Celerity is so proud to be sponsoring local youth football team Heath Rangers Atletico for a fifth consecutive year. The team never fail in their loyalty, efforts and commitment throughout the season.
“Let me again thank you for the continued support Celerity is providing to the team. It is appreciated by everyone involved; players, parents and coaching staff. Without your support, we would not be able to provide the children with such a great experience and for that we are very grateful. Again, I can’t truly express in words how grateful we are for your continued support - Many thanks” … Tony Lowe, Manager, Heath Rangers Atletico
In the words of their manager …. Here are the highlights from their second season in the Rainhill & St Helens League, playing 9 and 11-a-side football…
Heath Rangers 2016-2017 Season
Rainhill & St Helens Winter League
The players developed and continued their excellent approach to pure football. All games were close and competitive with all teams setting a high standard within the league. Scores were always close and exciting, nerve racking games were played out every weekend. Heath Rangers Atletico pride themselves on our principles of playing football, passing and moving across the field of play, and produced fine displays of football and sportsmanship throughout the season. Although we fell just short of winning the league, the team did themselves proud and very much held their own in a very tough league.
Summer Trials & 11-a-side
As the Winter league finished, we went to summer trials. Moving to 11-a-side meant additional players were required for the squad and a new tactical challenge on the now much larger pitch\goals. At this stage in their footballing life, it is by far the biggest challenge\change the players have had, as new positions and formations are worked on, as well as trialling potential new players.
Due to our style of play and commitment to football, we were not short in potential players asking to join, however, our commitment is always to our existing players first and foremost, which only left room for three additional places. The process of selection was tough, as we had to ensure not only the player is right on the pitch for the positions we were looking at, but also their attitude matches what is expected from Heath Rangers Atletico. We were lucky enough to select three new additions to the squad, who have fitted in perfectly.
We went through the summer playing lots of friendly games trying out different formations, tactics and positional awareness. The main thing that was very noticeable to see was the sheer size of some of the pitches compared to previous seasons, however, due to the way in which Heath Rangers Atletico adopt our passing and moving approach, the team found it liberating with so much space to play in.
The Amsterdam Tournaments
This year, we managed to raise enough money to represent the club at two Amsterdam Cup Tournaments in one weekend. This year’s end of season tour was our best in terms of footballing results. We were placed in two cup tournaments played over one weekend, in groups consisting of our own age group and that of a year above. We travelled to Amsterdam by coach and ferry, travelling through the night and eventually arriving midday on the Friday, a journey not for the faint hearted! After a good rest (and a little party!), we arose on Saturday for the first tournament. After arriving at the venue we were greeted with 34 degree temperatures on a scorching hot day! The playing format was 12 teams split into two groups, 20min games of 11 aside and the winners of each group playing in a final match.
We managed to finish our group stage with 4 wins and one draw, meaning we topped our league and went through to the final, however, the most pleasing aspect, was the comments from the opposing Dutch teams, who commented how good we were as a team and the quality we displayed.
The final saw us drawn against a tough local team, who were also a year older and who had comfortably won all their group games - you could see that they were a quality side. As the time went by, both teams competed well in the middle of the pitch and no quarter was given, the temperature was still high, as was the quality on the pitch. Eventually with 5 minutes to go, Heath Rangers Atletico sprang out from defence, into midfield and into a one on one situation in 3 exquisite passes. A very cool finish in the heat made it 1 – 0 to Heath Rangers Atletico, who managed to hold out under great pressure and went on to win their first tournament of the tour… Champions!
After great celebrations, we went again in the second tournament, same format, but with different teams. Again, Heath Rangers Atletico were on fire, earning rave reviews from the opposition and even had other teams watching our matches and clapping our play, such was the intensity and tenacity on display. Again, we found ourselves in the final and such was the confidence of our players, we ran out winners, dominating from start to finish – two tournaments won! The local teams were amazed at how well we had played and even thought we were a professional academy team.
It goes a long way when one of the opposition managers talks you through Heath Rangers Atletico beating his own team and talking in-depth through each goal that we scored against them in amazement... A very successful tour!
This season we have continued in the Rainhill & St. Helens League and we have made a very good start. We continue to develop the team and have made great progress as we work our way in our first season at 11-a-side.
"An extremely successful and commendable season for Heath Rangers, making Celerity extremely proud to be sponsoring you. Two Amsterdam Tournament wins only confirms what champions you truly are…!"
*Photograph published with full permission of parents and guardians of team members