New Inn Tennis Courts is a small, all weather multi use sport facility found in Pontypool, Torfaen, South Wales. It contains two tennis courts, a small football pitch and basketball court. All games are played on a concrete surface.
Although the facility is not anything that would make the area proud and draw in viewers, it is home to the legendary local tennis courts team: N.I.T.C. F.C (New Inn Tennis Courts Football Club).
The Team is made up of around 11 regular teenage players , all hailing from the area, at the facility, who, between them and in different combinations have put together an unbelievable unbeaten run against the other regular players at 'the courts' who are foolish enough to challenge them.
N.I.T.C. F.C rotate their formation and positions depending on the combination of players available at any one given time, although all the individuals have positions that they prefer and often play in.
A rush goalkeeper rotation system is often enforced that allows all players to experience the outfield action and a chance to score, rather than restricting one player to goal keeping duties.
As of late a more balanced formation has been used, leaving two players on the wings and two central midfielders; attacking and defending in the so called ‘Claude Makèlèlè Role’
The Style of Plays
The style of play also varies depending on the players available, the opponent, the stage in the game and the conditions.
The Players: Although all of the team players link well together, some stronger individual links have been built up which allows some players to link superbly in a fashion that is usually referred to as 'Sexy Football'. This style of football is usually only executed when the most die hard regular players can link without interruption, greed or mistakes caused by less experienced players, who are said ‘not to be on the same wave length’.
The Opponent: Even though all opposition will suffer the same loss at the end of the game, some more arrogant and more disrespectful opponents are dealt with in a much more aggressive style than would be so if they were respectful and skillful.
The more aggressive style usually consists of a much faster pace football, humiliating skill moves or possession play and in some cases verbal or physical taunting; all of which results in a much more punishing result for the opponents.
The Stage in the Game: Early on in the game N.I.T.C. F.C can sometimes underestimate or laze about in order to conserve energy against lesser (all) opponents. However, this can change in an instance sue to a sudden opening in the difference and stunning opportunity and perhaps worst of all an early opposition goal that suddenly jolts the team into life and into an incredible scoring run.
As the game goes on, players can sometimes drop out due to tiredness; however, by this stage, the game is already over and won by New Inn. This lets the remaining players relax a bit and just wear down the opponents with a slower paced, yet more deliberate, possession play game, until the opponents finally realise that there is no hope and decide to retire.
The Conditions: In wet conditions, play tends to be slower and more tentative as players are cautious of the slippery surface. This results in less ‘Superman’ run play and more passing.
Hot conditions also take their toll as players tire more easily and have to rest. A heavier goalkeeper rotation system is then used in order to give everyone more of a chance to rest in goals while others run – this allows all players to play at a much higher level of performance than the less wise opponents.
When the team is not engaging in a match, they usually train using a number of different games to test skill levels:
‘Head, Flicks and Volleys’: The most popular and common training game is a great way of improving both volley skills, set up play and goalkeeping. All of which could prove invaluable in matches.
The game is played by any number of people and for any length of time depending of the number of starting lives; the most popular of which being 10 (long game which is not usually finished), 5 (average length) and 3 (quick fire game to ensure a winner).
‘Endzey’s’: A fairly usual game at the club, which is only available when the whole court is available, is ‘Endzey’s’. This game is an excellent way of improving long shooting ability and goalkeeping.
‘Red Arse’: A sometimes painful game which usually follows on from a short game of ‘Head Flicks’. The game is an excellent way of perfecting ‘venom shots’, accuracy and also bravery. It can also be used as a punishment.
‘Free Play’: This style of training can consist of anything. Goalkeepers are not always used, sometimes replaced by a cone if available, and outfield players will just try and score the most spectacular goal possible. The game is sometimes restricted to shots from the opposite half by a scared goalkeeper.
This method of training is a great way for developing all skills but is the main training aid for ‘Sexy Football’ as players learn to link and read the others thoughts.
This section focuses on explaining the typical and common phrases used by the team members.
‘Sexy Football’: Type of football that consists of impressive link ups and clever skills. Previously referred to as ‘Champions League’.
‘Superman’: Type of football that consists of one player running unsupported with no intention of passing in attempt to pass as many defenders as possible. This tactic is usually frowned upon by other player who feel they were in better positions.
‘Venom’: The type of shoot that uses all of the power of the attacker to perform. This type of shot is less accurate but when on target, is practically unstoppable.
‘Stinger’: The name given to a shot that strikes the keeper or defending player with enough power to cause physical discomfort or a stinging sensation in the hit body part; usually hands.
‘'Ave It!!!’: A phrase that describes a powerful shot/kick that doesn’t necessarily hit the target but rather a shot or kick that is hit without real concern for direction or the resulting damage. This type of kick usually results in the ball sailing over the boundary fences and beyond.
‘Stunning’: Phrase used to describe a spectacular goal or piece of skill that is usually uttered by a supporting team member in amazement.
‘Touch’: Word used to express ones want to receive pass from a team mate.
‘Claude Makèlèlè Role’: The position taken up in central defensive midfield that allows the player to roam freely around the edge of their own box to block and prevent oncoming attacks.
The club is currently experimenting in increasing the already enormous popularity of the club in a number of different advertisement formats;
Internet: As the team has yet to acquire or be offered a suitable television deal, they are currently restricted to Internet advertising. Currently, the club is using the popular internet blog site 'Bebo', exact link to be found below, and this page to advertise. Although, in future they would like to expand to greater heights, perhaps producing their own website.
Logo's: On member of the team is currently trying to formulate a suitable club logo to improve on the clubs corporate image and professional presentation.