Thursday 6th April
VIKTORIA BERLIN 0 ISFA U18 1
ISFA endured a very physical 90 minute battle against FC Viktoria. Matt O'Donoghue put ISFA ahead with a finish into the roof of the net from close range after Harrison Ardron played the ball across the goal to finish off a great piece of build up play. ISFA continued to dominate the first half having a goal disallowed for a controversial offside decision.
The second half was slightly more even with ISFA having the better chances. There were a couple of heated encounters but the ISFA boys managed to hold on to the 1-0 lead and finish the tour with a superb team performance and thoroughly deserved win.
A big well done and thank you to all the ISFA U18s who will be leaving the system this year. Good luck to you all in the future and we hope you continue to play football at such a great level.
Wednesday 5th April
UNION BERLIN 6 ISFA U18 2
A poor first half performance from ISFA allowed Union Berlin to dominate from the start. ISFA struggled to maintain possession whilst Union demonstrated an outstanding tempo of play. Their domination meant that ISFA found themselves with a mountain to climb and 3-0 down at half time.
The second half was a much more even affair as ISFA settled in possession and started to ask questions of the opposition defence. Oscar Haynes-Brown pulled a much deserved goal back before Union added a fourth. ISFA continued to press and Matt O'Donoghue made it 4-2. The Union keeper was to be asked on numerous times and a Haynes-Brown shot was especially well kept out. As ISFA gave all they could, their opposition punished them at the other end to finish the game off.
Tuesday 4th April
HERTHA BERLIN 4 ISFA U18 1
Despite the scoreline ISFA started the tour with a display where they can take away immense credit for matching an academy team that was an age group older and ranked number two in Germany.
The first half was an excellent game to watch and after a fast start by Hertha the ISFA team began pressing and unsettling their German opponents, winning the ball higher and creating chances. ISFA took a deserved lead through a slick move releasing Oscar Haynes-Brown who slotted the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper. Midway through the first half ISFA's advantage was wiped out when they conceded from a well delivered corner which was headed in by an unchallenged Hertha player which was a disappointing way to concede. The half ended with both sides probing and ISFA looking dangerous in the counter attack.
Over the half time break the Hertha team was strengthened by the introduction of a German Under 19 International winger who proved to be the difference between the teams with two goals in as many minutes. This did not do ISFA justice who had a goal ruled out for offside to lead 2-1 and then were denied a penalty kick after Matt O'Donaghue had rounded the goalkeeper with the scores still at 1-1. The game remained competitive right up until the final whistle and ISFA can be proud of their start to the tour. Another tough game awaits on Wednesday against Union Berlin but on paper the hardest game of the tour is out the way.
OTHER MATCH REPORTS
Sunday 5th March
SHEFFIELD UNITED 2 ISFA U18 1
Sheffield United Training Ground
The ISFA team started off out the traps and looked to dominate much of the early possession. Some fantastic work down the left hand side resulted in Rhys Norrington-Davis getting the better of his man and putting in a few crosses but the forwards were unable to convert into goals. The ISFA team's hard work to try and get the first goal was undone by miscommunication at the back and a poor back pass resulted in the Sheffield United forward calmly rounding the keeper and stroking the ball into the back of the ISFA goal.
ISFA still looked to dominate most of the half and Will Norcross grew into the game with some great link up play and a few shots from distance. The chances grew in quick succession with Norrington-Davies putting in another cross to Oscar Hayes-Brown heading from close range but was a comfortable save for the keeper. ISFA managed to capitalise on this pressure when Will Norcross managed to weave his way through the Sheffield defence and square the ball to Haynes-Brown who finished superbly into the top right hand corner. 1-1 at half time.
Sensing that ISFA could get more out the second half, a changed shape was introduced but they were unable to better their performance from the first half. A pretty even start to the second half, with a lack of chances on both goals, made for an even contest. Unfortunately ISFA fell behind again from a bad pass at the back, resulting on Quinn McCallion saving superbly from a 1v1 but the ball was unable to be cleared and quick thinking from the Sheffield United players enabled the on rushing midfield to finish from close range. ISFA managed to create a few more chances before the end of the half, Harry Fuller coming the closest with his shot crashing off the crossbar late in the second half.
It wasn't meant to be ISFA's day in the end and Sheffield United managed to hold out in the pouring rain with final result being 2-1 to the home side. Next for ISFA is the tour to Berlin in April, where the team will face some great sides from the Bundesliga.
ISFA GO DOWN TO ENGLISH SCHOOLS
Sunday 19th February
ENGLISH SCHOOLS FA 2 ISFA U18 1
Bury FC Training Ground, Carrington
It has been many years since ISFA faced the full England schools side. This fixture represented the growth in independent Schools football and was a true demonstration of school football in the country.
ISFA started strongly and had the early chances. Harrison Ardron was the first clear one, but he was unlucky to find the inside of the post. A battering run from man of the match Rhys Norrington-Davies followed by an excellent cut back created the first goal from Will Norcross. Chances followed again for Norcross and Oscar Haynes-Brown. These were ruthlessly punished as ESFA hit on the counter on two occasions. Half time was a flattering 2-1 to the opposition.
The second half was a different affair as ESFA took control of the game. Many chances went their way but it was the ISFA defence's turn to hold strong. As the game entered the latter stages, ISFA rallied and started to threaten for an equaliser. The best chance fell to Josiah Chilaka but his shot went agonisingly just past the outside of the post. The game finished 2-1 and both teams put on an excellent display of football. Best of luck goes to ESFA who now compete to retain the Centenary Shield.
ISFA U18s next match will now be against Sheffield United FC on Sunday 5th March, kick-off 2.00pm.
LATE WELSH PENALTY DENIES ISFA
Sunday 5th February
WELSH SCHOOLS 2 ENGLAND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS 2
The New Saints FC
ISFA paid a heavy price for missed chances against the Welsh. Having had much the better of the first half, the ISFA boys had only an Oscar Haynes-Brown penalty just before half-time to show for their efforts at the break. A sloppy start to the second half and a defensive mix-up meant that Wales were soon level but ISFA gradually reasserted their hold on the game and Haynes-Brown restored the lead with a smart finish. ISFA then had the chances to make the game safe but, with seconds remaining, ISFA conceded a penalty and Wales scored the equalising goal with the last kick of the match.
ISFA GO DOWN TO AUSSIES
Sunday 15th January
ENGLAND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS 1 AUSTRALIA SCHOOLS 4
Clifton College Sports Centre
The final score does not quite reflect the very competitive and even affair for most of the match that took place on a truly outstanding surface at Clifton College.
ISFA flew out of the blocks and should have scored in the first minute. Australia grew into the game and both teams had their share of chance. Just short of the break Australia scored from a poorly cleared corner.
ISFA rallied in the second half and deserved the impressive equaliser from Oscar Haynes-Brown. Two clear-cut chances followed that were not taken. ISFA were to rue these chances though as Australia punished mistakes and were deadly on the counter. As the game opened up, Australia were able to create more opportunities, goals and a deserved win.
Further photos from this match are available from www.rwt-photography.co.uk
BERLIN CONFIRMED AS TOUR VENUE
ISFA is pleased to announce that this season's U18 and U16 Easter Tour will be to Germany, with the group based in Berlin. Amongst the teams that have agreed to play ISFA are Bundesliga outfit, Hertha Berlin.
The Tour will take place between 3rd-7th April.
ISFA U18S COMEBACK TO DRAW WITH ENGLISH COLLEGES
ISFA U18 2 - 2 English Colleges
St George's Park
It was clear from the outset that English Colleges were going to be a real challenge. Two games in the space of eighteen hours meant that it would be both a physical and mental test for the ISFA team. Both teams exchanged blows early on and the keepers were the only reason that the score was 0-0 at half time. English Colleges pushed hard in the second half and took control. They deserved their first and their second came from a mix-up in defense. ISFA looked like they had been defeated but somehow rallied with ten minutes to go. Captain George O’Malley scored to make it a frantic finish. The goal spurred ISFA on further and Matt O’Donoghue was on hand for the equaliser. Neither team could find the winner despite chances in the final minutes. Real character and mental strength on show from the team.
ISFA U18 2 – 1 Welsh Colleges
St George’s Park
The U18s found themselves in an evenly matched game with both ISFA and Welsh Colleges playing some high-quality football. ISFA looked to break the deadlock when they were awarded a penalty in the first half won and taken by Oscar Haynes-Brown. However, an excellent save from the goalkeeper kept the game level. ISFA opened the scoring in the latter stages of the first half from a well taken corner headed home by Cormac Pike. ISFA started bright in the second half, however, a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing prevented the score line increasing. In the latter stages, Merlin Ferrinho headed home a Will Norcoss cross delivered after a fluent move down the left wing. It was a nervy finish after a late Welsh Colleges goal, however, this was not enough to deny ISFA a well-earned victory to start their National representative season.
RWT Photography (www.rwt-photography.co.uk or 01733 204445) attended this match. A selection of photographs can be found on their website.
FULL SQUAD ANNOUNCED
Quinn McCallion (Bradfield)
Oran Swales (Aldenham)
Oscar Haynes-Brown (Ardingly)
James Kay (Bolton)
Joshua Tarrant (Bradfield)
Harry Fuller (Hampton)
Jamie Autorino (Harrodian)
Goerge O'Malley (Harrow)
Harrison Ardron (Millfield)
Josiah Chilaka (Shrewsbury)
Fred Francis (Millfield)
Marcus Price (Millfield)
Matt McGlinchey (Millfield)
Cormac Pike (Millfield)
Will Norcross (Repton)
Rhys Norrington-Davies (Royal Russell)
Matt O'Donoghue (Royal Russell)
Matt Weller (Royal Russell)
The Full ISFA U18 Squad will be selected after the North v. South matches on Sunday 27th November.
"ISFA Week" at The FA National Football Centre, St. George's Park)
Sunday 15th January
ENGLAND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS v. AUSTRALIA SCHOOLS
(Clifton College, 2.00)
Sunday 5th February
WELSH SCHOOLS v. ENGLAND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS
(The New Saints FC, Oswestry, 2.00)
Sunday 19th February
ISFA U18 v. ENGLISH SCHOOLS FA
(Manchester United Training Ground, Carrington, ko 12.00)
Sunday 5th March
SHEFFIELD UNITED FC v. ISFA U18
(Sheffield United Training Ground, 2.00)
More fixtures will be added in due course
3rd -7th April
OVERSEAS TOUR - Germany
(in association with Complete Sports Solutions)
Sun 12th Mar
ISFA U16 v. Millwall
(City of London School
Playing Fields, 11.00)
Mon 20th Mar
Boodles ISFA Cup Final
Millfield v. Royal Russell
(MK Dons FC, 7.00)
ISFA U18 & U16 Tour
ISFA U15 & U14 Tour
Thurs 27th Apr
ISFA U16 Shield Final
(St. George's Park, 6.00)
Sun 30th Apr
ISFA U17 v.
Scotland Independent Schools
(Altrincham FC, 2.00)