23/24 - The Word in the Wood #15

Posted on 16th December, 2023

U15 Boys played their last game of 2023 facing an Enfield Town side that had collectively beaten them 11-1 over the 3 previous encounters. Far away from home on a wind exposed, difficult surface, the boys could only get something from the game by pulling together and mucking in; anything less would result in another thrashing.


To the delight of the staff and Wood die-hards in the stands, the boys were fantastic to a man, rolling up their sleeves and going to work with energy and total commitment; no one pulling out of that or leaving a team-mate to do his running. After the Wood were denied strong penalty shouts in the opening exchanges, Enfield took the lead from a cross that was poked home by an unmarked striker. Both cross and shot were preventable but, this was a day for fighting hard and the Wood came straight back, the impressive Fan throwing himself fearlessly at the home keeper before he could gather cleanly and slamming the ball home thereafter.


With parity restored the Wood surged forward, confidence coursing through their veins! Keeper Marshall was solid and claiming everything with assurance, at the back, Reed, MoM Hones, Boshjaku & Manning were combative, winning headers and making vital interventions. In holding midfield, Pop and Cruecfix were closing down quickly and effectively, while in attacking midfield, Fan, Song, Montgomery, Hobbs, Makamian & Silva were in outstanding form, offering for the ball and passing nicely but, getting down and dirty when required also. Up front, Ifeacho and Green probed continually and looked a threat throughout.


As they ramped up the pressure, Enfield creaked and Fan struck again, dispatching a fine Silva corner with that same determination that led to his first. Enfield managed an equaliser as the game went from end to end, a lofted cross somehow evading everyone to nestle in the net. However, the Wood went on to secure a very good away point, their first against this opponent but, certainly not their last as the gradually come to terms with the top level football they now operate at.


The boys worked so hard to end the year on a high and are now unbeaten in 3 matches. Under the watchful eye of their manager and Wood behemoth coaches Paul & Marcus, they've taken on a massive challenge this season, playing in a division where each team contains huge physical specimens, whippet like speedsters and players of elite technical ability. At the start, they didn't know how it would play out but, they've worked so tremendously hard and faithfully followed their coaching staff's exhortations to improve their games. As a result, they've featured from the off, have secured multiple league wins and draws, remain in both cups and are eagerly looking forward to 2024 kicking off as it could be their year to compete in a final? Big props to them all and the club are thrilled with their progression and, as our senior side, proud of their growing maturity and leadership.




Our U14 Boys faced a tough task away against a very good FITS side in the league; a genuine top of the table clash with the teams never facing each other previously.


The boys have been in fantastic form but, knew the challenge today would be great and likely require a step up in intensity. That proved the case with FITS running out convincing winners as the Wood struggled to raise their game on this occasion. However, much was learnt and the boys will be ready for the rubber match next year. Staszewski did find the energy and quality required, scoring a goal, securing MoM, and no doubt leading the side forward in 2024 as he has done throughout his outstanding tenure at the club.


Under the expert management of Craig and coach Sam, the boys have had a tremendous season thus far and sit very handily in the league, winning game after game. They remain in both League and Challenge cups and have made excellent additions to a squad that was already thriving and maturing well. As such, the second half of the season will follow with much anticpation and the guys can be very proud of what they've achieved already; without any doubt at all, the club shares that pride and is delighted with their efforts.




Our U13 Boys played away at HMH Eagles today missing several players. This allowed those in attendance to have a good run out and the boys had a go though were ultimately unable to score. MoM went to Ward who continues his excellent run of form and competed really well all match.


It's been a tough season at times for the boys but, with a first class manager in Frank, supported by excellent coaches in Greg and Grant, the squad is improving and more than capable of holding their own in the league. So much has been learnt this first half of the season and with time to absorb this properly over the Xmas break, the guys will be back in 2024 with all guns blazing. Their desire to keep going and their refusal to give up is admirable and says so much for the character within this unit. Everyone at the club is very proud of them indeed and could they spring a few surprises next year; you bet they can!



Our U13 Girls had another rain ruined day but, end 2023 very much on a high. The squad took on a very tough assignment by entering the top division this season but, they've risen superbly to the challenge and performed fantastically well, being a match for anyone on any occasion. Manager Dave, coaches Richard and Joe, and Sarah, the girls' special mentor, give everything and leave no stone unturned in their training and preparation of what is a very talented group of young women who have the ability and drive to reach the very top. The club continues to take great pride in all their achievements and eagerly awaits the next chapter in their story to unfold!   




The Wood's U9 Girls flew back into action as they made the trip to the ‘Metropolitan Police Sports Venue’ to play a very experienced Garston Ladies; despite it being the season to be jolly, the girls had their game faces on and were ready for action!


Captain Gracie led the team out and like all good Captains made sure her fellow team-mates were motivated and knew what was needed from them. The first 5 minutes got off to a blistering start and Garston showed their experience with darting runs and smooth passes. However, Borehamwood displayed grit and determination and batted these away.


Sienna took up her usual position of central defence and could be seen making game changing clearances and ferocious tackles, all the time with the support of our super star midfielders Amber and Tippi. Amber once again used her footballing brain to read the game superbly, often tracking back to help with defence, while Tippi on the other hand played more of an attacking midfield position and pushed forwards to help the strikers; on numerous occasions coming within a whisker of scoring.


The game was in full flow now with end to end action and the crowd were going wild; despite being the away support, the Wood was by far the loudest! This spurred Emilia on to show off her trade mark wizardry, dribbling the ball past player after player and making pin-point accurate passes.


We were now entering the second half of the game, but the girls looked as fresh as ever. Elsie took up the role of striker along with Daisy and their partnership was a match made in heaven. Elsie showed tremendous skill and strength and a frustrated Garston team could not get anywhere near her. Daisy could be seen powering her way through the opposition and like previous matches was hungry for a goal…..surely one was coming soon? It was now time for a shift in gear; the girls were motoring forward. Gracie played the ball out wide to Amber, Amber took a couple of touches and passed to Elsie, Elsie shielded the ball well and managed to turn a player, she looked up and saw Daisy was unmarked. It was now time to put their partnership into action and Elsie did not fail; she passed to Daisy, who did not have to wait for an invitation to pounce and despite being only a few yards in the opposition's half, pulled her right foot back and released an almighty shot that flew through the air and in to the back of the net! It was a goal that the likes of Ronaldo and Becks could only dream of.


With only 10 minutes left, Borehamwood needed a couple of players to hold things together and keep the team spirits high and who better to do that than Polly and Olivia. Polly showed her experience and bravery, never flinching from a challenge and making brilliant runs down the wing. Olivia played an integral part in defence, and despite it only being her second game, she performed like a seasoned pro making superb passes and effortless tackles.


It was all Borehamwood, the strikers were pushing forwards all the time making shot after shot. You could tell Garston were wishing the ref would blow for full time and luckily for them it did! Like in past matches the Wood left the pitch with their heads held high, big smiles on their faces and the energy and enthusiasm shown in the first minute of the game. Once again, the girls out worked the opposition and never gave up, much to the admiration of the travelling fans and coaches.


As 2023 draws to a close, we can reflect on the huge success of this team, which started with just one or two players back in March. Since then, interest has sky-rocketed, with upwards of 20 local girls involved in training and playing matches; they have loved every minute of it too! It's been an unrivalled success story and so much credit for this goes to our manager Gareth, managing his first juniors' team but, showing a tremendous natural aptitude for the role, both from a football perspective but, equally in his calm and considered demeanour that encourages little people to relax and have fun. In completing this role, he has enjoyed the unstinting support of three Wood legends - Susie, Katie and Lia - who have provided guidance and assistance at training and games, as well as that vital feminine touch and mentoring that all our girls look up to. With a first-class parent base that has shown itself to be incredibly supportive and totally committed, the foundations of this squad are rock solid and as night follows day, they will go forward to great things together. The club just couldn't be more proud of them all.