The journey was all about tactics. Who would play where, who would be goalkeeper – and who had forgotten their socks and shin-pads! It was a great journey, the children in the teams who had played the tournament last year telling their stories of prior success. Everyone was eager to get to BCIS and create new tales to tell for the future.
The competition at this year’s exchange was high. Our Boys A-Team, comprising the Year 6 boys, had four difficult matches to play. They were captained by one of the two new School Sports Captain’s, Seiya Kakita, who led by example. He took the role of defensive anchorman and spent every match tirelessly running up and down the field, supporting, attacking and defending. He was helped by Ben Aurel Nels-Gstattenbaur in goal, and together they formed a great defensive partnership. The cohesion of the team resulted in 2 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. The unluckiest player of the tournament was Edgar Kitokezi who hit the post with a fine chance!
BSB Sanlitun girls’ team took to the stage with emphatic style. Led by our other new School Sports Captain, Manon Dodet, the girls worked very well together. They remembered how to play as a team, attacking and defending as one. This fantastic display of teamwork led to 3 wins and only 1 loss! They really played well and were great to watch.
Finally, the Boys B-Team gave us a little hint of hopefully more to come. A powerful partnership from Gaspar Cortes Thonon and Archie Carlin netted a haul of goals, all taken in fine style. They read each other as though they had been playing together for years – but in fact this was their first time on a field; Archie has only just arrived from The British school of Guangzhou! He showed excellent composure in his finishing and in one game scored a terrific hat-trick. The defense of the boys B team was equally as solid, led by Kevin Li, who, in moments, resembled a young Graeme Souness, stamping down his authority at every opportunity.
Although the Football Exchange is a display of soccer skills, above all, it is about having fun and playing sport in a friendly fashion. Our children did this remarkably well and were a great reflection of everything that we try to teach them at BSB Sanlitun. The teams supported each other, at the end of every match our children were the first to shake hands with the opposition and they all left with big smiles on their faces. Mr Jay and I were very proud coaches indeed! Well done to all the U11 teams from BSB Sanlitun!