“It’s been really great with ‘Crookie’ as coach this year. He’s a top bloke so I always leave training with a smile on my face!”
An inspired comeback wasn-t quite enough for the Sydney FC National Youth League side, which went down 4-3 to the AIS in Canberra last weekend.
Young forward Blake Powell was honest in his analysis, saying that the Sky Blues simply started far too slowly.
“We copped a couple of early goals. We made basic mistakes, but they scored some good goals. We were good enough to come back in to the game, though,” he said.
Ian Crook-s side were 3-0 down, before a Jared Lum free kick sparked what was almost a sensational comeback.
“We played a really strong second half,” Powell said. We nearly pinched it at the end, unfortunately we couldn-t quite get there. But it was a great fight back from 3-0 down.”
Despite the quality of the second half, the forward pinpointed a few areas that could still be improved in the coming matches.
“We need to create more options with movement off the ball. That way, we can get the ball forward quicker. Ball speed is so important,” he observed.
“Hopefully we can keep a clean sheet and finish off our chances.”
The match was Powell-s first 90 minutes of the season, after struggling with a few knocks. He was relieved and satisfied with his own personal performance.
“It was my first full game after a couple of injuries and I scored a goal, so I can-t complain! I feel fit and strong and I-m ready to go.”
Powell is grateful for the guidance of coach Ian Crook, crediting the former Norwich City and Tottenham midfielder as a hugely positive influence.
“Last year when he was assistant coach, he used to take some of the forwards and do some drills and give us some advice on how to handle different situations,” Powell revealed.
“It-s really good to have his experience to draw on and his suggestions to take on board.”
And Powell revealed he is having plenty of fun with his football.
“It-s been really great with ‘Crookie- as coach this year. He-s a top bloke so I always leave training with a smile on my face!” he laughed.
As a young forward, you can-t ask for much more from your football experience than Crook-s combination of wisdom and humour.
Photo courtesy of Ron Hughes