Banks O' Dee Albion U17s clinched the ADJFA League A after a phenonemal season, without even facing a defeat throughout. We got the chance to catch up with the coach of Banks O' Dee, Patrick Ritchie, to find out all about it.
This wasn't just the first league win for Banks O' Dee, or the second, or even the third. It was their fifth successive league win for Banks O' Dee so the reaction to the league win was obviously a positivie one. Patrick said this about his teams reaction. "We are obviously delighted to have won the league, even more so this season, as we have managed to retain the title for the fifth successive year." A huge accomplishment for Banks O' Dee, and they are able to hold the title for the 5th consecutive year which is a great feat.
Picking a favourite moment of the season is a hard task but Patrick thought hard and said this about his favourite moment. "We played Hermes away in December and, without ever reaching that we usually achieve, managed to win the game 1-0 with a goal from Calum McKenzie after a great Reece Masson cross. We knew then that we had put ourselves in a great position in the league once again, and showed that we could still grind out a result when needed." After not playing at your peak level and still being able to pull out a win, it must boost your confidence a huge amount, showing that no other team in the league can beat you. After an undefeated season, this turned out to be true.
Despite a great, undefeated season Banks O' Dee still had challenges to face throughout. Patrick said this about his biggest challenge. "We played ALC at Aulton in November. The wind and rain were horrendous, probably the worst conditions that we have every had to play in. The boys kept their composure and managed to win the game 4-2, with goals from Jay Murphy, Mark Reid, Ben Ross and Calum McKenzie." Again, the work ethic shown by the boys to push through and come out with a win is what makes them stand out in the league.
Being able to pinpoint the main reason or driving force for a teams success is a hard task but Patrick said this. "I think that the boys wanted to complete five years undefeated for the league campaigns through U13s to U17s. That almost became more of the focus towards the end of the season as opposed to just winning the league - they wanted to do it undefeated. They have showed a remarkable amount of maturity and consistency to be able to achieve over the past five years." The hard work shown by the team since the U13s stage has been great, and they have made their mark in the ADJFA after winning the league for 5 consecutive years.
After having a dream season, Patrick still has high hopes for the team and their future. "We will sit down with the boys and discuss their options once the season is over. As well as the league, we have just won the Raymond Kelly trophy and Noskab Trophy. That gives us the "full set" of the five ADJFA trebles in five years. We still have a lot of things to keep the boys occupied before sorting out where they will be playing next season." Hopefully the boys stick together and make it six come this time next season.
Patrick had some final comments about his teams season. "It has been a pleasure for Bruce, Steven, Rosco and I to be involved with this group. They are a credit to themselves, and to their parents, for the way that they gave applied themselves over the past five years. Their work ethic and fitness have been second to none. I think that it is fair to say that the four of us have enjoyed every part of the journey as much as the boys have."
Congratulations to Banks O' Dee Albion Under 17s and good luck for their future seasons.