True I didn't see the first 20 mins, but they would have been fresher then. They looked tired that last 10 mins especially, often passing poorly, and a few weak tackle attempts. That will be a lot to do with fatigue. Going long to Supyk now & again is fine, to take the pressure off, and he's mostly good with his hold up play. The combo stuff between him, Watson & Ukich is a class down though on the speedy Mexicans.
Another goal from our mistake, mis control and with the player running through, the defender doesn't even take the yellow for a professional foul by bringing the player down, and just lets him run through.
In many facets there is a naviety about the way we play. To me that's a reflection of so few of the team currently being in pro football environments day in day out. Your learnings accelerate when you are.
The 2nd goal, defender should have hoofed it in the stands. 4th goal yeah you take the yellow & why did Foord lunge feet first.
How was Ryan Lee not even in the initial squad? Been excellent once again since coming on
How Nathan Walker and GSR don't start is absolutely beyond me. I understand their bench impact but boy, it's negative using the first 60 mins as a means for your forwards to press and tire the opposition, hoping the defense keeps the game close, before making those impact subs. It's clearly not due to fitness concerns either, as half the team's gassed by the 30-min mark anyway in these tough conditions.
Some of the Leuluai slander's a bit much. Hasn't been outstanding but the formation clearly doesn't suit him
Coochiee you say " In many facets there is a naviety about the way we play. To me that's a reflection of so few of the team currently being in pro football environments day in day out. Your learnings accelerate when you are".....but Leuluai and Watson have been our worst in all 3 games, in fact they've been terrible!!! de bunks your statement. Despite being at fault for a goal tonight through inexcusable softness Mitchell is 10 times the footballer of his captain and Mitchells a local amateur player, thats based on what weve seen at this tournament. You'd expect pro players to be better performances correct but not there case in this group no way.
Boys have put in some effort but given away goals today that shouldnt happen at this level 3 of the 4 goals... 1 -Mitchell so so soft in the challenge (as someone said no 10year old allowed to do that!) but also keeper has to save the shot 2- Gardiner poor decision to pass the ball to the opposition striker - bad mistake 3 - Watson dribbling the wrong way then gets ball taken off him and doesnt foul the guy
Agree selections have been interesting over the 3 games.
Coach hasn't inspired me one bit in his pre tournament comments and during the match looks just happy to be there, wasnt much animation or activity from the dugout.
Conditions no doubt we struggled with but same for all teams although some countries more suited.
You clearly don't like Leuluai, SN. An aversion to ratstails. He's nowhere as bad as you make out. He was battling on his own much of time, and he'll still be learning alot about playing as DM - being fairly new to the position. I reckon the coaches at Burnley may know a bit more about football talent than either you, or me.
This group will have learnt a sharkload over the last few weeks. It's always a huge leap from tinpot OFC, and NZ domestic football to this stage. Hopefully they perform better when they get to the next U20 WC. By then a few more of the better ones should be in pro environments.
I've watched NZ at the mens and womens age group world cups for probably 8 or so years now, and I can't recall in that time seeing us look so woefully out of our depth as we did at this tournament.
Yes as we know at this level winning is not everything, and I honestly don't mind when we battle and have a pretty average tournament (i.e. likes the U20s in Argentina), but to look so so out of our depth... some questions really need to be asked.
I stayed up and watched all 3 games...Tell me what Leuluais good at from what youve seen at this tournament? honestly interested to know. Because he couldnt pass and he certainly couldnt run and defend out of possession. Was a passenger throughout.
our pros were not better than our locals.
We need better coaches and more games to get exposure to this level. Ultimately it comes down to money and we simply dont have it
Almost identical to last year's U17 Girls WC in India. Lost Chile 3-1 Lost Nigeria 4-0 Lost Germany 3-1 GF 2 GA 10
Agruably the international talent depth is still deeper in the boys game. Though from memory the girls went into their tourney off a very limited buildup, partly related to full Covid border restrictions not long having eased.
Possibly. But really more a factor on this year's U20 team, with guys in that age group denied a U17 WC (Covid cancelled).
What I find interesting is the decline in Ole Academy as a producer of age group talent. Our best ever male age group team, Des's 2019 U20 team had a very strong Ole/Wests influence. And of course about 6 of those guys won the Handy Prem title with Eastern Suburbs, Declan as de facto coach alongside Hay. All of those guys who went through Ole, plus others before (Boyd, Thomas) & after (Stamenic, Garbett etc), seem to still keep in touch with Edge snr. Like there is a gratitude he really helped get them where they are.
The Mad Hatter has many faults, but is NZ age group development the poorer for him leaving for Sweden. I think so. Never hurts to have someone as an outlier, always questioning the status quo. Even if they are a bit nuts.
I hear ya Metal Leg but if you eliminate emotion from evaluation and if you look back at the 3 games , the first game we were poor. Both in the first halfs of Germany and Mexico we were competitive and only conceded late goals and in the second half we did get over run. I don't think it was that bad as some make out. Did i expect more at times..100%. The coaching even at the qualifiers left a lot to be admired for sure.
Our age group teams havent progressed over the years no doubt about that.
I was reading some facebook comments and a couple mentioned we need to look at a spanish or south american coaching team...im not sure i necessary agree with that but we do need to move away from the tired retiring in a new country english.
Would love to see these boys working under a Ryan Nelson or Simon Elliot or a Ivan Vicelich for example.
Our age group teams havent progressed over the years no doubt about that.
They have regressed surely? in 2015 the 17s took Brazil to extra time in round of 16 and a penalty near the death was the difference. Watching this iteration was depressing for me, having watched over many years we are sliding backwards imo.
that's my point we haven't progressed. Go back to 2015 when we did well we've gone backwards. You could argue we struggled against the island teams too. But there were some good halfs of football but just not enough quality or organisation like the other nations there. Owell until next time....
Not a disallowed goal, rather that McGarry skied a penalty. He also scored an own goal in the match against France (and a goal for NZ too).
They also beat Paraguay in the group stage to get to there, without trawling though, might be the only time a boys'/men's side has beaten CONCACAF opposition? Lucas Imrie late winner. Went to a US university, but not sure he plays at all nowadays. Few players in that squad don't play anymore (I think), by glancing through the names. Of course, a few others that are overseas (semi) pros. Such is U17 WC football, could well be the same looking at 2023's squad eight years on.
2015 was more locally based, Hunter Ashworth the only non-local/foreign accent, compared to five or so this time.
Only the USA side (ten, two players capped for El Salvador) in 2015 has had more players gain senior international caps than that NZ side (seven, with Ben Mata capped for Cook Islands). Paraguay has capped six, so maybe a good age group for them too. One being Bell's teammate at Brøndby, Blas Riveros (who left this same window as Bell). They both played in the NZ-Paraguay fixture, but missed each other by thirteen minutes; Bell subbed off at the 61st and Riveros in at the 74th. Australia capped just two, Kye Rowles and Daniel Arzani; old mate Josh Laws was there too but uncapped.
Hardly inspiring when the head coach had this to say prior to the tournament "We're not necessarily focused on getting out of the group. It's not one of our objectives." WTF...just a cop out so he and the team do not have to have any accountability for performance. If this is what NZF strive for then are we surprised by the on-field performances. Unfortunately seems to be symptomatic of the coaching staff across the organisation.....expat UK journeymen with little or nothing to show by way of previous coaching success. Getting a little tired of being told that they should be judged by performance at some future date. They truly do need some diversity across the coaching staff and let me not get started on the Board! So underwhelming!
Covid-19, staffing fall-outs and the rise of another academy just up the road left Olé in a “lull” and struggling to compete in Wellington’s top competitions.
That was until fresh blood – with extensive international and professional experience – came in to help re-ignite the academy that holds so much history.
After seven months in the gig, the academy’s new technical director and head coach, Alan Koch, told the Herald that Olé had been in a bit of a “lull” in recent years, but things had “really started to crank” again.
Koch, who has previously worked in the Major League Soccer competition in America, said Olé had “gone through some changes in the last little while”.
“To be honest, I think any organisation that’s been around for 25 years is going to have its ups and its downs and I think a bit of a backlash post-Covid happened here at Olé – just like it happened in, many places – things kind of slowed down a little bit.” Olé Football Academy technical director Alan Koch welcomes the competition from the Wellington Phoenix Academy. Photo / Supplied
“You’re never going to be able to knock it out of the park every single year,” Koch said.
Since being established in 1997, Olé has been considered New Zealand’s premier football academy developing some of New Zealand’s most talented players: All Whites Elijah Just, Ryan Thomas, Callum McCowatt and Nando Pijnaker and junior Football Fern Maya Hahn, who switched national allegiance to Germany.
For much of the past decade, technical director Declan Edge has been at the helm, and Ben Sippola is behind him as they partnered with clubs like Auckland’s Eastern Suburbs, and Team Wellington in the National League, and Western Suburbs AFC locally. Different to a typical club’s strategy, Olé's goal was to get players up to a standard to get them overseas playing professionally.
Through that mission, they continued to compete at the top level domestically, constantly producing talent until the bubble burst in 2020.
The Herald understands the staff fallout began before Edge left for a bigger opportunity with Torslanda IK in Sweden. Sippola also left a year later – and so did their top players.
With no one quite as experienced left taking the reigns completely (until 2023) when Edge and Sippola left, players across multiple age grades departed to other top clubs around the country, including the Wellington Phoenix Academy.
The Phoenix – the country’s only professional club – extended their brand in 2013 to include development for younger footballers, which continues to grow to this day.
The Lower Hutt-based academy is very much keeping up with Olé and is the better-performing team of the two in Wellington’s top men’s league. They have about 150 players across five boys’ and three girls’ teams.
Though Koch doesn’t think the Phoenix’s rise has affected Olé directly, he does appreciate the competition.
“I think that the Phoenix being here [in Wellington] is great for each other because we’re both, we’re both doing the same thing, but we’re both doing it in very, very different ways.
“If you go to the Phoenix, you go to the Phoenix to try and make it to the Phoenix first team – that’s what professional clubs, that’s what their mandate.
“But [Olé's] mandate is kind of unique,” Koch explained.
“It’s what attracted me to come here is we’re here to develop and produce players for all the clubs.
“We don’t have a professional first team that, so we use the world as our motivator to get the players to different opportunities – and it’s what the guys here have done in the past.
“It’s what’s allowed players to go play for other professional clubs.”
The exodus across the past two seasons left Ole (and Western Suburbs) struggling to compete in the top competition. In 2022, Western Suburbs not only missed out on National League qualification but came close to relegation from the Central League.
After Koch came in this year, Olé has been much more competitive domestically only narrowly missing out on the summer National League.
Koch said: “We are disappointed not to make the National League after chasing a Top 4 position all season. However, we are incredibly proud of taking the club from near the bottom of the table to near the top, we played a lot of under-18 players in our first team this season and doubled our points total from last year.
“The future is bright for this group,” Koch believes, and says the club’s recent downfall was just “cyclical”.
“You go through your ups and downs and I think [Olé] had some amazing moments in its history.
“We just went through a little bit of a lull and I think everybody can feel we’re heading back in a positive direction and we want to go back and achieve special things and maybe even do even bigger and better things.
“We have the framework here. It’s a pretty special place.”
Bonnie Jansen is a Multimedia Journalist in the NZME Sports team. She’s a keen footballer and has worked with the Alternative Commentary Collective before joining the Te Rito cadetship scheme.
In the Round of 16 Venezuela went down 5-0 to Argentina and Mexico went down 5-0 to Mali. Venezuela conceded the last two goals when down to ten men in the in the last twenty minutes. Mexico conceded all five in the first fifty minutes.
Germany (without Oeudraogo who suffered a bad injury in the NZ game) had an 87th minute winner to beat the US 3-2.
Mali had 72% possession and outshot the Mexicans 28-4. Argentina had 71% possession (even higher in the first half when still eleven-vs-eleven; 72%) and outshot Venezuela 13-6. USA had 66% possession but Germany outshot them 14-13.
Just to get a wider context of how the teams in our group performed against others.