Short-handed footy was the storyline of the Yorkton United Football Clubís first U-18 action of the summer. A trip to Summerfest in Regina serves as the clubís warm up to provincials and as the only non provincial action in what has been a slow year for the U-18ís. With a very small pool of players to choose from, plus missing a couple players due to prior commitments, the YUFC boys were forced to play the entire tournament a man down.
With ten men, hot weather and no natural goalkeeper forcing the team to employ a platoon system, YUFC faced a wide array of challenges heading into the weekend. Despite the challenge the YUFC boys outplayed a Moose Jaw squad in their first fixture on Friday. Their effort and performance was not rewarded with the win as they only earned a letdown of a one-one draw, making Saturdayís match filled day filled with must win matches.
With multiple games and a more than short bench Saturdayís hot weather and fatigue was just too much for the Yorkton side to handle as they to RE Regina 3-1 in what was their last game of the day sinking their final hopes after a very hard fought day. The YUFC finished up their weekend with a 4-1 victory of Weyburn on Sunday morning in what was a gutsy showing by a team that had to fight through extreme fatigue and injury to even compete, yet alone contend and earn victories over provincial rivals.
Manager Mike Jakubiec was also impressed with his teamís effort going on to say, ďThey did well even though we played the entire tournament down one player, making it look good going into provincials where we will have a full squad and it looks like we have a strong chance.Ē
This current YUFC squad is comprised of the last generation of players on Sacred Heartís back to back winning high school provincial winning teams as well as multiple successes with the YUFC club at the youth level and should be heading into provincials in Regina with the expectation that they will be able to make a run at a provincial title to add to their accomplishments before heading to the menís level strictly. With a very impressive showing for playing an entire man or even two men down at various stretches YUFC has proven that they have the skill and ability to hang in with their competition. Combine the will and effort that YUFC showed at Summerfest without the handicap of playing short-handed and fatigued the entire weekend and one would have to think that Yorkton has another chance to finish up a season on top of the Saskatchewan football ladder.