The 10th November 2019, CITY 5 was proud to host an under 18 tournament sending its best team to confront players from all around Tamil Nadu! After months of intense training, beads of sweat and pressure, CITY 5 was ready. No fewer than 16 teams took part in this tournament, organized with the highest care possible. Parents were also present, some having done the long trip from Chennai or Karaikal to support their loves. Under a perfect weather, players were completely able to show their skills and catch the potential recruiters’ eyes. In the group stage, CITY 5 was in an apparent simple group. After three serious victories, a good rotation within the players in order everyone to be involved and good team spirit, the home team was preparing for the knockout phase. A uneasy step in which you pay cash for each error.
Being humble and respecting the opponent were the keys to success. And players, as young as they could be, knew it. Being teenagers, close to 18 years old in the period during which you feel to have grown wings. Everything seems lighter and for those that aspire to become professional, you just see people like you becoming stars. In those moments, you just wonder « Why not me ? ». And those types of tournaments are the perfect way to prove that you deserve it too. But football is a collective sport, and collective means playing with the others. The teenagers that hatch out are the ones that before anything else, know how to use their talent in the service of the collective.
During the first half of this quarter final, we committed this error. Not being humble and being personal. A home match against a relatively weaker team, encouraged by your friends, your family, your neighborhood, of course it is a dream, it is the perfect moment. But the opponent is ready, the opponent knows that WE are CITY, and he analyzed us, our performance, our movements, literally everything. Consequently, you are awaited, you have to meet the crowd’s expectations in the best way possible. At half time against Tindavanam, we were led. Just 1-0. But 1-0 against a starving and well-organised team. It was a challenge ; to see if this promising team had heart and soul. And yes it had. After an outburst from the coach, players started from scratch. They applied what asked : rigor, collective, technique and team spirit. At the end, 2-1, a relief.
Then, Auroville. The derby, the clash before time. Two ennemies, two neighbours that were looking forward to it. Here it is. This match is first of all, the war between two brothers, one is CITY 5’s coach, the other is in the other side. Two different game styles : one is defender, the other is striker. Both strategies were logically impacted. CITY 5 knew what was a stake : a revenge, a way to be confident before the final but especially a territorial supremacy. From the first minutes, CITY 5 was controlling the ball, stifling Auroville, driving them into a corner. CITY 5 scored just before half-time. The hammer blow ! Auroville’s staff was disorientated. Which strategy to implement ? Attack, defense and then counter-attack, time was limited. In the second-half, Auroville went for broke. But CITY 5 was better. The enemy didn’t have any opportunity. Game over. The beast was knocked down. Mission accomplished ! Or partially…
The most important incoming : the final against CCK ! Another revenge : the senior team was defeated by this same club during the open category tournament. A further motivation. The coach’ speech was clear. Play our best football, rotate if tired, don’t let them any space. But CKK was also aware of our strategy. It was a final : it is not played, it is won. The classic : the Champion’s League music to be immersed, a losing crowd and one shining trophy in the middle of the field. Ingredients were gathered for a spectacular final. Express yourself ! Straightaway, CITY 5 scores. A early goal as we love. CCK gets back in the match and causes us a problem. They put good pressure and manage to equalize. Cards are reshuffled. At half time, it’s a draw. It is time for coaching. One striker in place of one defender. It is risky but why not. CKK is surprised and can’t counter. We score two goals in a row. We are champion ! We were favourite and we held our own. What else ? Simply thank you, thank you to everyone that helped for the organisation, to the supporters, to the participants. Thank you CITY 5 for those emotions !