The club is proud to announce that our Division 1 U15’s have claimed the league title with an unassailable 17 points lead atop of the ladder with five games still to play.
In light of this remarkable achievement for the squad and the club, we caught up with their Head Coach and First Team Assistant Coach Vinny Kapur to discuss the season and what made this group so successful.
UWA: Firstly Vinny, congratulations on securing the title, how does it feel?
Vinny Kapur: It’s a great feeling for the boys most importantly and myself as well. We’ve had a really outstanding season and what they’ve achieved in the last 18 months, as a group, they should be really proud. It’s not just the wins, but the brand of football they’ve played that’s been very pleasing.
UWA: What’s have been the key ingredients to garnering this success?
VK: The boys play a very connected brand of football, we don’t play many long balls, we try to connect through the whole team, move the ball in the correct way and give the boys the tools to really set them up for further development by moving up through the age groups they understand how the senior teams operate. They’ve really adapted to trying the triangles, moving into pockets of space and making the most of their opportunities at crucial times, it’s a credit to them the way they’ve been able to cut teams apart this season.
I have coaches come over at the end of games commenting on how sharp the movement is and the way the move the ball. From my perspective, the boys have just been outstanding for an extended period and they deserve the accolades.
UWA: I know you’ve been working with this group for over a year and a half now, so did you expect this form?
VK: It’s been building since we first worked together last season. This year we promoted some boys from our second team, three boys came up and they gave us some real attacking options, which is something we lacked in the previous campaign. We would be playing some great football, but were found lacking in the final third, so those new boys stood up to the task and helped us become more clinical in front of goals. By seeing this play out in games, the rest of the lads really bought into the team philosophy and recognised why we worked on particular things at training, which was really pleasing.
UWA: You’re a coach with real expertise in the art of defending and your goal difference record has been outstanding this season, so what lessons have you instilled into this group to make them so hard to break down?
VK: We worked on our defensive shape a lot this year. We try to keep tight and narrow through the back so we don’t allow opposition forwards through the centre corridor and once we’ve blocked that off they have to go through the wings and therefore we’re controlling the 18 yard box. They’ve really engaged in that protection as a unit and as a result we’ve only conceded 17 goals.
UWA: It must have been a real pleasure seeing this side grow under your tutelage. What makes this group special?
I can talk highly enough of their character and work ethic. They’ve come a long way from when we first started working together and they’ve been able to understand the areas of play that work for them and really hone in on that and use it to their advantage as much as possible this season. They’ve worked tirelessly to improve themselves as a team and as individuals.
UWA: Having wrapped up the league title with five league games to go, what do you focus on now as a squad?
VK: We’re 17 points clear and a goal difference of +37, so when you’ve got those figures it shows it’s been a collective effort from the ‘keeper all the way to the forwards. We’ve now set our goals to go the full season unbeaten. To go any level of football from I’d say U14’s and above, to go unbeaten throughout an entire campaign is a massive achievement, so we’ve got our sights set on that. The boys are really keen to push through in the same vein until the end of the season, so we’re hoping we can achieve that new goal.
UWA: Where do you hope this experience leads to for the boys at the club?
VK: It’d be so great to see these boys rise through the ranks and eventually watch them represent the First Team at The Mac on a Saturday afternoon, that should be the aim. The key to this will be ensuring they stick together as a unit and continue to develop their game and style of play which is consistent throughout the club.