Our ‘ Junior Chat’ feature is all about showcasing our thriving Junior section and in the spotlight here is our U13’s Saints. The Saints team compete in the East Berkshire Football Alliance. They are coached by Sandeep Dhaliwal and managed by Andy Jennings.
We spoke to Sandeep to get the lowdown on why he chose Ascot, the Saints season so far, the highs and lows of the squad PLUS an outrageous back heel-flick goal caught on video.
2022/23 season so far
As of Saturday 6th December, after 9 games we remain top of the league, unbeaten, having scored a ton of goals and conceded very few. We are currently in the last 16 of the Plate Cup. At the end of games we have had some referees and opposition coaches comment on how well our boys play as a team.
What brought you to Ascot?
I brought my son over from Whitegrove Football Club as I felt he could play at a higher level.
What do you enjoy most about coaching the Saints?
The interaction with my squad. They all have amazing personalities and attributes. Teaching them new things, watching them learn and grow is a real privilege. They are a great group of lads.
What’s been your highlight of the Saints tenure so far?
This whole season so far ( Sept–Dec 2022). How the boys are playing and training is incredible. They are all really enthusiastic to play for this team.
Have there been any moments of adversity for the Saints and how have you overcome that?
We lost in the semi final of the plate last year on pen’s. Watching the boys all rally around the boy who missed his pen in sudden death, was great to see. It showed really comradery. We can see that bond has carried on to this season and is helping the boys fly through tough games.
Something to celebrate about the Saints
The maturity to not overdo celebrations at the end of games this season when we have scored lots of goals past a team shows me that they have empathy and growth in their personalities which I think is great.
One more thing…
We have scored some cracking goals this year, both team and individual ones. One of the back heel one’s was class. There was also 20 yard half volley that went in top bins last weekend. The banter between them during training is hilarious, I think some of them could have their own YouTube channels.
Good luck for the rest of your season Saints!
The Saints are sponsored by TMS Reach for the 2022/23 season.
If you’d like to have your team featured in Junior Chat, please get in contact with our Marketing & Media Manager, Abi.