News on the most recent games from their Youth team
The same could be said for the Pirates Youth team over the last four weeks.
Playing away to AFG at their Caroline Springs fortress is no easy task. Making the trek over the Westgate Bridge without your playmaker, makes the task that much more difficult. And so it proved to be, with the game being the classic cliché of a game of two halves.
The Pirates scored first, but it wasn’t long before AFG levelled through their talisman, Pivot Artur Barisha. Going into the break it was 2-1 to AFG. And that is where the game ended for the boys in blue. After the break, the lack of depth in the squad began to show. The physical nature of the game crept in and the Pirates lost their composure and discipline. Soft square passing and poor zonal marking resulted in three quick fire goals to Barisha and co, who ran out comfortable winners 7-3. The AFG played with more desire and confidence, epitomised with Flank player Kaan Korkmaz chasing down every loose ball, not only to win it, but to lay it off for a shot on goal. It was a long drive home that evening for the Pirates.
Two weeks later and it was the third and final game against AFG, but this time it was at home at Chelt, as the locals say. Playmaker Jonathon de Biase was back from illness and the team were slightly nervous, but quietly confident. This was the crunch match of the season for the boys. They had to win the game to stay in with a chance. Lose it and the title was all but AFG’s.
And what a game it was! It was another passionate and physical encounter with good futsal played by both sides. It was more open than the last match, with the passing, shooting and movement by both sides a joy to watch. De Biase was having an impact on the game, which eased the pressure on Captain Reuben Langerak. In this game the work load was evenly spread, which allowed more creativity in the Pirates play. Pivot Hayato Yamada was linking up well with Flanker Ksaniel Hasanki and young gun Anthony Elmer, for some beautiful back post goals. With De Biase and Langerak controlling the game from the back and everybody getting behind the ball in defence during transitional play, this was a different Pirates side from the previous game. Then disaster struck. De Biase pulled a hamstring. He felt it go and came off before it got worse. Going into the break 4-3 up, the first goal scored in the second half would be crucial to the outcome of the match and perhaps, the Championship.
De Biase was only 50/50 to come back on. How would the team react? Tension, excitement and trepidation were in the air as the Referee blew his whistle for the start of the second half. It was the Pirates who got that crucial first goal. This time it was AFG who lost their composure and not the boys from Chelt. The things the Pirates did in the previous game, AFG did at Chelt. Pivot Artur did not have all his own way this time with Langerak getting the better of him in the tackles, backed up by Hasanki, albeit, after taking a spray from the Coach. De Biase was coming on for 2 minutes at a time and rotating with the youngsters, of Alan Lamshed and Matthew Bucello, who brought an injection of fresh legs into the side. When a team starts to argue amongst themselves, you know they are going to lose. AFG seemed to think they had won this game before a ball had even been kicked, but when they conceded that goal, AFG were never really in it. The Pirates maintained a buffer before finally winning 7-4. Despite the AFG winning two out of three games in the head to head count, the Pirates were back in the race for the Championship. Two games left for the Pirates, one for AFG and three for the Cobras. Any of the three clubs could still win the League.
The scenario: a win against the Cobras would mean the Pirates would need just a point in their final game against the Kings next week to win the League. A loss would put the Cobras and AFG back in the driver’s seat, but the Cobras still have to play AFG in their final game. A loss for the Cobras would end their title dreams.
The Pirates were quietly confident of a win against the Cobras, as they had beaten them twice before. But the Cobras were a well organised side with some very good Futsal players amongst their ranks. Playing in their away yellow strip, the Pirates began cautiously, but it was not too long before the Cobras goal came under siege with some penetrating runs from De Biase, who was ruled fit for the match. And it was the Pirates play maker who opened the scoring on the sixth minute from one of those dazzling runs of his. A good start for the Pirates. The early goal did not faze the Cobras and from a surge down the right flank came an accurate pass from Madoc Brummel to the Cobras #5 Callum Davies, who watched the ball intently, lined it up and struck a fierce low volley into the back of the net via the near post. What a goal and what a reply! Everybody applauded. Game On.
The two sides were evenly matched throughout the first half. Hasanki was making his presence felt and on the 13th minute mark he found some space down the left flank to hit a hard and low shot past the Goalkeeper and in it went at the far post. The Pirates were starting to dominate. From deep, Captain Langerak dribbled through the middle and had a hard low shot parry off the ‘keeper only for Yamada to be on hand to strike it into the far post making it 3-1 at half time.
In the 8th minute of the second half another surging run from De Biase split the defence and with an accurate pass to the far post, Elmer struck it hard and low into the net. Elmer was where he was supposed to be and a beautiful team goal was the result. He nearly scored another from a similar move, only for the ball to ricochet off the cross bar.The Pirates had their noses in front, but the Cobras replied with another goal making it 4-2, before Hasanki got his second of the match with a scuffed shot off a defender.
The game became a bit tense and scrappy towards the end with the Pirates giving away two long penalties. Santander was having another good game in goal and saved the first. But he could not stop the second penalty a few moments later. The Referee blew the whistle. Game over. 5-3 to the Pirates.
It was a thrilling 4 weeks of Futsal for the boys in Blue. “Two out of Three ain’t bad” but “Three out of Four “ will be better, as their final game against the Kings on Friday night will be the ultimate decider.
The Youth Team that played in Game 3.
Barbara Gumley (U16s Team Manager), Roland De Biase, Reuben Langerak (C), Hayato Yamada, Ksaniel Hasanki, Jonathon De Biase, Mark Georgeson (Coach)
Anthony Elmer, Rene Santander, Alex Abrahams and Alan Lamshed.
Absent: Pemla Bucello (Team Manager), Matthew Bucello and Jason Bradbury.