The fallout from the Severn Sport Shield 2019 continues and we turn our attentions to the big one, the team of the tournament!
After a tournament that saw 31 goals in the 4 games played, the selections for team of the tournament were hard, horrifically hard.
During the week we saw an 11 goal final, as Cheltenham Saracens edged Tuffley Rovers 6-5 to lift the Shield and become reigning champions, whilst Longlevens ran out 4-2 winners against Gloucester City U18s to take 3rd place earlier in the day.
This coming after Saracens and Longlevens played bout a 5-2 game on the Wednesday night semi final, 24 hours after Tuffley Rovers put 6 past Gloucester City U18s to book their place in the final as hosts.
So with that being said, let’s get to it – starting with goalkeeper!
Goalkeeper – Alex Avenell (Tuffley Rovers)
Straight off the bat people will look at this and think “are you sure? He let in 6 goals in the final?” But, Avenell is the only keeper to have played 180 minutes in the tournament. He showed competency with both hands and feet and he backed up his defence, in particular in the first game.
If we look at the goals Avenell let in, he was beaten by some stunners. Keivani’s low driven shot was right in the corner, Mahon’s first free kick nearly unstoppable and the only goal you could question him over really was the second free kick that appeared to bounce under him…but overall a great showing from the Cheltenham U18s keeper.
Right Back – Sam Hill (Tuffley Rovers)
Say what you like about Sam Hill, but he is a very good right back and a great entertainer. He throws in nutmegs, throws himself to the ground to try and win penalties but plays the game in the right way. He makes the team for his supporting role to Ryan Caddock on the right side in the final, as well as marshalling the right channel against Gloucester City U18s.
Hill continues to be one of the best full backs in the county (at Hellenic League level in particular) and earns a spot in the team.
Centre Back – Matt Barnard (Cheltenham Saracens)
The first of the winning side to make the team and what a tournament Barnard had. He stuck to Brad Martin like glue on Wednesday night and it limited what Martin could do in front of goal. As a side Sarries didn’t defend set pieces well enough and that was where Martin’s goal came. Everything in open play it seemed Barnard read superbly and dealt with.
In the final he had a solid showing again and manage to read the play very well, in particular in the second half. It was the first time I saw Barnard play and I was very, very impressed.
Centre Back – Josh Westcarr (Longlevens)
One of Kelsey’s first names on the teamsheet. The man mountain Westcarr was superb across the two games for Longlevens. He contributed defensively, as well as in attack during the 3rd place play-off with his long throw ins.
Craig Martin is a fan of this man and after getting Westcarr into the fold towards the back end of last season’s relegation survival bid, so it is no wonder to see him get a full pre-season with the first team and you would expect him to have a prominent role for Longlevens this term.
Left Back – Ed Berry (Gloucester City U18s)
What do we like to see from our full backs? Full backs who aren’t afraid to get forward! Well add Berry to that list after this week. A delightful chip for the Young Tigers saw them reduce the deficit in the 3rd place play-off, but Berry had impressed us way before then.
Two competent performances from a young man not afraid to get in amongst it at both ends. He defended well and supported the play on the left wing. One of many City U18s plays to see their stock rise after their Shield appearance.
Right Midfield – Kai Mahon (Cheltenham Saracens)
The tournament’s top scorer. The man who scored a hattrick in the final and went on to win the Man of the Match trophy in the match. For me, my player of the tournament. Do I need to say anymore? Well, he is at right midfield , despite playing a lot of both games at left midfield, because I wanted to fit another left midfielder in (all will be revealed).
Centre Midfield – Jordan Bryan (Cheltenham Saracens)
Bryan went off in the final after 4 minutes, yet he still makes the team. That is how good this man was in the semi final. Two goals and a man of the match performance against Longlevens inspired Sarries into the final and whilst losing him could have been a major blow for the Hellenic League Division One West side, they managed to keep up their performance level. Bryan though, showed that he will be a big player for Saracens this season.
Centre Midfield – Jack Beardsell (Tuffley Rovers)
Beardsell was outstanding on Tuesday night. He scored a crucial third goal on the night, and what a goal it was! A good 35 yards out and he thrashed it into the top corner and really, it capped a superb performance for the man who has made the move to Tuffley from rivals Fairford.
Everytime I had seen Beardsell before the tournament he had played in a wider role, so it was a nice change to see him play centrally and see a lot of the ball. He could be a useful player for Rovers in the middle of the park with the likes of Warren Mann, Dom Kent and Paul Carter. Definitely one to watch this season.
Left Midfield – Jeremiah Idowu (Tuffley Rovers)
Future quiz questions will ask, “Who was the first player to score a hattrick in a Severn Sport Shield game?” The answer? Jez Idowu. Idowu is a man we first saw for Cheltenham Town U18s last season and he was outstanding. A real talent that plays with a smile on his face and he went on to make the team of the month that month.
Fast forward to now and he again, played the game in the right way this week and was exciting to watch, even against a tough Cheltenham Saracens side. We said on Tuesday night that Tuffley need to get him signed up pronto and that remains the case!
Striker – Ellis Waugh (Longlevens/Tuffley Rovers)
Ellis Waugh makes the team because he played 3, scored 3 and what I enjoyed about the goals the most is that they were all from inside the area. Two of them were instinctive strikers finishes and the other was a lovely slotted finished in a one on one. He is a big man yet showed the agility to take players on and it isn’t a wonder why both Tuffley and Longlevens are chasing him this summer.
He also has the nice stat of being first player to score in the Severn Sport Shield for two different clubs!
Striker – Brad Martin (Longlevens)
The final spot was between Brad Martin and Harlie Price and simply down to the fact Martin netted three times he makes the cut. With new and young players around him in both matches, Martin had to put in shifts for the team and lead by example and he did that well.
A bullet header against Saracens gave Longlevens a perfect start, whilst a cracking volley and a looping header against Gloucester City U18s put his team in a then commanding position. Was given the armband for the second game and lead from the front.
And there we have it. The XI completed. After much deliberation we have named five substitutes as our shortlist was simply too long to cut down to three subs. So here the honourable mentions that make the subs bench:
James Unwin (Gloucester City U18s)
Ethan McMahon (Longlevens)
Harlie Price (Cheltenham Saracens)
Jamie Hammond (Cheltenham Saracens)
Jake Rhodes (Tuffley Rovers)
Lastly, both Kelsey and I have named our goal of the tournament. Amazingly, we didn’t pick the same one….shock, us disagreeing!
Kelsey: I’ve gone for Jack Beardsell’s goal vs Gloucester City u18s. What a strike! Picking it up 35 yards from goal and putting it in the top corner like that, at a time when City had just started getting back into the game, was crucial for the game. It was a stunner and whilst we have seen a lot of great goals this week, that strike was unstoppable!
Ryan: For me I was torn between Brad Martin’s volley against Gloucester City u18s and the goal I am going for, Kai Mahon’s first free kick against Tuffley Rovers in the final. You’re talking four minutes into a final, albeit in pre-season, and you’re talking about a player curling an unbelievable free kick across the keeper into the top corner. It was simply breath-taking and it set the tone for an incredible 90 minutes!
Once again, thank you to everyone who made the Severn Sport Shield 2019 a success, see you all for next year’s tournament. We are currently in negotiations with a prospective host of the 2020 event, so we will keep you updated along the way!