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Dana Cup 2008
The U18s went over to Denmark again to take part in the Dana Cup. This time they really did our club proud, winning their way through to the semi-final of the Boys U18 competition before bowing out to Büchen-Siebeneichener SV from Germany.
by Ryan Warren
The 2008 Dana cup took 20 players from Enfield Town to Hjørring in Denmark. For 6 days and nights these boys ate together, slept together, washed together, sang together but most importantly played together.
It took almost 10 hours to travel to the school on the outskirts of Hjørring that the players and parents would be staying at, the accommodation was a large class room, with a small camp bed for each person. With 20 players and several dads all crammed in the same room it's understandable that it did not take long for the place to be a hot sweaty smelly mess. After settling down the players jumped on a shuttle bus to take a look around the town, the town filled with carnival rides, a disco, swimming pools, shopping centres, market stalls, football pitches, bars, clubs, restaurants everything needed in a town let alone on a football tour. The Enfield players were stunned by the enormity of the event but had to put a hold on further excursions as the next morning held the first group game for Enfield Town.
Early Tuesday morning Town kicked off against German side Leck MTV and won 2-1 with goals from George Mottram and Nathan Duck showing great class to beat the high quality side. Later that day Enfield played again with a greatly changed team and saw off Danish side Aabybro Ungdomskole 2-1 George Mottram scoring a spectacular bicycle kick and Charlie Smith also netting. With brilliant physiotherapist in the squad Lee Baldwin held a seminar after the first two games and taught the players how to massage each other to keep their muscles from getting tired from the gruelling competition, these skills were brilliant and really began to help the team as the tournament went on.
The second day football was of great significance to the team, a great performance against Norwegians Sandar IL not only saw Enfield progress through the group stage but the emphatic 5-0 victory helped gain a great fan base, other English clubs, locals and even other teams from all over the world came to watch and sing Enfield Town's name.
Lunch and dinner times in the tent at the Dana Cup came to be more of a football chanting competition than a feast, friendly singing contests at every meal (mainly against the Germans and Swedes) seemed to be the only thing that actually kept Enfield from eating there as the food provided was used as a snack between meals.
After breezing through the group stage of the tournament and establishing their name throughout the Town, Enfield were drawn against Australian side BSS Australia in the second round. This epic game was watched by over 100 spectators, most of which were singing songs and shouting encouragement for Enfield non-stop for 90minutes. The Australians pushed Enfield to the absolute limit, after Anthony Stockman gave Enfield a first half lead the Ozzies pressed and pressed and gave their absolute all but could not break down the impenetrable Enfield Town defence, the game finished at 1-0 and gave Town real belief that they could go on and win the competition.
With the final now only two games away Town stayed in and prepared for the day ahead by eating popcorn, watching the transformers and having a major chill-out session. The team by now had such a tight bond and had the mentality to run for each other, tackle for each other, be tackled for each other and were all determined to win for each other.
Friday had come, the day that holds the quarter and semi-finals, Enfield faced a tough Norwegian side Voss FBK and with the heat of midday upon them it was all or nothing. Billy Healey headed from close range to give Town the advantage and after a storming run from skipper Kieron Sauboorah set up a second half goal by again Billy Healey Enfield seemed to be home and dry but the Norwegians fought back and but for some heroic defending Voss could only pull one goal back, so Enfield Town emerged victorious, winning 2-1 they had booked their place into the Semi-final. After a quick sports massage session the players headed for the main town to play the Germans Büchen-Siebeneichener SV.
After all the weeks of early pre-season training, all the hours of hard work put in, all the 5 brutal games before, Enfield were left with one last game to get to the final and be watched by thousands of spectators, Town had come so far from the start of the tournament and it was now all down to one final match. Town got off to a flyer, creating chance after chance, displaying the type of football that had got them noticed from the start, the German side looked absolutely dazed, they simply could not keep up with the great tempo that Enfield were playing at and simply parked the bus in front of goal. With no goal still in the second half Enfield kept creating but could not find the back of the net, after hitting the bar, countless amounts of corners, free kicks and saves by the German keeper Town were punished, caught on the counter attack, the dream was over and Enfield Town were out.
Enfield players and spectators were distraught, after being so close yet so far, after absolutely hammering their opponents for 85 minutes came away with a loss. But despite the great crushing feeling that all the players felt, they knew how far they had come, they were told to be proud of all they had achieved and to look forward to the oncoming season which Mike Smee is certain of even greater success in all areas.
Enfield now had the town of Hjørring at their mercy, the huge event was no match for the Enfield team who did not waste a second on taking in everything that the town had to offer, every player absolutely lived the experience to the full and loved every second.
As the team returned to England late Sunday night Nathan Duck was awarded the player of the tournament award, an emotional speech followed and the players set off on their separate paths. Enfield come home from the tournament with a great team spirit, a great style of play and with the experience of the Dana Cup.
The Group Stage Match Reports
Enfield Town FC (Eng) 2 Leck MTV (Ger) 1
Enfield Town U18s began their Dana cup with a tricky tie against German side Leck MTV. Town dominated during the early stages of the game before finally making the breakthrough with the first real chance of the game. Club Captain Keiron Sauboorah played a swift one-two with Billy Healey before threading through an inch perfect pass for George Mottram to guide the ball past the keeper. Town continued to create chances as the game progressed, progressing further with their high intensity football. Particularly when Billy Healey's creative run cut in from the left hand side before he was denied by a great save from the big German goalkeeper. Town came close through George Mottram again and Kieron Sauboorah but were unable to convert their opportunities. Town were eventually punished for not converting their chances right on the stroke of half time when the Leck MTV forward found himself through on goal and placed the ball beyond the rushing Andrew Prutton and a retreating Louis Baldwin to send the sides in at half time with the scores level at 1-1.
The second half began with a tactical change made by manager Mike Smee, Ricky Stoyles coming on to replace Louis Baldwin. As before in the first half Town dominated during the early stages of the second half and came close in a slick move which involved Ryan Warren picking out the target man George Mottram who was able to hold up the play before feeding the ball into Nathan Duck, who responded by fizzing a dangerous ball across the face of goal. Unfortunately no one was on hand to convert. Town had the opportunity to re-take the lead after Anthony Stockman was bought down on the by line inside the box. George Mottram stepped up looking to add to his tally but was denied by a great save from the Leck MTV's number one.
Town re-took the lead after a text book move straight off the training ground, which started from the town goalkeeper Andrew Prutton who played out to the full back Louis Rolfe who played in to George Mottram who set for Anthony Stockman who set for Louis Rolfe to pick out Nathan Duck at the far post to convert from six yards. Substitutions then followed and Town were able to hold on for the victory.
George Mottram scores
Enfield Town (Eng) 2 Aabybro Ungdomskole (Den) 1
Town set out for their second game of the tour against Danish outfit Aabybro Ungdomskole. Enfield showed their strength in depth by making 9 changes from their first match with Thomas Mendrys captaining the side after an exceptional performance in the morning. Town started the game creating chances and entertaining the crowd, a slick passing move including Mottram and Mogan resulted in Lewis Rolfe barely missing the target with a screaming right footed volley. Enfield again failed to convert their opportunities and were punished on the break when a floated ball into the penalty area broke loose and was scrambled in by an Aabybro player. Town at first seemed stunned by the goal and were playing under the cosh until Reis Field skipped past a defender, drilled the ball into George Mottram who chested into the air and spectacularly hammered a bicycle kick onto the crossbar and in, this goal surely the best that he has ever produced in an Enfield shirt and arguably the best in the tournament. This goal inspired Town who pushed on and just on the stroke of half time Reis Field received a quick throw-in from Ryan Cross and immediately beat one defender, beat a second defender and fed Charlie Smith who chested down to his lethal left foot and let rip into the top corner. The second half saw Thomas Mendrys taken off for Kieran Sauboorah who showed his class by spraying passes all over the pitch as town began to show their quality and simply played the opposition off the park. Reis Field and Ryan Cross combined down the left wing with deadly pace and almost bought Cross's first goal in 9 seasons but was denied by the post. Heroic George Mottram was replaced by Louis Baldwin who immediately made an impact by latching onto a through ball but was unable to convert as the onrushing keeper made a great save. As the final whistle was blown with the score at 2-1, Enfield town under 18s had left themselves with a great chance to not only qualify for the knockouts but to win the group outright.
Man of the match Ricky Stoyles
Match report by Ryan Warren
Enfield Town (Eng) 5 Sandar IL (Nor) 0
Town set out into the third game against a strong Norwegian side Sandar IL virtually guaranteed a spot in the A cup but needing a win to secure the position as group winners. The game started sloppy but after a few minutes Town got themselves going and started playing some good football. The good football was rewarded when Dean Mogan whipped a ball into the box which resulted in a scramble in the box with Joe Packenham finally finding the net with a low shot past the keeper. Football was being played at high tempo and Town showed how they can change defence into attack in a couple of seconds when the ball was cleared from defence into Joe Packenham's feet who lofted a perfectly weighted through ball to Billy Healey who finished in style with a cool lob over the keeper. Town came into half time 2-0 up and in and was looking comfortable.
The second half began and the tempo increased again Town were in total control but they refused to let up and were determined to show the competition what they are about. The third goal came 10 minutes into the second half with Charlie Smith drilling a shot from the edge of the area with the keeper unable to scramble across the goal. A fourth goal soon after when Reis Field passed to Charlie Smith who showed individual skill taking on a player and smashing past the keeper from 25 yards out, claiming his second long range shot of the game. The performance was rounded off when Aaron Stevens pinged a cross field ball to Billy Healey who showed his skill with a flick into the path of Joe Packenham who placed the ball in bottom corner. The final whistle blew with the game ending 5-0 and could have been more with Town being dominant throughout. The last 16 is next having finished top of the group with an unbeaten record, they go through to their next game in good form with the rest of the teams dreading playing them and with a huge neutral following after the great performance today. Its all looking good for Town at the moment lets hope they can continue into the knockout stages.
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