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Home > News and Events > Full on Football at Woodbridge

Full on Football at Woodbridge

20 Oct 23

It has been a full on first half term for football at Woodbridge School and it seems to get busier week on week! We have been delighted with students taking in part in games lessons, lunchtime, after School practices and our matches. Teams have been competing in friendlies, County Cup and National Cup matches and there is plenty more to come with fixtures booked in after half term for teams yet to play, including what will be our first ever girls’ football matches. Read more in our reports from Mr Pruden, Head of Sport, Health and Fitness.

Woodbridge U12s
This is a group who have really impressed so far, showing an excellent willingness to learn and implement our style of play. Competition for places is fierce and there is real strength in depth. We started the season playing a couple of friendly matches at Farlingaye. I think first game nerves took hold, in the A team game we didn’t do ourselves justice and were heavily beaten, the Bs however, played very nicely to win an enjoyable small sided match. Next up was an ESFA Small Schools Trophy match at Ipswich High School, on a difficult pitch we started badly by conceding a quick goal but we soon found our composure to deservedly win a competitive match, Otis scoring a hat-trick.

Next up was a match against Thomas Mills in the ESFA Playstation Cup, a competition entered by over 500 schools. We played well but struggled for precision in the final third and spurned a number of excellent opportunities to score. 1-1 at full time and no further goals after extra time, the game went to penalties! I must say, the boys showed remarkable composure to score all of their penalties and Joseph was the hero with his penalty save sending us deservedly through to the next round.

The B team played a fabulous fixture against St Jo’s with both coaches commenting on the quality of play and the application of both sets of players. We ended up winning by the odd goal in nine, but the most important aspect of this game was seeing the pride of our pupils in representing the school and the joy and ability that shone throughout.

Woodbridge U13s
This team play in a small league against other independent schools in the region with the players being selected from both Years 7 and 8. The opening game against Culford saw a magnificent half of football where the boys did their utmost to implement everything they had been working on and were rewarded with three goals, the first being a stunning free-kick from Oscar W. A strong response from Culford and influx of Woodbridge nerves saw the game level with time drawing to a close, only for Oscar to grab his second goal to secure a last minute victory and some very excitable celebrations.

A second match against St Jo’s saw another excellent win, this time rather more comfortably achieved with some lovely football being played.

Thomas Mills were the opposition for our ESFA Cup second round match (we received a bye through round one). Not knowing what to expect and competition rules only allowing for players from Year 8, the boys started strongly and pushed hard for the advantage. This duly came with a flurry of goals before halftime. In the end we achieved a very comfortable victory, brilliant to get through to the third round where a much sterner test awaits but also lovely to see some new faces play their first match and be so well supported and encouraged by their teammates. Also the opposition getting their first goal of the season so far was a joy to behold and sent everyone home happy.

Woodbridge U15s
These also play in a similar league set up. They have played well in both their opening matches against Culford and St Jo’s but lost both. St Jo’s were a class above and out of sight at half time but our second half resilience and ability to dig deep and perform better does bode well. The Culford game was very different, far from outclassed we were disappointed to not get at least a draw but ultimately our inexperience as a group probably cost us.

First knockout action of the season came against Ormiston Endeavour in the Suffolk County Schools FA Cup. This was a competitive, hard fought game that reached full time with scores even, our goal coming from Year 9’s Oli Y. The rules of the competition state the game goes straight to penalties and as with the U12’s earlier on, the boys showed great nerve and skill to put away their penalties and come away victorious following decisive saves from Year 10’s Ed S.

Woodbridge U18s
There is great promise within this group although they don’t quite believe it yet! A comfortable win against RHS started the season well and set us up nicely to go to Thomas Mills in the ESFA Cup, with a certain Ed Sheeran watching on the home side went two goals ahead but the boys got the job done, winning what was not the most enjoyable of games with a few goals to spare. Year 13’s Barney scoring an absolute stunner! The next round saw a very local derby against Farlingaye. We were probably our own worst enemy, gifting a couple of goals and missing some excellent chances of our own we allowed Farlingaye to get away and we were never able to recover the momentum, losing a game in which we could have been far more competitive.

It has been a similar story in the league against Culford and St Jo’s. The Culford game was a great spectacle, played on a wonderful surface on Tollers (great credit to the ground staff for the pitches produced this year) the crowd were treated to a really high quality exhibition of schools’ football with the battle in midfield a real joy to behold. Shan, Tolly and Josh T showing some lovely technical ability. Ultimately though we lost a game by a couple of goals that we could easily have won by the same margin.

Travelling away to St Jo’s was a very similar story but with greatly reduced quality! A sluggish start and perhaps a lack of belief saw us go behind before we upped our game and got back into it with a deserved goal for Jonjo. He is still dreaming about the one that got away though, a genuine overhead bicycle kick from the edge of the area that hit the crossbar. Despite the improvement we then drifted to defeat in a game that needed to be taken by the scruff of the neck. Next steps for this group are to find the mentality to win, particularly from challenging positions, they most definitely have the capacity to do this and we are excited by the challenge of supporting them to achieve it.

Next half term will see more 1st XI and B team matches which will be great to see.

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