Coach Corner: Force vs NO Jesters


Force versus New Orleans

Head Coach, Derek Broadley’s Game Summary



After boarding a bus straight after the game in Florida we drove 3 hours 45 minutes to New Orleans to check into our new hotel at around 11.30 at night. The players re fuelled on route and we settled down to get some well earned rest.


The players were allowed an extended lie in, a brunch and then settled down to watch the champions league final.


We arrived at the New Orleans stadium 2 hours prior to kickoff and the weather was cooled to be a comfortable night for soccer. The Force players have been training daily with some double sessions in preparation for this weekend over the past couple of weeks and all players were physically ready to play. Trystan was ruled out with the injury picked up in Florida but the good news was that Dalton had recovered to be involved in the game, as was Rummy who was hurting but declared himself fit to start.


As a coach you have to make decisions that you have to explain to players and the team in order to get their buy in. This game was an example of this: Rummy was going to start and if he broke down Ronnie would step in, if I started with Ronnie and he got injured, then Rummy broke down, we would be in trouble.  The same with Dalton, if he starts and breaks down we make one sub, if we replace Dalton with a sub and he breaks down, then that is 2 subs! Therefore the starting lineup had a couple of changes from the night before. All of the players were informed and supported this logic and were good to get going.


The game started with the Force managing the ball for long periods and yet again for the 3rd game running, creating some good early chances. But, after 12 minutes we conceded a goal that was preventable, some poor communication led to some slow play in our six-yard box for an opposition player to nip in and score a goal against the run of play. The pleasing thing for the coaching staff is that this current group of Force players have some very good self belief and even though they conceded an early goal, the kept on playing and creating chances. We had 2-3 very good opportunities from corners with the Jesters goalkeeper making some fine saves.


Half time yet again forced us to make a change due to injury.  Dalton gave a full 45 minutes but insisted that he needed to be brought off as to not let the team down. Subs were going to have a big bearing on this game due to this being our second game in 24 hours. We replace Dalton with Travis and were confident that this would maintain our dominance. The second half started and again the Force got on top very quickly. We manage possession well and got our reward when Michael came up for a set play, he was very clever dribbling into the box and squared a pass to Marius who controlled, turn quickly and shot powerfully into the net. This spurred on the Force players who went onto have 3 really good 1v1 situations and yet again the keeper made some very goods saves. After 75 minutes, the exploits of the previous game started to catch up with us and we started to look and closing out the game without getting beat. Changes were made to secure the team to achieve this, Robbie, Nick, Kyle, Jack-o all came on and we change the shape slightly to maintain the draw. We did have one final chance to get the win with Nial rounding their keeper on for him to be forced wide where he could not shoot. The game was played out comfortably with NO only having two shots from distance. The Force had successfully achieved 4 point on the road that hopefully will inspire them to kick on going forward. An overnight trip back to Knoxville on the bus was the conclusion of a very tiring weekend.