Yesterday was the U13, u15s and U17s cup finals at Toryglen Sport Centre and I was very proud to be a part of it with the finalists of the u15s and u17s Hibernian Girls. And also to see players from Hearts who I have been working with at the City of Edinburgh Academy playing in the under 13s and also many players from the international youth set up supporting the players on the park.
It was great to be part of the Hibs family for the day, from the bus banter to the amazing parents feeding us throughout the game. I felt very privledged to have psychology session prior to the game with the girls.
The under 15s were phenomenal and gave the crowd a very exciting game to watch. It was great to see each player commit to the goal they had set for game and not only achieve but exceed expectations.
Kirsty Jefferies made some unbelievable saves and one in the last couple of minutes which left tears in my eyes of amazement. The gasp of the crowd as this young girl saved a shot which looked certain to go in. Amazing.
Lauren Watters stood up to take a penalty which turned out to be the game winner. Calm and composed she was able to put the ball in the back of the net! Incredible. I was also high fiving the air with her delivery of set pieces but also her maradona move to a pass in the second half.
Morgan Turner was exceptional. The girl continued to work at 100% throughout the game and seemed like she had glue on boots to be able to keep the ball so many times and she weaves in and out of players. Roll overs, turns and spins, she was outstanding. Well done player of the match.
Nina Mason, the captain, used her speed and determination to be in control of the defense and also being motivator for others. She was hard working throughout the game and a role model for her team.
Little Ellis Notley, made an amazing tackle to save the day when the City player was through on goal after weaving through many players with magnificent footwork. However, Ellis came to the rescue, sliding in to take the ball! Woah!
Ellie Fairgrieve and Kirsty Morrison up front were a hard working tag team. Kirsty working her socks off not only defending from the front but sprinting back on occasion to help our. Amazing engine. Ellie held the ball up well and continued to put the keeper under pressure by taking many shots.
Chloe Sinclair worked hard up and down the wing and was always an option for her team mates. Lyncho, made great passes from defence and made some brilliant tackles along with her fellow defenders Sophie Kay and Megan Kerr. Megan's ability to make long passes into the corners for the strikers was incredible. Her kicking ability puts is older players to shame ;)!
All players played a part in making this a successful day for the team. The players who came on made a difference as well as the subs and supporters on the bench who provided encouragement. You should all be so proud of yourself!
Well done girls! You were all an inspiration.
Unfortunately I didn't get to see all of the under 17s game and hope that they were happy with their performance regardless of the score. Sometimes I think it's difficult playing in the last game on a big day. You could see that when the under 15s won the cup, they were all so extremely happy for them and were buzzing for them too. I know that after watching the 15s I used up all my energy from being so buzzing from an exciting game, that is hard to restore all that for a big match. A long day for them and lots of excited feelings makes it difficult to stay relaxed and store up energy and adrenalin for own performance. The closeness between the two teams is great and it's very nice when you can see sincere happiness for each other. Well done girls!
Tracy Donachie, MSc in Performance Psychology.