An early start was made by Dave ‘Bloke’ Youd as we were greeted with one goal already erected.  It later transpired that his missus had actually put the goal up whilst he was busy sampling the wears of the Christmas Fayre. I wandered why he had slurred speech, red eyes and smelt of p*~#inot grigio.  A few notable absentees from the sidelines, Mrs Sturch who was away with the Womens Institute for a crochet convention and Mrs Waddilove who was busy with her Avon round.  I had heard rumours that they had boycotted the game due to inaccuracies with a previous report stating belly warmers were worn by the Meerkat supporters.  I take this opportunity to correct my terminology from ‘belly warmers’ to ‘Apple Catchers’ – hopefully now Mrs Sturch and Mrs Waddilove will turn up next time! Their presence was missed by all, but the noise was made up for by Abbie’s mom who could easily be mistaken for a Drill Sergeant.

A full army of Meerkat’s were at the disposal of the gaffer for the visit of the Puma’s.  He opted for a defensive set up utilising Skye in goal, Ellie and Abbie at the back, supported by Melissa, Erin, Chloe and Eloise.  The selection proved strong as the Meerkat’s embarked on the game; they battled hard and pressed the Pumas defence at every opportunity.  Some really good interplay between Melissa, Eloise and Chloe provided Chloe with the first Meerkat shot on target that whistled just wide of the upright.  Melissa put a shift in ensuring that attacks were supported and defensive duties were also maintained, this effort would prove fruitful later. Ellie and Abbie showed a great understanding of each other’s game, displaying great communication skills and position sense.  These 2 girls proved a solid defence!

The game ebbed and flowed with each team snubbing each other out! Both keepers were kept busy, foiling various sorties into their box.  The first half finished nil – nil and the Meerkat’s gathered around the gaffer for his instruction.

The second half started with Millie coming into defence with Sophie and Faith drafted into midfield. A high ball that Erin ‘The General’ Waddilove was about to head was met with a Puma boot that struck Erin in the chops! Claret was spilled yet again! Like a scene from Casualty the chief medic sprang into action, nursing the wounded warrior on the sideline.  There was a rumour on the streets that Erin’s dad had given money to the Puma defender to injure Erin, as Erin’s current win / performance bonus was wiping him out.  We have lodged an official complaint and the matter will be thoroughly investigated by the officials.  The General, nursing a thick lip sat out the remainder of the game and as a consequence of losing the General; the Meerkat’s lost shape and capitulated.  Erin was replaced with Lauren who took the left side of midfield. The Puma’s attacks were becoming more frequent and the Meerkat’s were failing to get the tackles in.  With the sustained pressure it was only a matter of time before we leaked a goal and low and behold we did! The attack from the Puma’s continued and during another sortie into the box they scored again 2-0.  Fair play to the Meerkat’s their heads never dropped and continued to try and push the game.  An attack led by Eloise who produced a speculative shot which was knocked away for a corner.  The resulting in-swinging corner taken by Eloise was like a precision guided Exocet missile that was pinpointed towards the Puma keeper, who under pressure knocked it into her own net.

Congratulations to the Puma’s on their win, they played well and fair! Enjoy this win as the Meerkat’s will be stronger next time!

Thanks to Scott Lee and a Wyrley Puma Dad for helping dismantle the goals – always entertaining to watch!

The Wyrley philosophy is to ‘Compete and Enjoy’ to which our girls prescribe! We try to give all the girls – 12 in total, some game time! The quality between the girls differs and therefore we sometimes suffer as a consequence of making substitutions’.  All we ask of the girls is to give 100% effort for the time they have been allocated within the game. The utopia is to have 12 girls all of the same quality / ability where any change to the formation won’t effect the result.  Whilst we endeavour to get there, the gaffer has a tough task and inevitably there will be upset and moaning by both the girls and the parents. Just remember where we have come from, to where we are now!! This is down to sheer hard work by Dave and the girls.  Keep up the good work

On a serious note, to ensure we (Dave and I) are doing a good job it would be good to get feedback off the girls into what they feel needs to be addressed.  Whether it be tactics, positional clarity and terminology, skills and drills or something totally different.  So with this in mind I will be giving the girls a form to fill out to detail 2 things positive and 2 things negative about the training.  We will review the results and amend our training regime to address the repeat issues first.


Good points

First half we defended well, ensuring that we marked goal side of the attacking player!

We attacked with pace and the interplay passing was excellent at times

We looked to pass and didn’t panic when we were on the ball!

We kept our heads high when we conceded a goal!


Things to work on

Removing jewellery prior to the warm up – Abbie

Fitness – certain girls were gassed very early on – unacceptable for a 20 minute half!

Pressing / forcing back the attacker – attack at the earliest opportunity

Clearing your lines – keeper distribution to the wings. Defenders, if in doubt, put it out!

Calling for the ball – Girls, you were given a name – use it!!!

Throw in’s – keep your feet on the floor and ball must be behind the head!

Heading a ball – numerous occasions instead of heading the ball we decided to duck and flinch!! –

Celebrating a goal! – Where’s the originality gone? Lets become inventive girls!

Standing goal side – girls are still asking what this means….. We have covered in numerous training sessions, but we shall cover again.


For a great battling performance during her time on the pitch Girl of the match (Managers choice) – Melissa Cooper

This week the parents voted for Eloise ’Weez’ Yates who holds onto the Sergei Meerkat thingymajig


For those who attended the Christmas Fayre thanks for your support and I hope you enjoyed the drinks and food I purchased for you.  I thought the attendance of Liam from One Direction was amazing! For a local lad to support a local organisation and to take time out of his busy schedule, it meant a lot.  For those who didn’t show up, you missed out on a great event and the girls missed out seeing one of their idols.

Maybe more Meerkat’s will show next year?





2 comments for this article:
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    Sonia Herrington - Child Protection & Welfare Officer

    Jode aka Badcop I think you’ve missed your calling in life! How funny are your reports I don’t remember you ever being this funny, does Em write them for you?? (he he) Well done Eloise!!

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