Welcome to Colchester Soccer Club's new home on the web!
Colchester Soccer Club (CSC) is an organization dedicated to supporting youth soccer within Colchester, Connecticut. CSC operates under the rules and regulations of the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (CJSA). CSC is governed locally through an Executive Board, which is charged with providing guidance and support to the Recreation and Competitive Programs.
"There is no room for criticism on the training field. For a player – and for any human being – there is nothing better than hearing 'well done'. Those are the two best words ever invented in sports. You don't need to use superlatives." - Sir Alex Ferguson
n our penultimate Pre-K session of the season, the kids had lots of fun combining all of their new learned skills in an obstacle course. We warmed up on a chilly Saturday morning by playing Foxes and Rabbits. This game had the kids split into two teams, the Rabbits had a pinny tucked into their shorts to resemble a tail. The aim was for the Foxes to catch the Rabbits by stealing their tail, with both teams asked to dribble and keep control of their soccer ball at the same time. The kids really got into it, and their dribbling skills were again on show. After a few rounds, we went into the obstacle course. This had the little guys dribbling through a slalom of cones, running with the ball over a short distance and producing their drag-back turn, before shooting their ball into the small Pugg goal. It took a little time to get going but once the kids understood it they were great. Being able to push the kids into using a drag back turn at this age is really impressive, Coach Skip and I both said that their ability as a group is as good as any we've coached.
As we said at the field, next week is sadly our final session of the season. We'll be having a short session before going into the awards, so be sure to bring cameras!
The kindergarten guys this week practiced passing. Coach Norm set up a game of "cars", which had the kids dribbling the ball in pairs down an alley and passing the ball on the move. We then went into our usual scrimmages. As with most of the program, the improvement is there for anybody to see. There were some fantastic runs/dribbles, Liam and Ava showing some great awareness and close control to get out of congested areas. Alex seems to be a ready made defender already, taking up some fantastic positions to stop the opposition scoring.
The first grade guys this week looked at playing a game called moving goals. This had one or two pairs of kids holding a pinny between them to create a goal, then proceeding to move around the area. The other guys had to score a goal by passing the ball to their partner through the goal. Because the goal was moving, it was really important that the kids got their heads up to see where it is, a big component of learning to dribble successfully. The kids loved it, and lots of goals were scored throughout. We also played a game of stuck in the mud, which is essentially freeze tag. To be freed, a team mate had to dribble their ball up to their frozen friend and pass the ball between his/her legs. Again the kids had lots of fun, getting essential touches on the ball to progress their development.
Grades Two through SevenUp
With the end of the season looming upon us, a lot of the rec guys were happy to scrimmage between theirselves after a short practice. On Thursday I worked with the 7-up guys on a drill trying to encourage spreading the ball wide, attacking with depth and crossing/finishing. This went well, the guys scored a lot of impressive goals off some great crosses. As I worked my way across the fields, the teams were almost all in a scrimmage. Watching a few of them, its great to see how far the teams have come. The players were taking up positions in lots of space, and the passing between team mates is definitely improved!
Tuesday brought out normal day and all rec teams where on the field as usual and I made my way around all the teams. As I moved from team to team i noticed all players working hard learning new skills / techniques. Coaches working on a number of different topics such as shooting / finishing. overloads 4v1/4v2 putting the emphasis on passing and moving of the ball to be able to receive a pass. With the older teams coach, got a rope in order to help his players understand and visualise positioning and individual roles in a new formation before going into a friendly scrimmage to see how his players would react and how they understand each other roles within the formation.
With the schedule on Wednesday I spent my time on Rec working with coaches and their respective teams. Coaches each working on what they felt like their respective needed to work on. Teams and coaches were working on different topics such as passing and movement of the ball, 3v1 focusing on positioning making the pitch wide trying to make it harder for the individual defender to get a tackle in and win the ball and for the 3 offense to work the ball and get a shoot/finish on goal. Then finishing up with small sided scrimmages amongst themseves or against another team practicing in order to let the players do what they learnt in practice into a game situation and also give them lots of touches of the ball.
Coaching Points from the weeks sessions
Use inside/outside/sole of foot to keep ball under control. Explosive change of direction when needed. Small space requires small touches, bigger space - bigger touches.
Use the inside of foot to aim and pass the ball. Standing foot points in desired direction. Follow through the ball for required power
Get into a defensive stance: low, side on, balanced and weight on balls of feet. Move by shuffling and jockeying to maintain stance.
Delay and wait for opportunity to tackle, don't dive in.
Try to force attacker into wide areas, and out of bounds.
If defending with partners, ensure depth is achieved by having one player drop and cover behind the other to limit space.
Thanks for reading, wishing everybody a successful week!
So having played well at Natick, the coaching staff noticed the boys needed more defensive work. On Thursday, the boys worked on 1vs1, 2vs2 and 3vs3’s with coach Lee, one of the boys best session’s this year with high concentration. It certainly showed and paid off in there Friday game which they won 5-0 with Grayson scoring a double. In a game where they really never looked in trouble, the boys put in some great combination passes and put what they had learned on Thursday to good use.
The boys also had a game away to Groton on Sunday which they again put in a performance of high quality and came out 4-0 winners and it maybe could have been more with numerous shots striking the woodworks. A great weekend for the Cyclones who have finally started putting the ball in the back of the net.
U9 Girls - Colchester Pride
Due to a long hard tournament weekend in Natick and midweek games the girls canceled their practice Thursday night. I managed to catch the start of the girls game on Friday night before the clinic stated on R3 and from what I saw they carried on their good form from the tournament in Natick. The girls took an early lead through Alysa B and by all accounts from coach Dan the girls continued to play well throughout the rest of the game managing to score a couple more goals via Lily and Maddy L, while maintaining a clean sheet finishing the game with a final score 3-0.
U10 Boys - Colchester Comets
The U10 Comets had a busy week of games following on from their efforts in Natick. The boys played a friendly game on Tuesday night, an eight goal drubbing over X. After storming into a healthy 3 goal lead before the end of the first quarter, it was decided to introduce a passing rule before we shot, starting at 3 passes. We used the game as a training exercise, trying to turn our impressive possession play drills in practice into game situations. The boys continued to rack the goals up, even when we doubled the pass limit to 6. We played the last quarter in Ohio State, cod eword for no more goals! The Comets were asked to play keep away, moving the possession from side to side. Of course we overplayed the ball at times, but seeing the boys confidently spreading the play and keeping possession was great to see. We explained that we need to make use of this and try to produce the same style of play against the stronger teams in the division.
The Comets followed one emphatic win with another on Saturday, making the journey up to Avon for a game. The boys swept Avon away with a 6-2 victory, with goals from Madden, Julian, Ryan, Alex and Dougie.
U10 Girls - Colchester Lightning Bolts
The Lightning Bolts had a very quiet week after cancelling their Monday practice and no matches being scheduled for the week. Its probably needed after their huge efforts up in Natick!
U11 Boys - Colchester United
After there championship win in Natick last week the United boys were full of confidence and had a great week at practice. They also had a very hectic soccer schedule with games Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The boys got the Friday game against Norwich over and done with a 5-2 win.
So the attention turned to the biggest game (Potentially of these young boys soccer career) of the weekend New Canaan who if you go by Gotsoccer.com state ranking are the best travel team in Connecticut. The game started as expected a close hard fought contest with neither team creating any clear cut chances. However around 12 minutes in Sean made a fantastic save and New Canaan struck the cross bar and failed to convert from 3 yards out, this gave United a wake up call and they responded when Drew went down the other end and tucked it away beautifully into the bottom corner. As the half went on Colchester grew into the game and could easily of had a second. New Canaan created few chances but (Savage Sean as he’s now known among his teammates) stopped any and everything that came his way, the defense controlled the back line very well. So the boys came in at halftime 1-0 and were 35 minutes away from the ‘Elite Eight’ of the state cup. As expected New Canaan came out all guns blazing in the second half and immediately put United on the back foot, but even after wave after wave of attack the back line, Tyler and Theo stood strong and dealt with it easily. It wasn’t long before United were attacking again and putting New Canaan on the back foot, when a ball bounced up in the box and a New Canaan player handled it and the referee rightly called a penalty. Drew stepped up and cooly slotted the penalty away. With United now 2-0 up and in control of the game New Canaan threw at them and with 10 minutes left they got there break through. This certainly set up for a nervy last 10 minutes. The United boys despite being 2-1 up seemed to lose there calm and coolness, they started swinging at balls and this was to prove them dearly when 6 minutes from the end a defensive swing and miss was capitalized on and put away by the New Canaan offense. 2-2. So the game ended 2-2, 2 x 10 minute over periods would follow. United found themselves in a similar position as they did 6 days prior in the final against Framingham. The coaching staff relayed to them how proud they were to have gotten this far and no matter what happened in the next 20 minutes they’d done themselves, parents and the club extremely proud. So out United went they started exactly the way they did in the first half, very positive and attacking and were rewarded when Drew again slotted home. 3-2 United. New Canaan again came very strong and again the midfield, defense and Savage Sean stayed equally as strong. A quick change of ends and we were off with the second 10 minute OT period. It didn’t take long for United to put another one in the goal again scored by Drew. 4-2. However the game wasn’t over and New Canaan certainly weren’t going down without a fight when they broke through and scored 4-3 Colchester United. United managed to see out the remaining 3 minutes and there were scenes of Jubilation at the final whistle. Similar to the scenes the week before in Natick.
The boys again stepped up and put in a performance of extremely high quality. These boys keep managing to surprise the coaching staff by going above and beyond there previous performance. From the 68 original teams to the Elite Eight, this week the boys travel to Westport. Keep an eye out for next week’s newsletter to find out how they got on!
U11 Girls - Colchester Cobras
The Cobras also took a session off after their impressive run to the Natick playoffs, returning to the field on Thursday night. There, we worked on our shooting technique before going into a scrimmage. We were working on having the girls shoot from different angles, making a decision whether to go for power or placement, and how to execute that decision. We started scoring some great goals, Tellar finding the net confidently on a number of occasions. Maddy-K was also being looked after in goal, working on her positioning in relation to the angle of the shot. We placed a number of cones in front of her to give her a rough guide, and she made a number of smart saves, making it hard for the forwards to find a gap in her goal.
U12 Boys - Colchester Strykers
The Strykers were unfortunately knocked out of the State Cup on Wednesday night, going down 5-2 to Valley. The boys stormed into an early lead, before 10 mins of madness saw the tie turned on its head and a 3-1 deficit. Despite the efforts from Tom Harper down the right, the Strykers late second half resurgence came too late, with the two goal cushion for Valley enough to keep them at bay. The boys were picked off on the counter attack, and Valley extended their lead. The Strykers gave their all in the last few mins, but it was too little too late and sadly their State Cup run came to an end.
U12 Girls - Colchester Thunder
This week at practice we focused a lot on possession and taking care of the ball, being patient moving the ball until the opportunity came to play a killer pass to open up a defense. The girls played a 5v2 (2 defenders in the middle with an attacker and 4 players on the outside) trying to work the ball, creating angles to play the pass into the center player who in turn lays the ball off. IF the 2 defenders where to win the ball it would then become a 2v1 in the middle so the girls on the outside had to take care of the ball to avoid putting there team-mate under pressure in a 2v1 situation - but still look for the pass into the player in the middle.
The girls then moved onto 'crossing the river' where 3 zones and a team in each zone. The idea of the game is to move the ball create angles and pass the ball over the other team through the team in the middle (lose the ball become defenders in the middle). The girls had to be patient with the ball trying to move the ball quickly to create angles but not to force play forward through then line if its not on. In a game situation it would be like defense playing through opponents forwards to play into midfield or mid fielders moving the ball to try and play through a opposition defense.
The girls worked hard moved the ball quickly and were able to create angles and find gaps in the defense to play the ball forward on the ground. Both activities also worked on quick transition - we lost the ball now I've got to become defense and win the ball back or we won the ball now can we play quick;y to catch the opponents of guard.
U13 Boys - Colchester Chaos
The 13 boys traveled to local rival East Lyme this weekend. The pitch was nice as anything the boys will play on this year. We knew East Lyme would come out extremely quick and that was to be the case when they broke down the left and the right side and put in some nice crosses. On multiple occasions Matt made some fantastic saves to keep chaos in the game. In a first half of very few chances for Chaos Luke had a free kick that the goalie saved easily. It wasn’t long before East Lyme’s constant pressure and Chaos’s lack of intensity led to a goal. 1-0 East Lyme, shortly after the restart East Lyme again broke through and scored there second. The boys certainly didn’t have there best first half of soccer this season. So out they went for the second half with a slightly more positive approach and it paid off when Dominic Coella broke through and put away a great finish, with 25 minutes left it was game on. A great cross from the right side was met with a calm finish only for it to be ruled offside. Chaos continued to pile on the pressure but were unable to put the ball back in the goal. In a game where had the real Chaos shown up they would have won, they returned to Colchester wondering ‘what if’. So they go back to the drawing board this week at practice with a bye week and then they turn there attention to winning SoccerFest.
U13 Girls - Colchester Cool Cats
The U13 girls had one game this weekend, but it was a big one. They played Darien “A” team in the CT Cup, Sweet 16. Going into the game, with only one sub, the girls knew it would be a tough game going against a Darien team that only surrendered 2 goals all year and scored 31 times.
As the game started, it was evident why Darien had been so successful as they had speed both on the front line and in the backfield. While Sophie and Sammie where able to contain Darien's forwards to the outside, Emma, playing as defending center mid, was able to secure the middle of the field with amazing strength and speed.
For the first 15 minutes the game went back and forth with both teams having opportunities. Jenny, in goal, did a nice job of cutting off angles and charging the ball as it tended to roll fast on the turf field.
In the 18th minute, Joely, who played a fantastic game, showed some great footwork on the left side of the goal making a beautiful cross to Jess who one timed it from 3 feet for Colchester's first goal of the game.
In the second half, Colchester made one minor adjustment, which appeared to stifle the Darien attack. Jade marked up the Darien forward speedster all over the pitch essentially limiting her opportunities and stifling their attack.The second half again seemed to go back and forth until Emma played a beautiful through ball to Joely. Joely took the ball from around 40 yards out, as the defense approached her 20 yards out, she made a beautiful Cruyff turn to beat the defender and then poked it past the charging goalie. Colchester 2 – Darien 0.
The girls played a fantastic team game to beat a tough Darien squad, while only having 1 sub.
Next up for the Colchester U13 girls, a trip to Suffield High School on Saturday 10/22 at 10:00 to compete in the Elite 8!
U14 Boys - Colchester Heat
The Heat put their disappointing playoff defeat at Natick behind them, working hard in practice on Wednesday before getting their season up and running again on Saturday. On Wednesday, we worked on our defensive shape and pressing from the front. The session was aimed at having the boys play intelligently, looking for cues to decide whether to press high or drop off and sit deep. It was very stop start, but the boys picked up a lot of information and put it to good use, defending very well. They went into Saturdays game confident, running out 5-0 winners over Groton. The Heat were confident, passing the ball and switching play very well. A number of opportunities came from our wing play, Patrick and Jackson using their wide midfielders intelligently before getting crosses into the box. One great play down the right saw Patrick receive the ball from Jason and sliding a solid ball forward for Cayden. Cayden and Landon linked up with a one-two, before Cayden crossed for Wilson. It was great to see the boys play with a smile on their face after a tough couple of weeks, and their positive play was rewarded with a glut of goals. Wilson bagged two, with one probably going down as goal of the game. After some good work down the left, Wilson found himself on the edge of the area, firing his shot high and away from the goalkeeper into the top corner off the crossbar. Landon put our penalty curse to bed, calmly slotting his effort in. Josh finally got his goals too, his second rocketing into the roof of the net after a typical lightning break from the forward.
U14 Girls - Colchester Cosmos
The Cosmos were left upset and disappointed following the Natick weekend, the culmination of a few weeks of seemingly nothing going right for us. They practiced hard on Thursday night under Coach Chuck, and took it upon themselves to sit down and organize their own intervention of sorts. The girls sat around the center circle as the sun set, each taking it in turns to stand before their team mates and say a few words. The girls reminisced over their years as a team, looking back as far as their first season. It was a really somber moment, with speeches from Clare and Grace really setting the tone. They all agreed that they needed to go out in their last season with a bang, put the disappointment behind and play with smiles on their faces again.
..it worked! Despite a 2-0 away loss, the coaches were upbeat knowing the girls had put every effort in. The Cosmos themselves knew they were unlucky to not get anything from the game, and took the positives into their second game of the day. The Girls were fantastic, eventually winning the game 4-0. They first took the lead from a corner, a set piece the coaches had only worked on shortly before! Grace steaming in at the near post to convert the cross. They doubled the lead shortly after, with Sarah Villardo the unlikeliest of goal scorers. After an indirect free kick was half cleared, Sarah found herself well outside of the 18 and struck a rocket over the keeper, off the crossbar and in. She was clearly listening at the Shooting clinic on Friday night! Tianna got her obligatory two goals with calm finishes under pressure from the chasing defenders. Kaylea almost finished a sweeping move from the Cosmos, the ball worked through the midfield confidently found its way wide, only for Kaylea's shot to flash past the far post. Mallory was her usual tenacious self in defense, aggressively winning the ball back from threatening attacks before calmly playing out. The change in formation worked a treat, Grotolle having her best game in weeks in a defensive midfield role.
The Cosmos are back!
The UKIS team (Coaches Lee, Lee and Chris)
** Sorry about the late posting of last week's newsletter **
CJSA has adopted the US Soccer and US Youth Soccer recommendations regarding heading and the protocol for suspected concussions. Compliance is mandatory for all CJSA members for all activities where CJSA insurance applies effective April 1, 2016.
What does this mean for CSC?
Players who are 10 and younger:
CSC U9, U10, U11 Travel teams may not deliberately head the ball, regardless of the age group of the team they are playing on. This includes all activities where CJSA insurance applies, such as practices, scrimmages, and competitions at all levels.
CSC U12 Travel teams with any players that are 10 years old or if the team is playing in a mixed U11/U12 division may not deliberately head the ball, regardless of the age group of the team they are playing on.
CSC Pre-K, K, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd/4th Grade and 5th/6th Grade Rec Divisions may not deliberately head the ball, regardless of the age group of the team they are playing on. This includes all activities where CJSA insurance applies, such as practices, scrimmages, and competitions at all levels.
This restriction will be enforced by award of an indirect free kick for the opposing team.
Players who are 11-13:
CSC U12, U13, U14 Travel teamswho are age 11 to 13 and on teams for age groups U12 and older, are restricted to up to 30 minutes of practice heading the ball per week. There is no restriction on the number of times these players can head the ball in a competition, unless the team is competing in a combined bracket that includes U11.
CSC 7UP Rec Division are restricted to up to 30 minutes of practice heading the ball per week. There is no restriction on the number of times these players can head the ball in a competition.
Any player who sustains a significant blow to the head or body, who complains about or is exhibiting symptoms consistent with having suffered a concussion or is otherwise suspected of having sustained a concussion, must be removed from play and evaluated by an Health Care Professional (HCP) before the player will be allowed to return to practice or play.
No coach shall permit a player who has been removed from a game for a concussion assessment to return to play until cleared to do so by an HCP.
If a coach seeks to allow a player to re-enter a game who has been removed from a game for a concussion assessment and who has not been cleared to return to play by the on-site HCP, the referee shall issue a warning to the coach. If a coach persists in seeking to allow such player to re-enter the game after having been issued a warning, the referee may take other disciplinary measures against the coach as are permitted under the rules applicable to the competition.
Unless an HCP determined that the player has not suffered a concussion and clears the player to return to play, the player will not be permitted to return to practice or play until the player has successfully completed the return to play protocol and has been cleared to return to play by a Physician.
Definition of Health Care Professional - Health Care Professional (HCP) are licensed professionals such as an Athletic Trainer Certified (ATC) or Physician (MD/DO), with skills in emergency care, sports medicine injuries and experience related to concussion evaluation and management.
CJSA also requires that Parents acknowledge that they read and understand the CJSA Player/Parent Concussion Awareness Form. No player will be allowed to participate in any CSC activity (including tryouts) until the Form is acknowledged on the CSC site during Registration.