U12 soccer team ends successful 2011-12 season
The Bowen Island FC U12 Bears completed their season last Sunday, March 11, with a pair of scoreless draws in a tournament in North Vancouver. They finished 1-1-2 in the tourney while in their regular season, which finished the week before, their record was an impressive 16-1-2.
Head coach Burns Jennings said that one of the reasons the team has done so well is that the focus has not been on wins but on learning the game. Jennings said the result is that the entire roster has come a long way, as individual players and as a team.
"There was a huge development this season and a new level of passion and they were showing they love the game by playing so well as a team,” Jennings said. “They're playing soccer and are no longer just kicking it and running after it.”
The philosophy of the Bowen Island Football Club is to get the players as many touches on the ball as they can. Jennings and Morgan Quarry and Chris Wilson have worked to teach the U12 club that working up from the back, using the entire pitch and knowing when to take on a player and when to distribute is part of playing the game to its full potential.
The team was comprised of 10 and 11 year-olds – and the talented Molly Quarry, just nine throughout the season – because there was not enough of either age to make up a total team. It left them with half the players on the pitch younger than the opposition but their players’ knowledge of the game took away any advantage the bigger sides they played may have had.
Many of the U12 players will continue training in the off-season, Jennings said. A growing phenomenon amongst players of this age has them calling one another and groups meeting at the AT field for pick-up games.