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SOCCER

Br ' Vahouahd" AGAINST OTAGO

WELLINGTON'S SECOND GAME

IN ENGLISH TROPHY SERIES,

To-day Wellington is engaged in its second fixture under the English trophy competition rules. At Dunedin the local representatives are meeting the elect of Otago, and the best wishes of all supporters of the game in Wellington will be with them. It is unfortunate that as a result of a set of unforeseen circumstances, Wellington has been unable to send its best team South, but those who are making the trip may be relied upon to give of their best in an endeavour to uphold the Soccer prestige of the province. On account of the prevalence of influenza and the inability of one or two players to secure leave, the selectors were compelled to make numerous alterations in their original selection, but although the team has been weakened it is still a good side, and should give a good account of itself* Porteous was unable to make the trip, and Ewing, who played against Auckland, was again called upon to act as custodian. Ewing was certainly below his form against Auckland, but he is still a fine goal-keeper, and the writer will not be surprised if he gives a sound display at Dunedin. • The Wellington backs will be Fitzgerald (Marist) and M'Girr (V.M.C.A.) Fitzgerald has for some seasons past been knocking at the door of Wellington's representative team, and no doubt he will fully avail himself of the opportunity that has come his way. He is a fine back, cool and resourceful, and with M'Girr always a solid player, he should provide the | Otago forwards with a solid proposition. The half-line will probably be Wellington's weakest link, for M'Kee and Brown will be sadly missed. Beyling, who has been chosen for the cen-tre-forward position, is a good senior B club man, but it is just and question whether he will prove a success in a representative fixture. Trott, who will play as right half, js a solid, bustling type of player, and', what he lacks in science he makes up for in sheer determination, and the will to work all the time. The absence of Ballard and Newman will make a big difference to the forward line, but even with these defections, Wellington's vanguard will be a strong one, if only the players play up to form. M'Leod is a good wing man, and is not lacking in representative experience. Logan has been chosen for tho inside left position in place of Ballard, and he is just the type of player to come to light in a representative fixture. Ho is, moreover, a good scoring man if the chances come his way. Lothian, M'Elligott, and Cudby will again be in the forward lino, but it is to be hoped that they improve on jheir form against Auckland. . The result of the match against Otago will be keenly awaited, and local supporters may rest assured that if the Wellington team goes down it will not To by any big margin. Honours to Hospital. There have been many stirring contests in the past between V.M.C.A. and Hospital, and one feels sure there will be many in the future. But there has never been a more keenly-fought contest between these teams than that which took place at the Basin Reserve last Saturday. The fluctuating fortunes of the game and the high-class fare provided, kept the crowd in a fine state of enthusiasm. The setting was ideal for a cup final, a good turf, an absence of wind and sun, and two welltrained teams, both eager to' win and secure the honour of representing Wellington in the closing, games for the coveted Chatham Cup. Hospital won by tho odd goal in five, and on the general run of the game deserved their success. They demonstrated that they are a team of experienced players, who are not affected or rattled by the goals going against them in the earlier portion of tho game. They have shown on several occasions during the season that they are a team of fighters, who play Tight up to the final whistle, and if they do not annex the cup it will, not be on tho score of lack of deter-! mination. Tast and Classy. The game was fast and classy, and with what the public appreciateplenty of goals, evenly distributed. V.M.C.A., as the holders of the cup, played a groat game to retain possession of the trophy, and although beaten, their reputation as a very fine team did not suffer in the least. The opening play was sensational, as a fine movement down the middle resulted in the city team opening the scoring within two minutes of the opening. This was a bad start for Hospital, and when, shortly after, the movement was repeated and another goal resulted, the same looked all over, as far as Hospital was concerned. The latter team, however, went on playing as if nothing unusual had happened, and were not in the least put off their game. The reward came before half-time, when the score was levelled, through two great shots by Now j man The first half had been fast and exciting, but the second was even more so, as both teams battled for supremacy. Both teams went within an | _cc of scoring, but Hospital were generally the more dangerous in front ol goal and eventually got the winning one into the net. Porteous played a fine game for Hospital; in»goal, and saved more than one certain goal that would have been scored against a less experienced and alert 'keeper. Gibb and Thompson were very safe and effective at back, with the former the master craftsman, and quite the best back on the ground. Simon, M'Kee, and Brown gave a great display of halfback play, and there was little « anything to choose between them Their defensive work and support of the forwards was an object lesson for young players. They were, as of course halves should be, the main spring of the team, and they played no small part in the success. Newman kept up his reputation as a scoring man by getting all the goals for his side. That he is a ..rent shot with cither foot there is no doubt, and he seizes an opportunity, like a flash. At the conclusion of the same he was carried shoulder high by his delighted supporters. White also crave a fine display, and was a tireless worker, although off colour with his shootiu" Ferguson and Anderson provided tlio strongest wing, tho former especially doing good work, although shooting too much for a wmg man. Anderson did not shine as much as usual, but it was his first game for a few weeks, and he made several splendid openings for his partners. Lambert did not do as well as expected, bat had

Ewing gave one of his best displays of the season, and Hospital would have increased their lead considerably but for his fine work in goal. Prince and M'Girr were two solid backs, and got through an immense amount of work. M'Girr, in particular, played a great game, and proved beyond a doubt that lie is the only partner for Gibb in the "rep." matches. The halves, Trott, Pearson, and Bobbin played splendid defensive footbali, but more is required of halves than defence. Their weakness lay in not supporting their forwards sufficiently, and in over-kicking them. The for•wards all played well, with a fine understanding of each other's play, and it was only a superb defence that checked their many fine efforts. Ballard played a great game and made valiant efforts to t.ira the tide in his team's favour, and he had hard luck towards the finish, when Porteous came out and blocked his shot just in the nick of time. Stark combined well with him on the wing, although he was caught out of position once or twice through over-eagerness. Wilkins further enhanced his reputation as a centre forward, and is proving just the man for the position fof V.M.C.A. Worth and Dempster were a very effective right wing, and game Simon a strenuous afternoon. It was a hard-fought, clean game, and it was pleasing to see the losers congratulating their victors. Hospital won because their team play was ahead of V.M.C.A., excellent understanding boing combined with dash and finish. The New Throw-in. During the season I have been asked several times what is the reason for tho alteration of the throw-in and have had to candidly confess my inability to answer them satisfactorily, writes "Lex" in the "Waikato Times," but the query has not been lost sight of and the following from the pen of the late Mr. John Lewis will be interesting:— "Seeing that I am responsible for bringing the matter before the Rules Revision Committee I think I can claim credit for understanding what was meant by the alteration. It says a player throwing the ball must stand with both feet on the ground outside the touch-line facing the field of play. Therefore, if he stands on tho lino he is violating the law. Many players are not taking anything like full advantage of the change. Much time can be saved after the ball has gone into touch if the men are anxious to return it as soon as possible They can pick it up even if they aro two or three yards outside the field of play, and from that spot can throw it to a colleague without approaching the touch-line. That is a point worth remembering. Another is that the new method gives them greater freedom in delivering the ball. They can stand with one foot behind the other, and not parallel as formerly, and thus should be able to send the ball further. Under the previous law many infringements occurred through players standing with their foot on the line and raising them as they delivered the ball. That handicap has been removed, and as a consequence there are fewer free-kicks. Everybody, I believe, recognises that advantage. It is no justification, howover, for referees failing to penaliso broaches that are committed. Somo players aro throwing with one hand, That is not allowed. One particular player whom I have seen a number of times this season, persistently violates the law. I have no hesitation in saying that in eight out of every ten, throws of any distance he disobeyed the law, yet his offence was seldom detected." The principal reasons, therefore, for the alteration, aro that it minimises the number of free-kicks for breaches of the law and saves time. Another writer remarks that player* should note that the thrower of tho ball must throw in from where the linesman points. Several free-kicks have been awarded fpr breaking this rule, whereas a re-throw should have taken place. It is of great importance to both sides I that the ball should be thrown in immediately, instead of waiting for players to come up. I Caps for the "Reps." A subject that has been brought forward year after year has been caps for the senior representatives (writes a correspondent). The matter has almost been given up as hopeless by those anxious to see the "reps." receive at least their bare due. How jaunty and pleased were the Auckland team last Saturday in their new caps, and one feels sure that the caps will remain a treasured possession of the players for all time. It made one almost feel ashamed to be a Wellingtonian. If Auckland can treat their players properly, surely the W.F.A. could make an effort to do the same. It is humiliating to have to play second fiddle ,in almost everything that is progressive, to the Northern city, but it is much worse when one is not in the band at all. In every little league at Home the winners receive medals, and the representatives are capped, and hundreds of these leagues are no better, if as good, financially as the W.F.A. The arguments for and against this right to the players has been stated plenty of times, and are no doubt well known. Tho main one of the W.F.A. against giving their players caps is tho matter of expense. It has been shown many times how this expense can bo met, and when one considers it is only a question of about twelve pounds, it seems absurd that the W.F.A. cannot surmount the difficulty. It is the players, directly and indirectly, who provide the W.F.A. with the whole of their funds, and surely the players who represent them are entitled to a little consideration. Getting Goals. / Many players in shooting make the fatal error of striving for force instead of accuracy (writes a New Zealand coach). The player who swings his nether limbs with a wild and sweeping ferocity, expecting to carry away goalposts, rigging, and all, sacrifices, needlessly the very clement of thrust he is so anxious to attain. Somo of the players to-day fail to grasp the efficacy of the "below-knee" kick. The following observations by the famous "Andy" Ducat makes this point very clear: — Shooting is the chief weakness in Soccer as played to-day. Most teams feel the need for better shots in the front line. Untrained players kick from tho hips. This error is responsible for many wild shots. The force of your shot should como from the knee and ankle. Thrust your foot back from the knee only. Take the ball with your instep —the top of your foot, that is—and kick it by jerking tho knee straight. There must bo a distinct "flick" with the ankle at the moment of impact. Force and extra sting are given by jumping off the ground as you kick. You kick while the ball is under you, not in front of you. A3 you kick with the right foot you jump off the ground with your left, and vice-versa. This gets your weight behind the ball. To be a good shot you must shoot equally well with both feet. Any; mßn

who intends to play football can, if he wishes, learn to kick with both feet. It is a matter of becoming accustomed to the use of .your "wrong foot." "Pou cannot afford to waste time by changing the, ball from one foot to the other, especially when you are being pursued as you dash for the goal. In changing feet, too, you lose your balance for an instant. This is a frequent cause of erratic shots. Get on.top of the ball before shooting, and kick with your toe tucked down. Low shot* are always the most difficult for the goalkeeper to stop. To send in a low shot with plenty of sting in it you must be well over the ball, and your toes must be pointing to the ground. Propel the ball forward with the top of your foot. Your knee must be over the top of the ball —in front -f it, in fact. Controlled shots are impossible unless your bent knee is above the ball. Brilliant forwards when taking a pass will frequently shoot straight away, kicking the ball on the volley. That is, they will kick it while it is still in tho air. This volley kick is extremely difficult. It cails for judgment, because some balls can be shot on tho volley and others cannot. When the ball is taken on the volley it is not always possible to get your knee over the top of it as you kick; you may have to kick at it as it passes in front of you. Generally, however, the essential thing is to get your knee —and consequently your body—balanced above the ball. ' Most goalkepers can capture high shots, but-very few can deal efficiently with the ball that keeps low. Never take a long shot when you are safe in taking a short one. The ideal way to score goals is to get so near that you are able to dribble the ball round the goalkeeper.. This way is not often possible, but you see the point. The nearer you are when you shoot, the less chance the custodian has of blocking the space into which you can aim. You ought not to have to "place" the ball before you take your kick. This is a waste of time. If you do anything of the sort, you may expect to be knocked off the ball before you get your shot in. Players who "place" the ball are usually those who swing back from the hips. If you keep over the ball and thrust your leg back from the knee there is never any need to place the ball. Piling Them Up. It has fallen to a young player only in his third season of first-class football to establish a record for any class of football in the League and to set up a new record for goal-scoring in League matches. This is Edward Harper, of Blackburn Hovers. When he scored "the second goal for the Hovers against Manchester United, Harper equalled the 39 goals top score .to the credit of David Brown, the Darlington centreforward, last season. But then he went on to notch three more, so that not only was the previous best equalled and bVten, but in real fact left well behind. It is true the revised off-side law prepared us for a crop of goals, and for the several individual feats of marksmanship which have matured. Nevertheless, this feat of Harper's is entitled to be ranked for relative purposes with anything of the kind attained in the annals of the game. Harper did not come into the Rovers' team until the third match, and had missed a match subsequently. In other words, he recorded his forty-first goal in his thirty-sixth appearance for the Lancashire Club. It has always rodounded greatly to the original record of 38 goals by Bert Freeman for Everton in 1909, that they were Bcored in 37 games. Joe Smith reached this figure as the result of 41 matches, which wag exceptional for an inside-left, the nearest parallel beh g Morris, of West Bromwieh Albion, with 37 goals in 1920. Edward Harper has thus eclipsed everything. At least, it can be said that he has taken the fullest advantage of what the conditions offered. Brooklyn and Waterside. Although Brooklyn easily accounted for Watersla?by four goals to one the game played at Wakefield Park could not be classed as a good exhibition of the round ball code. Both sides were lacking in combination, and played too much of the kick-and-rush tactics. In Bowyers, Brooklyn possesses a fine cen-tre-half, and it was his feeding of the vanguard that gave victory to Brooklyn. His goal from thirty yards out was a grand effort. Tho Brooklyn forwards were an even lot, with Anton and Brown the most conspicuous. Cox, in goal for the losers, was the outstanding player on his side. He saved his team time and time again. Haines, the centre half, had a busy time watching Anton, but acquitted himself well. M'Kay is a bustler, and with a little more help from his forwards would have increased the score for Waterside. Training for Cup Games. The fashion of undergoing special training for the cup has died down considerably of late years (writes Colin Veitch). During the heyday of Newcastle United the team used to go away to new quarters as soon as the cup ties appeared on the horizon, and remained in their fresh surroundings until dismissed from the competition. Seeing that five finals and six semi-fir als were contested in eight seasons, it would appear that the change was beneficial to the players. The question of training was not a special feature attached to such proceedings. The change from the monotonous routine of association with the home training quartors, the regularity of meals and sleep, the change of air, and the opportunity of developing ideas during the more constant association of the players with one another all contributed to the benefits derived from the idea of entering, into special training, which, really, is better described as a period of special rest and change. Now; adays, this idea is not regarded with any particular favour. Occasionally a team may be sent away for a week's change of environment. This is evidently regarded as beneficial. To my mind, it is inadequate. Whilst a little benefit may be derived, the full benefit is not forthcoming in so short a period. The change is just beginning to be appreciated by the players when they are switched back again to the old routine, whereas a matter of three or four weeks away would probably rejuvenate the whole system and result in freshness and vigour being restored for tho remainder of the season. In this matter of controversy, I am in favour of the old system. I have experienced its benefits, and am speaking from a knowledge of the circumstances attending the matter, of having to keep fit over a period of nine months of the playing season. Staleness is a mental as well as a physical depression, and there is nothing like a change to overcome this danger to players. It may seem costly on paper, but it is really a cheap expenditure in the end.

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Bibliographic details

SOCCER, Evening Post, Volume CXII, Issue 15, 17 July 1926

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3,546

SOCCER Evening Post, Volume CXII, Issue 15, 17 July 1926

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