The recently formed Elite Youth under 12 football team have stormed the Bangladesh Football Association (BFA) Summer Youth League by being crowned League and Cup Champions after beating local rivals Vallance FC for both titles.
The Elite Youth team has only been playing league football for a year with many of the players still getting used to playing on grass with boots having been formally accustomed to playing on hard surfaces. With this in mind what makes this league victory more significant is the fact that the Elite Youth team went unbeaten, scoring 41 goals in 7 league games.
The Cup final was an epic contest between the two teams; it was tightly fought throughout the match with both teams giving little away. Elite Youth however managed to get two quick goals in succession playing some neat football, this caused Vallance to kick into actions as they bombarded the Elite Youth goal continuously. The strong Elite defence could not hold out for long as Vallance grabbed two goals to send the match into 5 minutes of extra time. Elite Youth created a handful of chances to win the match but a combination of missed opportunities and good saves from the Vallance keeper took the game into the dreaded penalty shootout.
Both teams were tired out and seemed very nervous at the sight of taking penalty kicks, however little mistakes were made as the penalties went into sudden death on 14 penalties each. Finally on the 15th penalty the pressure got too much for one Vallance player and Elite Youth’s goal keeper George went flying to his left to save the penalty and send the Elite players into jubilation.
The Elite Youth team is part of the Football In The Community (FITC), a project of the Osmani Trust which aims to provide access and participation of health related activities to local young people living in Tower Hamlets. FITC also provides other services such as accredited training, summer tournaments and girl’s football, the project is now in its fifth year and funded through the Football Foundation.
Sana Miah, Coach of Elite Youth said “I am very pleased with the progress these players have made during the course of the year, to think that this time last year many of the current players had never played structured football, to win the League and Cup shows the players motivation to learn and progress. This is one of the strengths of the FITC project in engaging local people.”
Minhazzul Islam, team captain of Elite Youth said: “This is the best football moment for me ever; I have never been so excited and pleased. I’m so happy we beat Vallance FC because we lost to them in the ELE League previously.”
Elite Youth are looking for new players for their under 13 and under 10 teams, if you are interested please contact Abdal Ahmed on 020 7247 8080.