Tour proves an eye-opener

Josh Adams is pictured here (in the black socks), contesting possession with Thistle midfielder Olly Tilley. Picture by Paul Rickard
Matt McVey. Picture by Paul Rickard
Ian Cutler. Picture supplied

Josh Adams takes another step on a football journey that he hopes will lead to an All Whites shirt when he plays for Napier City Rovers in the national under-19 tournament in Napier this weekend.

Gisborne United Pacific Premiership striker Adams, Lytton High School midfielder Matt McVey and former Campion College student Ian Cutler have returned from a seven-game tour of England with the Pulse Football Academy.

And this weekend Adams and Cutler will want to make good on that experience when they play for Napier City Rovers and Napier Marist respectively in the national u19 tournament.

Adams said he enjoyed playing against footballers who were all trying to become professionals in England.

“I learned a lot and it’s made me more determined to try to make it as a footballer in New Zealand,” he said.

“I can’t wait to play in the national u19 tournament, and then I’m playing for the Hawke’s Bay team in the National Youth League over summer.

“I’m also hoping to make the senior Hawke’s Bay team, who play in the national league

“My goal is to make the All Whites but I know for that to happen I would have to leave Gisborne, which would be a tough decision.

“I have a good job with Chris Hurring Logging (as a quality controller) so I’d have to be sure of making it to leave.”

Adams travels from Gisborne to Frasertown, Wairoa, to work . . . every weekday but one.

“On Thursdays, after training in Napier, I stay overnight in Wairoa where our loader drivers stay and then come home after work on Friday.

“I have been playing in Napier before and it involves a lot of travelling, but I love playing football.”

All three youngsters agreed that the pace, technical skills and physicality of the players they came up against in England were eye-openers, and all three are already thinking about returning next year.

McVey said the players with the English clubs were technically far better and more aware than the Pulse players were.

“They got the ball down quickly and moved it on before we could close them down,” he said.

“They knew where the next pass was going before they received the ball.

“If I go back over next year — and I’d like to — I would have a better understanding of what to expect.”

McVey, Lytton’s head boy, leaves school at the end of this year and wants to play for Thistle in the Pacific Premiership next season.

He played for the Jags in the Federation League last year but as head boy he felt his loyalty was to the school this year.

“I’m not sure what I want to do after school but I’ve got a full-time job at Four Square for now and I’ll see how I go with Thistle next year, before I make any decisions.”

Pace, skill and physicality the big differences

Adams, who scored two goals in a 6-0 win against Dorking Wanderers, said the biggest differences from New Zealand football were the pace and tight marking.

“If we didn’t control the ball first time there were no second chances; they were right up close and the ball was gone.

“Their first touch was really good but I suppose you would expect that from players who are training every day, sometimes from an early age.”

Cutler, who turned 16 on the day Pulse beat Northampton 5-3 in their final game on October 10, said the tour was an amazing experience and he couldn’t wait to go back next year.

“Now all I have to do is find the money. I’m looking for a part-time job over the summer holidays.”

Pulse got their 10-day tour off to a good start with a 3-1 win against Wimbledon, all three Gisborne players taking the field at some stage.

Adams said it was a good way to start the tour, considering the team had limited time training together before the game.

“Then we came up against Charlton and lost 4-0 — that was a reality check,” he said.

“We had to switch from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1 to stop them from scoring more, and I was the one who came off.

“They were a really good team — physical, fast and good at keeping possession.”

Ipswich were up next, and Pulse lost 4-2.

“Their superior fitness killed us,” Adams said.

Pulse then played two games in one day.

They played Aldershot in the morning and drew 2-2, then beat Dorking FC 6-0 in the afternoon.

“I was put through one on one with the goalkeeper for my first goal, then got on the end of a right-wing cross and scored with a right-foot volley for my second,” Adams said.

“As a team, that was the best game we played.”

Wolves then brought the Pulse back to earth with a thud, beating the New Zealand side 6-0.

Cutler said that was the highlight for him, even though Pulse lost.

“Playing the youth team of an English Premier League club was incredible, as were the facilities.”

McVey said every game on the trip was a big learning curve but also a great experience.

“The first touch of the Wolves players was incredible . . . they’d keep possession and then switch to taking the direct route to goal.”

Adams found himself in the unfamiliar role of central defensive midfielder for the last game, a 4-2 win against Northampton.

“Paul (Seaman, Pulse Academy director) wanted to try something different, and I enjoyed it.”

Aside from the matches they played, Adams said the highlight for him was being at Wembley for the Champions League game between Barcelona and Tottenham, won 4-2 by Barcelona.

“The football was on a different level and the atmosphere inside the ground — 90,000 spectators — was something I’d never experienced.

“We also watched Watford play Bournemouth in a Premier League game, and the Watford crowd never stopped singing and supporting their team even though they lost 4-0.”

Cutler said his decision to go to Lindisfarne College in Hastings this year was a “good one”.

“I played for Napier Marist in the Pacific Premiership as well as for the school, and next year Marist will be playing in the Central Federation League, which is another step up.

“But before that I’ll be playing for the Central Federation u16 team in the national federation tournament in Wellington at the end of this year.

“I think I’ve learned heaps from playing in England and will be working on my first touch.”

Josh Adams takes another step on a football journey that he hopes will lead to an All Whites shirt when he plays for Napier City Rovers in the national under-19 tournament in Napier this weekend.

Gisborne United Pacific Premiership striker Adams, Lytton High School midfielder Matt McVey and former Campion College student Ian Cutler have returned from a seven-game tour of England with the Pulse Football Academy.

And this weekend Adams and Cutler will want to make good on that experience when they play for Napier City Rovers and Napier Marist respectively in the national u19 tournament.

Adams said he enjoyed playing against footballers who were all trying to become professionals in England.

“I learned a lot and it’s made me more determined to try to make it as a footballer in New Zealand,” he said.

“I can’t wait to play in the national u19 tournament, and then I’m playing for the Hawke’s Bay team in the National Youth League over summer.

“I’m also hoping to make the senior Hawke’s Bay team, who play in the national league

“My goal is to make the All Whites but I know for that to happen I would have to leave Gisborne, which would be a tough decision.

“I have a good job with Chris Hurring Logging (as a quality controller) so I’d have to be sure of making it to leave.”

Adams travels from Gisborne to Frasertown, Wairoa, to work . . . every weekday but one.

“On Thursdays, after training in Napier, I stay overnight in Wairoa where our loader drivers stay and then come home after work on Friday.

“I have been playing in Napier before and it involves a lot of travelling, but I love playing football.”

All three youngsters agreed that the pace, technical skills and physicality of the players they came up against in England were eye-openers, and all three are already thinking about returning next year.

McVey said the players with the English clubs were technically far better and more aware than the Pulse players were.

“They got the ball down quickly and moved it on before we could close them down,” he said.

“They knew where the next pass was going before they received the ball.

“If I go back over next year — and I’d like to — I would have a better understanding of what to expect.”

McVey, Lytton’s head boy, leaves school at the end of this year and wants to play for Thistle in the Pacific Premiership next season.

He played for the Jags in the Federation League last year but as head boy he felt his loyalty was to the school this year.

“I’m not sure what I want to do after school but I’ve got a full-time job at Four Square for now and I’ll see how I go with Thistle next year, before I make any decisions.”

Pace, skill and physicality the big differences

Adams, who scored two goals in a 6-0 win against Dorking Wanderers, said the biggest differences from New Zealand football were the pace and tight marking.

“If we didn’t control the ball first time there were no second chances; they were right up close and the ball was gone.

“Their first touch was really good but I suppose you would expect that from players who are training every day, sometimes from an early age.”

Cutler, who turned 16 on the day Pulse beat Northampton 5-3 in their final game on October 10, said the tour was an amazing experience and he couldn’t wait to go back next year.

“Now all I have to do is find the money. I’m looking for a part-time job over the summer holidays.”

Pulse got their 10-day tour off to a good start with a 3-1 win against Wimbledon, all three Gisborne players taking the field at some stage.

Adams said it was a good way to start the tour, considering the team had limited time training together before the game.

“Then we came up against Charlton and lost 4-0 — that was a reality check,” he said.

“We had to switch from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1 to stop them from scoring more, and I was the one who came off.

“They were a really good team — physical, fast and good at keeping possession.”

Ipswich were up next, and Pulse lost 4-2.

“Their superior fitness killed us,” Adams said.

Pulse then played two games in one day.

They played Aldershot in the morning and drew 2-2, then beat Dorking FC 6-0 in the afternoon.

“I was put through one on one with the goalkeeper for my first goal, then got on the end of a right-wing cross and scored with a right-foot volley for my second,” Adams said.

“As a team, that was the best game we played.”

Wolves then brought the Pulse back to earth with a thud, beating the New Zealand side 6-0.

Cutler said that was the highlight for him, even though Pulse lost.

“Playing the youth team of an English Premier League club was incredible, as were the facilities.”

McVey said every game on the trip was a big learning curve but also a great experience.

“The first touch of the Wolves players was incredible . . . they’d keep possession and then switch to taking the direct route to goal.”

Adams found himself in the unfamiliar role of central defensive midfielder for the last game, a 4-2 win against Northampton.

“Paul (Seaman, Pulse Academy director) wanted to try something different, and I enjoyed it.”

Aside from the matches they played, Adams said the highlight for him was being at Wembley for the Champions League game between Barcelona and Tottenham, won 4-2 by Barcelona.

“The football was on a different level and the atmosphere inside the ground — 90,000 spectators — was something I’d never experienced.

“We also watched Watford play Bournemouth in a Premier League game, and the Watford crowd never stopped singing and supporting their team even though they lost 4-0.”

Cutler said his decision to go to Lindisfarne College in Hastings this year was a “good one”.

“I played for Napier Marist in the Pacific Premiership as well as for the school, and next year Marist will be playing in the Central Federation League, which is another step up.

“But before that I’ll be playing for the Central Federation u16 team in the national federation tournament in Wellington at the end of this year.

“I think I’ve learned heaps from playing in England and will be working on my first touch.”

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