On March 12th, 2017 BEFC Ladies (BELFC) took part in the Shibuya FA's Ladies 8 aside Cup competition at Shibuya Sports Center in Hatagaya. The tournament consisted of 10 teams split into two groups who played 4 matches over the event.
Being BELFC's second outing as a team, and first time playing 8vs8 it was going to be intense and a learning experience, especially as the rest of the teams all came from established clubs already playing in 8 vs 8 leagues. Nevertheless it was a great opportunity to get out and play football together, work on team chemistry and enjoy a beautiful day of competitive football!
It's fair to say that some of the teams in this tournament were seriously good, and that was expected. It was also nice just to see the sort of level that can be aspired to and what it is like to play with league level teams and appreciate some of the talent on show. BELFC put in a series of valiant performances, and improved significantly with each game. The difference between futsal and 8 vs 8 is also significant, so it was also expected plenty of matches were needed for the team not only to get used to it, but also figure out the best system and placement of team members to suit the different style. It also revealed different strengths and skills in players not so evident on a futsal court but noticeable in a full pitch soccer style. The tournament itself was very well run and organised, with all the other teams and referees welcoming and looking like they were enjoying themselves too.
In all the matches BELFC showed what they were made of, and not massively outclassed even when having to draft in different players over the course of the competion due to members not being available for the entire day. With the consideration that some players brought in had barely played football before, against established league teams was pretty impressive. The most obvious difference was lack of familiarity with each other, and how to play collectively with regards to positioning in 8vs8. You could see in the opposition who had a system in place to be able to pass the ball around in patterns and know who to pick out. While BELFC wasn't going to have this yet, but they often won the dominance in challenges and excelled at shutting down attacks even when caught out positionally, which shows the potential that as the team grows they can be a force to be reckoned with!
This ability, tenacity and immense team spirit inspired not only new players to join BELFC, but new members who had never really played football to want to begin!! The most excellent result from the Shibuya Smile8 Cup!
You can see more pictures of the BELFC at the Shibuya Smile8 Cup in our Facebook photo album