Season 2019/20 Summary
Weeeellllll, what a bizarre season. La Roca began with a young but talented team and a young coach new to the highest level competition in U19 in Barcelona. As we would all soon learn with a new season came a new even higher level of football, taking the standard of football in the Barcelona top division from extraordinary to an even more extraordinary level.
The pre-season looked good as La Roca were undefeated in 8 games, however there were clearly some issues that needed to be addressed as the bar would raise as the season began. As it happened those issues became cracks and the lack of experience at the highest level from a young team resulted in the team having a terrible first half of the season. The losses were not big losses, nearly always by only one goal but they still count as losses.
The second half of the season was looking similar and then the coach made a genius move. He move Natasha further up the field and with that she got the attack working more cohesively. Then he moved her to attacking midfield and the wins began coming more consistently when the coronavirus scare shutdown the football season which was eventually cancelled.
While Natasha had offers to play in several other teams at the beginning of the season and even an open 2nd division team this season really allowed her to complete her junior development as she played a great season and struck fear into every opposition team. She embedded her skills and developed a strong confidence that allowed her to play at this very high level with ease and comfort. When the coach moved Natasha to attacking midfield the impact was immediate and it was obvious to everyone that this was clearly her position. She scored 4 goals, 1 assist and 14 final key passes in 5 games and that wasnt 5 full games in the attacking midfield as when he wanted to secure a lead he would return Natasha to the defensive midfield so it was equivalent to about 3 games in the attacking midfield role.
While the results weren't as everybody had hoped La Roca showed that they are producing alot of talent for the future and Natasha embedded her football skillset with the perfect traineeship to make a successful progression to the professional leagues.
Now 3 weeks into the coronavirus lockdown and Natasha has just clocked her biggest training week EVER!!!! She has used this opportunity to work on areas that she does not get the opportunity to work on during the season due to team training and games. So she has done 2 x lower body and 2 x upper body strength sessions, 4 x speed sessions, 7 x morning hiit sessions and a tonne of football. She is looking great. #noshortcuts
Natasha scored are fantastic goal where she was involved in the play 3 times and finally finishing off the play with a quality goal to put La Roca in the lead 0-1 against 3rd placed Sant Gabriel as they went into halftime. However a second half meltdown by the La Roca defence resulted in 4 goals in 30 minutes by Sant Gabriel and a demoralizing 4-1 defeat to La Roca.
Natasha continues to display a range of impressive football skills as she scored a goal, narrowly missed another, gave 3 keypasess, dribbled well, showed strength on the ball and much more against quality opposition however it was still not enough to lift her side to a win.
Games against FC Barcelona are always tough because they don´t give you any time with the ball and when they win the ball they keep it from you for ages. You can see in the video how often Natasha has four FC Barcelona players around her (two occasions have been highlighted) and there is one occasion where she has 5 players around her so it makes it very difficult to play football but as usual Natasha played well. She won a nett 14 balls and was 88% effective with the ball. These are super impressive stats against a quality team like FC Barcelona and then if you add her speed and her workload, while her team didn´t win, by every other measure Natasha had a great game against world class opposition.
As the second half of the 2019-20 is well underway, it will be the last season for Natasha in the U19W 1st Division Barcelona so the search is about to begin to find her first professional contract. With a highlights video like the video below, it shouldn´t be too hard. Fast, strong, technical, a consistent goal scorer, prolific goal creator and proven in the very high level in Barcelona, anyone who really knows football will be knocking down her door to secure Natasha´s abilities.
1st Division U19W in Barcelona is such a high level and as we have said thousands of times, there are no easy games and this week La Roca played the very talented Levante Las Planas (LLP) in a huge battle for the important 3 points. La Roca began the game with their newly established attack which places Natasha as the central focus point flanked by the young speedsters, Ainhoa, Meri and Galera and backed by the technical midfield of Aina and Borrallo. What a first half it was as La Roca recovered their calm passing game of earlier games after falling back into their bad habits last week and produced their best first half of football for the season as they took LLP apart. La Roca dominated posession and field position as they created 9 shots on goals in the first 35 minutes and scored 3 with Natasha controlling the attack. La Roca went into halftime leading 4-1 and the game should have been sealed.
However, some players changes were made which included Natasha returning to her midfield position and everyone watched in horror as the attack dried up and La Roca began losing possession too easily resulting in a battle that resulted in LLP scoring 2 goals and La Roca scrambling to protect their lead to scrape through and win 4-3 and desperately needed 3 points.
After their two best games of the season La Roca showed the pitfuls of having a young and inexperienced team as they quickly reverted to old bad habits when put under pressure by Igualada. The attack failed to play anything like the previous two games as they reverted to their one out dribbling instead of using the passing game with their amazing speed that served them so well in the previous two games.
Natasha had a solid game but simply didn´t recive enough ball. When she did recive the ball she was nearly always dangerous with the most attempts on goals and a couple of key passes. Igualada had certainly identified her as the player to be aware of but still couldn´t stop her attacks however she needs to play a little bit deeper in order to get more ball so she can create more attack.
The momentum change continues as La Roca continues to improve on their recent performances as they constructed an extraordinary 8-1 win. The result was not a genuine indication of the level of the opposition but it was more a result of La Roca being on fire!!
Finally La Roca are realizing that speed alone does not win games and that if they combine their exceptional talent with their exceptional athleticism then they are capable of demolishing teams and that is what Santa Susana encountered as La Roca played a patient passing game and simply had multiple speedsters running angles and executing simple and precise passes. Impossible to defend and impressive to watch..
While every La Roca player was exceptional the turnaround has coincided with Natasha playing more forward in the team plan as she orchestrates the attack and directs and guides the young attackers. And what a game she had as she had 1 assist, 4 keypasses, was involved in nearly all the goal attacks and completed her passes at 94% playing in a number 10/striker position. Surely that is considered an outstanding performance by anyones standard.
Well done La Roca!
Another great game from Natasha that included 2 goals, 2 keypasses, 82% pass completion and 18 ball wins as she was instrumental in her teams 4-0 win.
At this level wins are hard to come by but La Roca played their best quality football of the season along with many of the players also having their best performance of the season and Natasha in destroyer mode resulted in La Roca absolutely dominating their opposition and securing a comfortable win.
Now to improve on this performance for next week.
While the La Roca team is in free fall as they limp from one poor performance to the next having conceded 17 goals in the last 5 games, a game against the selective Espanyol would only highlight La Roca´s weaknesses and it did.
However, the shining light was Natasha as she showcased her skills and put on a Masterclass of football against a very strong Espanyol team. Natasha bamboozled her opposition as she dribbled, passed, zig zagged and did everything she could to lift her team´s performance including 2 key passes in an outstanding display of quality football.
Natasha began the game at striker after her impressive performance last game but after La Roca defence and midfield disintegrated in the first half resulting in a 4-0 scoreline at halftime the coach was forced to move Ntasha back into the midfield to steady the team which she did.
The second half score was 1-0 and La Roca missed a penalty and multiple opportunities which would have improvrd the scoreline.