Ajax Cape Town Under-13 head coach Patrick Weels admitted that his players were left shocked by Fish Hoek’s early strike, on their way to a 3-1 defeat at the Strandfontein Tournament.
The Urban Warriors exited the youth tourney at the quarterfinal stage following the loss, with Milano United crowned eventual champions this past Sunday at Ikamva.
“Firstly I want to say congratulations to Fish Hoek, we beat them in the pre-season, but lost this time around,” Weels said. “We were ready for them to come at us – strong – and for them to get the first goal in that manner, so quickly, it came as a shock to the players so they went down a bit.
“The second goal really killed us I think – we can always fight back from one goal down quite easily, but we never before played a team where we found ourselves 2-0 down. It was something new for the boys, they pushed, but I think the second goal killed us.
Weels highlighted the important life lessons learnt by his troops in what is a critical phase in their young lives – as they aspire to play for the Ajax Cape Town First Team one day.
“At this age they are in the preparation age to become little adults,” Weels added. “They are entering an environment where they have to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong
Weels continued: “When they are on the field they have to be able to acknowledge which situation they find themselves: this is going to be the easiest or toughest decision – it is part of their learning curve.
“Lots of them are at a stage where they ask a lot of questions, they want to know: ‘how do they do this? Some can handle the situation so the match against Fish Hoek was a good game for us as coaches to see which players are on which level.
“This is part of the development process,” he concluded.