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Greg Rimmer (right) watches teammate Kees Koeman move the ball up the field during the Westlock U-18 soccer team's 7-0 loss to Athabasca Sunday afternoon.
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U-18s return to pitch

Club struggles versus Athabasca

May 08, 2012 08:45 am | By Doug Neuman | The Westlock News

Westlock’s U-18 boys competitive soccer team has had a bumpy start to their 2012 season, going 0-2 against Athabasca.

The local boys headed north to Athabasca Thursday night, dropping that match 7-0, then returned to Westlock for back-to-back games Sunday afternoon. The first match also went to Athabasca by a 7-0 margin, and the results of the second were not available by press time.

Coach Kieran Murphy said despite the losses, he’s happy with how his team is coming together.

“We played well, even if the score didn’t reflect it,” he said.

The team had an added challenge this year of not having a coach as of May 2, when Murphy took on the position. That was also the date of their first and only practice before the May 3 match in Athabasca.

“We played a lot better today,” he said between Sunday’s games. “We had more offence compared to last game.”

It will nonetheless be a bit of an uphill battle this season, especially having started with three games against Athabasca, which for several years has claimed the top spot in the league.

Murphy said his main priority is not necessarily putting notches in the win column, but developing the team’s skills individually and together.

“As long as we’re playing consistently and having fun,” he said.

There are nonetheless a few specific areas he’d like to see the team work on, such as passing and acting as more of a cohesive unit on the field.

“If they can control the ball and pass more effectively, they’ll go a long way,” he said.

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