The Tillsonburg Titan U9 Strikers boys soccer team took to the field Sunday evening at the Tillsonburg Soccer Club against the London United. The Strikers looked to capture their second straight win of the LDYSL season.
“We won the first game, but this year we don’t keep score - it’s the new rules of the Ontario Soccer Association,” said U9 head coach Michael Papaioannou.
“As long as the kids don’t get dehydrated and follow the instructions in the practice.”
Although LDYSL teams at this age level do not keep score, the Strikers bring a competitive edge to their game and look to build on certain techniques and skills throughout the season.
“We usually practice one touch, and shoot the ball, and passing.”
There are 15 LDYSL games and coach Papaioannou said he believes in the team and believes they can do well.
“I know they can do – it just takes time. We have 12 nice kids on the team.”
Strikers assistant coach Eric MacFadden said the focus this year is not on the final score or how many times players can put the ball in the back of the net.
“It’s all about long-term player development,” said MacFadden. “Trying to develop the individual player’s skills by all of them having an equal opportunity to get the ball at their feet and figuring out the game for themselves a little bit.”
MacFadden noted the competition side of the game comes later on when the boys are a little older.
“This is about the team and winning and losing as a team – learning that team game. It’s about developing every kid instead of one kid.
“We have a well balanced team of kids – this group sticks together. They’re a good team moving forward, as much as we can teach them, hopefully they can take it in and they’ll be ready for the next level.”