The U15 Knockout Cup was a competition in which over the years, Sacred Heart have struggled to win. There are not many titles that we haven’t won over the years but for whatever reason, simply put we just hadn’t.
As a collective, between myself and the players we set out to not just be another team making up the numbers in the competition, we were going to win it, and anything but winning the U15 Knockout Cup would have been nothing but failure in my eyes. We were handed a tough draw against MAGS in the 2nd round, played in conditions that didn’t favour either side. We battled and scrapped and thoroughly deserved our 1-0 win.
On to the quarter-finals where we came up against Auckland Grammar. 2-0 down at half time things weren’t looking great. In hind sight, I think that probably spurred both myself and the players on to turn it around. A lot of questions were asked that day of individuals at half time and credit to their character, they turned it around scoring in the dying embers of the game to take it to extra time before scoring two more goals in that period to win 4-2.
Next was Rangitoto who was a favourable draw for us as we managed to avoid both Westlake and St.Kents. Rangitoto away in the semifinal, was one of those games where we always knew we had the quality in the squad to win but it would just be a matter of patience and professionalism to get the job done, which we duly did running out 4-0 winners.
On to the Final in which we played Westlake which was to be a day to remember in Sacred Heart’s rich and ever growing football history. After starting positively and scoring inside two minutes the game was never really in doubt. 11 players wanted it more in every department of the pitch than the other team, which meant we came out on top 3-0. A fantastic achievement for all the players involved, knowing that they have made history as the first Sacred Heart team to win the U15 Knockout Cup.
Thanks to all those for their support to the team and help throughout the campaign especially Scott Lawrence as Manager and Danny Hay for his continual support and mentoring.
Kane Wintersgill, Coach