On Saturday 21st March, the Brent Under-11 squad produced a very determined performance to beat Harrow in the Middlesex Cup. The game showed the great depth and quality of the squad. Harrow had a the early possession without troubling Brent’s goalkeeper Joshua Aaron. Brent’s strategy was to counter-attack with pace and power with the focal point being Antonio Dennis. His first goal showed great composure. After outmuscling the Harrow defence and bursting clear Dennis calmly rounded the goalkeeper and tapped into the empty net. Brent were forced to make a substitution after Palanding Fatti twisted his ankle. This signalled a shuffle of personnel and positions. Rahman Yesufu, normally utilised as a striker came into defence and put in a Man of the match performance. His awareness and speed and tackling was a joy throughout the rest of the game.
The changes made Brent stronger if anything. Brent worked hard throughout the game and in the second half. Antonio Dennis, a thorn in the side of Harrow throughout the game added a further two goals to complete his hatrick. His third goal showed his great quality and balance, volleying in with his left foot from well outside the area. Harrow scored a consolation goal at the end but Brent remained focused and closed the game out calmly.
Overall, this was a thoroughly impressive display. Brent Coach George Lappas commented: “The work-rate, enthusiasm and determination from the whole squad today was outstanding. The adaptability and attitude of the players was excellent.”
Squad: Joshua Aaron, Palanding Fatti (Oakington Manor), Kieran Marshall (Uxendon Manor), Rodrigo Marques (St Joseph's RC), Richardo Rus (Oliver Goldsmith), Rahman Yesufu (St Joseph’s Wembley), Shimron Eaton (St Mary’s), James Wall, Zak Lawrence (Malorees), Antonio Dennis (John Keble), Patrick Tracey (St Robert Southwell)
Wednesday 18th March
The team had warmed up for their Batchelor Cup match with Harrow by putting in a extremely positive display against Westminster in a midweek friendly. From the kick off Brent were extremely focused to put in a performance showing desire and urgency. Early goals from Zak Sturge and James Wall set Brent on their way. A Westminster free kick brough the score back to 1-2 but this just spurred Brent to dig deeper and force another 2 goals from James Wall before half time. The second half saw changes and experimentation as Brent rotated players. Brent Coach (George Lappas): “The players were forced to come out of their comforet zone. We asked players to play in positions that they hadn’t played in before, to adapt and take on the challenge. It is at times like this you can really learn something about the squad.” Further goals came from James Wall, Antonio Dennis (2) and Richardo Rus (2).
Squad: Joshua Aaron, Palanding Fatti (Oakington Manor), Kieran Marshall (Uxendon Manor), Rodrigo Marques (St Joseph's RC), Richardo Rus (Oliver Goldsmith), Rahman Yesufu, Sean Pender (St Joseph’s Wembley) Zak Sturge (Princess Frederica), Mattia Zibetti (Salusbury), Shimron Eaton (St Mary’s), James Wall (Malorees), Antonio Dennis (John Keble)