Well what a week that was. Four games over three matchdays with an England World Cup Semi Final in between. The Severn Sport Shield produced plenty of action in its first run.
Gloucester City, Longlevens & Tuffley Rovers headed down to Slimbridge and together with their hosts they put on a show for us over the course of the two semi finals, third place play off and final. Ultimately it was the National League South side who will go down in history as the first ever Severn Sport Shield winners, after they beat a game Longlevens 4-2 in the final on Saturday.
Slimbridge defeated Tuffley to finish third and to continue the great work by manager Lee Driver-Dickerson in bringing in and bedding in new talent.
We are going to honour those players who stood out for their performances by naming our team of the tournament for the week but we would like to thank every player who took part in the tournament as the standard of performance as well as all four games being played in the greatest of spirits.
Without delaying any further here is the Severn Sport Shield Team Of The Tournament.
Goalkeeper – Eric Edge (Slimbridge)
Eric Edge gets the goalkeeper jersey for keeping Gloucester City at bay for the most part on Tuesday night and helping his new side claim the bronze position in convincing fashion.
Having trained with both Slimbridge and Tuffley this pre-season Edge is now a Swan and he will be looking to inspire his new look side into building on surviving relegation last season.
Right Back – James Barnett (Longlevens)
A number of players in this team are new to their clubs, including Barnett. We saw him at Saw Mills against Cirencester Town at the end of June and whilst he didn’t do anything outstanding he did the majority of the basics correctly.
Barnett played at right back against Tuffley and helped his new side keep a clean sheet and control the game whilst he moved to right centre back of a back five against Gloucester. His long throw was used as ammunition in what was a terrific second half for the Hellenic League side.
Centre Back – Kieran Squires (Longlevens)
Just like Barnett before him Kieran Squires makes the team after two more solid performances to add to his second half display against Cirencester Town. Squires has laid down a marker for the new season that he is no longer looking to sit on the bench, he wants to play football and if he keeps himself fit he could have a handy season for Longlevens.
Squires was awarded the Severn Sport Man Of The Match for the final following his display that improved by the minute, which included a second goal for Longlevens on the day.
Centre Back – Christien Turner (Slimbridge)
Turner makes the team after his performance against Gloucester City. Due to personal reasons he missed the third place play off but has warranted recognition for his performance on Tuesday night.
In the second half in particular as Gloucester looked to assert their dominance Turner was at the heart of every defensive block and tackle from the Slimbridge back line. He wore the captains armband and looked like he had been wearing it for years! The Slimbridge fans will adore this man this season.
Left Back – Joe Tryner (Slimbridge)
I liked Tryner’s performances as he gave it his absolute all. Like Barnett for Longlevens he is making a considerable leap at this new club and whilst you know it won’t go right for him 100% of the time, you get the sense that he has the capabilities to grow into a very handy player.
For me Tryner is in big boots to fill. The departing Adam Mace has vacated that left back slot and whilst he wasn’t the best left back ever he was a fans favourite, but if Tryner keeps putting in performances like we saw this week then he will do absolutely fine.
Right Midfield – Dan King (Gloucester City)
Dan King was one of the stars of the tournament. When we were putting it all together we were hoping that some of the younger players would grab their chance and build a future in the game for themselves and boy did King do that.
Not only did he score lovely and well taken goals but he turned heads doing it. His first, the second on the night against Slimbridge was an absolute beauty and was probably the goal of the tournament. He took the ball out of the sky, shifted the ball onto his left and curled it home from about 25-30 yards out. His second was a sweeping finish in the final.
Before the tournament started not every City fan knew who Dan King was but by the end of it he is the one they are all talking about.
Centre Midfield – Joe Hanks (Gloucester City)
We all know how good Joe Hanks can be on his day. He has the ability to unlock defences, play the right pass and he can also chip in with the odd spectacular goal or two himself. He scored two well taken goals during the tournament but played with control and ability that City fans will be hopeful of seeing plenty more of this season.
Hanks scored the very first goal of the Severn Sport Shield on Tuesday night and repeated breaking the deadlock, inside the first minute or so of the final. Hanks is class on and off the ball and showed it.
Centre Midfield – Henry Birkett (Slimbridge)
Say what you want about Henry Birkett but there is one thing you can’t deny and that is his quality. He came on at the break against Gloucester City and he immediately elevated Slimbridge’s game. He showed his class on the ball and just how good his footballing brain is.
He was given the captain’s armband against Tuffley and it was a stroke of genius really. He was in inspired form and got the goal his performances deserved. One thing I like about him is that without fail Birkett is the first player out warming up and getting ready for the game.
Left Midfield – Adam Page (Gloucester City)
Page completes the City treble in midfield. He has returned to the Tigers and he looks like he can add an extra dynamic to the way City play. He is so quick on and off the ball and with the ball at his feet he runs with such power! He will take defenders on, get to the byline and deliver time after time. A quality asset for Marc Richards’ men.
Striker – Myron Turner (Longlevens)
Turner put in one of the best performances as an individual on Thursday night, scoring the opener inside the first 5 minutes against Tuffley. He ran the channels well and linked up with 18 year old Isaac Johns incredibly well. He came back on during the second half in a deeper role and it showed the character of the man. He will play anywhere to benefit the team, Turner is simply a player any manager would want.
With Brad Martin off to Bishops Cleeve it is a big season for Turner, who is looking to build on his breakthrough season last term and on last week’s showing it is a certainty.
Striker – Jake Mawford (Gloucester City)
Mawford could have made this team in either of the forward positions or anywhere in the midfield…that is how much turf he covered throughout the week. Any City fans in attendance on Tuesday or Saturday would have seen how effective and efficient he is. The former Weston man took his goal well in the final and was a constant threat during both matches.
Mawford’s link up play with the likes of King, Page & Hanks in particular will be something that will excite Gloucester fans as their pre-season goes on and into the new season.
And there we go. The starting XI of the Severn Sport Shield Team Of The Tournament is complete. Now it is time for the subs, and just like in pre-season where you see more substitutions we have six subs instead of the usual three. These players caught the eye of us but just missed out on the starting XI.
Sam Mendes (Slimbridge) – Two very good showings for Mendes and a well taken free kick to get on the scoreboard on Saturday.
Max Harper-Emerson (Slimbridge) – Turned into Lionel Messi from left back as he weaved his way through to score a sumptuous second against Tuffley.
Macaulay Herbert (Tuffley Rovers) – Had his hands full tracking Myron Turner on Thursday and a late injury forced him off on Saturday. The only consistent in Tuffley’s defence at the moment due to injuries but he consistently perfoms.
Ryan Dobbins (Tuffley Rovers) – An impressive first touch and link up play. Fed off scraps against Longlevens but then took his chance when it came against Slimbridge. If he gets the service, he will score this season.
Dave Rich (Longlevens) – What a superb second half against Gloucester for the experienced Rich. There were question marks about whether he would stay on at the end of last season, Longlevens will be glad he has stayed.
Isaac Johns (Longlevens) – 16 years old. He is scarily good. He was upsetting and riling National League South defenders and caused them problems. Grabbed an assist in the final and nearly scored on two occasions against Tuffley. A young man with a very bright future.
And there we have it. The Severn Sport Shield Team Of The Tournament is complete. Once again thank you to everyone who helped make the Severn Sport Shield a success. We can’t wait to run it again at Tuffley Rovers’ Glevum Park next year. We will be announcing next year’s participants nearer to Christmas but Tuffley will be there as hosts and we have invited Gloucester City to return as defending champions.