Club Development Day has morphed over the years to something resembling our agenda this weekend gone:

  1. OTFC Vets are to beat arch derby rivals over 90 mins
  2. OTFC Seniors and Tiffin School to mingle and gain future relationships bolstering our playing squad in years to come via a round robin tournament
  3. Food and drinks

So how did we do?

Well it was evident from the off that this crop of school pupils are far more on trend than their alumni now playing for the old boys. The School arrived fashionably late… very fashionably in fact. However OTFC entertained themselves with the well know warm up session adopted by most Saturday football teams across the country… and pelted 5 or 6 balls at a lone keeper for an extended period.

The day was certainly a busy one. In total, the OTFC teams fielded 64 players. Whilst the Tiffin boys also brought two (ish) teams to play. A round robin tournament ensued with 20 minute matches.

OTFC had decided in advance to mix their squads, but to keep cores… i.e. a 1s defence might play with a 3s midfield and a 2s attack for example. The school on the other hand started with a system where everyone of their players ran after the ball regardless of position. Seeing this didn’t work for them, the school teams started to organise. However doing this on the hoof and during play might have caused a little confusion. There were lots of matches to play and time to get it right. The school soon brought some highly competitive football and some great moves (and goals) to the tournament. Despite being generally a rugby school, Tiffin boys impress in their footballing knowledge and prowess. Throughout the day, games became more and more competitive and the school became more and more formidable.

Meanwhile the Vets kicked off on the adjacent pitch. Nervous tension could be felt across the cricket square as this “must-win” fixture took shape.

Back in the tournament, the OTFC teams playing well were teams of players that knew each other. Teams playing less well were taking time to get to know each other. There were also new players just trying to understand why football had been reduced to 20 minute chunks with no half time and no end changes. Confusion also that all OTFC teams play in purple… and all were playing (with the exception of the 4s) in their home shirts… it seems purple comes in multiple shades and stripes etc… Thankfully the school teams were in bright orange and green…

In all a great day, exhausting and well attended… thank you to everyone that helped and to the school for coming down and making the day so worthwhile.

and in the end…

  1. OTFC Vets won their derby 4-2 (click here for full match report)
  2. OTFC 1s (mix of) won the tournament with absolutely no controversy at all
  3. We left well fed thanks to the school dinner ladies who gave up their time and culinary excellence for us (sincere apologies for being so late).