Wickham Market: They have played 13, lost 13, scored just twice and let in a net-busting 244 goals – but newly-formed under-9s footie team is still smiling

WICKHAM MARKET: Old-fashioned fighting spirit is alive and well in these young footballers who keep on playing each week – despite conceding 244 goals this season!

The newly-formed under-9s team at Wickham Market Youth Football Club has not had the best of luck when it comes to goal-scoring this season either – having hit the back of the net just twice in 13 games.

But club leaders have praised the youngsters’ enthusiasm and commitment as they continue to turn up every game and every practice session despite their record.

Team manager Tina Church, of Bruisyard, whose son Kyle plays for the side, puts their results down to a lack of confidence.

“This is their first season,” she said.

“We only got the team together at the beginning of the season and they’re all from different schools, so they’re not all best friends yet.

“I think it’s a lot to do with confidence and a lot of players we go up against have probably done a season already.

Most Read

“But they’re all eager to play and they’re always asking what position they’re going to be today.

“They can’t wait to get out on the pitch.

“They all come to training with a lot of enthusiasm and they’re always smiling when they come off the pitch even if it’s a big defeat.”

The eight and nine-year-old players, who mainly come from Wickham Market or Rendlesham, fared rather better by drawing 2-2 in a friendly match against a team from Laxfield, which is also in its first season and has not yet entered the youth league.

“That’s probably more of an equal standing in terms of their confidence,” added Tina, 38.

“The other teams in the league are probably more confident and more gelled as friends.

“I think with their team spirit and the way they’re carrying on, even though they’re not winning, there’s a lesson to be learned there for all of us.”

Club chairman Colin Owens also paid tribute to the youngsters’ dedication to the sport.

“They’re among the youngest in the group, but they’re very enthusiastic and it’s great to see that hasn’t been dimmed by what might be termed their lack of success,” he said.

“Tina keeps them all buoyant and enthusiastic and they all look forward to the games so much. The fact that they’ve not had much success hasn’t seemed to matter.

“It’s terrific to see such enthusiasm in the kids. They’re all learning their skills and progressing and I’m sure they’ll soon be winning.”

The team practises on Mondays at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham. Any players interested in joining the team can call Tina on 01728 663357.

n Have you set up a club or team? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@evening star.co.uk