going a goal down early on, the boys battled back well and started to pass the ball around nicely, without really creating a scoring opportunity. In the last couple of minutes of the half we conceded two more goals, neither of which Olly in goal could have done anything about.
In the second half we started really brightly, only to go another goal behind, which was a marvellous shot from well outside the area. Still we battled on and eventually got the goal we well and truly deserved, a lovely strike from Sam Waller. The game continued to ebb and flow, and following and stunning double save from Olly, who was outstanding in goal, they squeezed a fifth in.
Despite the defeat, you can see how much the boys have progressed, watch out Cassiobury next week!
We got our season off to a good start against a spirited Sun Postal side. Sam Harris opened the scoring by firing in from six yards from a Robbie Tocher corner, this after Oliver Verlander had hit the inside of the post minutes earlier. The second goal followed soon after, a cool finish from Jamie Gerred. Just before half time Sam Waller cracked one in from outside the area in typical fashion.
In the second half we continued to dominate and played some fantastic football, passing the ball around with ease. Sam Waller scored his second and our fourth again with a crisp shot from outside the area. The fifth came from Nicolas Cortes who converted following a lovely move down the left hand side. Robbie Tocher hit the sixth after a great cross from Luke Wilson and the seventh was prodded in by Jamie after a goal mouth scramble.
A special mention for Luke Nugent who was solid at the back and `Alan Hanson like' bringing the ball forward. Oliver Cox and later Aidan had little to do in goal, but when called upon they dealt with things admirably.
NWR Hawks 4 NWR Falcons 0. Scorers Robbie Tocher (3) Jamie Gerred (1).
NWR Hawks 5 Ickenham Youth 2. Scorers Robbie Tocher (3), Jamie Gerred (2).