On Tuesday April 4th saw the long-awaited arrival of the Academy Cup take place at the Gepps Cross Football State Centre. It was a pleasure to partake in the tournament alongside four other competitive schools in Roma Mitchell Secondary College, Henley HS, Banksia Park International HS, and Underdale HS. All schools where also required to independently organise matches, providing their own referees and assistants. This was an opportunity for our boys to improve in their roles as referees and match assistants as it required them to bring the right mindset and level of respect.
The build up to Academy Cup derived from the memories of last year’s competition where our boys managed to fight our way through to the final only to lose 2-0 to a very accomplished Henley side. Our first game saw the boys face off against Roma Mitchell and for most of us, this was our first time stepping out onto a pitch with one another. But despite the unfamiliarity within the team, our boys managed to piece together a quality performance, showing signs of promise for the day ahead. Unfortunately, our efforts weren’t enough to get us over the line against an unforgiving Roma Mitchell side who made sure to pounce on any mistake.
The boys then played against Banksia Park HS in a high scoring victory that once again saw promising passages of football being played. This match also saw the goalkeeping debut of our own Jacob Cotis who fearlessly stepped up to deny Banksia of any chances.
Coming off a convincing win, the boys faced previous winners, Henley HS in our third game of the group stage. The match seemed promising on with our boys taking an early lead with some exceptional goals. But as the match dragged on, Henley where able to outplay us, taking three points from our boys.
The last game of the group stage saw the boys play against Underdale HS in our final game of the group stage. As the day drew closer to playoffs and finals, fatigue began to set in but despite injuries and aching bodies, the boys battled on in their last game of the group stage managing to hold out a draw against a skilful Underdale side. This secured us a place in the third-place playoff in rematch against Underdale HS.
The third-place playoff proved a test for both our boys and Underdale after a long day of football and the unforgiving wear and tear of the group stage. Our boys managed to brush any excuses aside once again and produce a sensational performance dominating possession, winning defensive battles, and showing flare in our attacking third. Our efforts secured victory and a third-place finish in the Academy Cup. With a mix of both Year 11’s and 12’s, our boys pieced together outstanding performances and provided an exciting beginning to the year of football ahead.