|KEVIN BONDJANGA IN ACTION FOR ENFIELD TOWN RESERVES IN 2011. Photo courtesy of @jancyclops|
I was born in Leytonstone and started playing football from a young age. My dad used to play for Paris St. Germain so the game was in my DNA. I joined my first football team Crownfield FC when I was just eight and stayed there playing as a midfielder before moving to Chingford in 2003 and continued playing right midfield until I signed for Highams Park Sorcerers under 13s in 2004 where I was moved to striker - I was top of the team and league goalscoring charts. I then moved to nearest rivals Ridgeway Rovers. In my senior career I have played for Boreham Wood, Leyton, Enfield Town, Haringey Town, Hatch Lane, LOASS and Eton Manor. At present I am proud to be the Hatch Lane FC Captain.
WHEN WAS HATCH LANE FC FORMED AND HOW DID THE CLUB FORMATION COME ABOUT?
Hatch Lane was founded by Yinka Faleye in 2009 as he put together a team of Chingford boys who had known each other for a numerous of years and wanted to keep everyone out of trouble by getting them involved with football. Sporting the FC Barcelona kit of the 1990's Hatch Lane finished mid-table their first season. Halfway through the next season, sadly Yinka passed away and his good friends Ben Siaw, Derek Palton and Selly J took over the reigns at the club as they promised to deliver trophies. Since joining the East London Sunday League the club have won the East London Cup once, the Jubilee Cup twice and the Premier Division once in 2012/2013 as well as being runner's up twice in the last two seasons.
WHAT ARE YOUR AIMS FOR NEXT SEASON WITH HATCH LANE?
Next season the club are joining a new league named "The East London Barking & Dagenham Sunday League" which is a merged league between The London City Airport League and The East London Sunday League. We wish to be entered into the London Cup where we can progress and hopefully make a name for ourselves. We will look to win the league in our first season as well as retain the Jubilee Cup & win the Senior Cup.
WHATS THE BEST THING ABOUT FOOTBALL AT THIS LEVEL?
The best thing about football at this level is the different styles of play that you may come up against on a Sunday, it's very intriguing when you watch all of these players and see what each one can bring to a team. Arguably the worst thing about playing football at this level is no doubt the lack of officials (linesmen) and some of the decisions are SHOCKING to say the least by referees. It's also funny how many of the lads who play Saturday & Sunday will have their game called OFF on a Saturday but then the Sunday pitches over at Hackney Marshes are 10x better! Having said all of that Sunday is a family day and there's nothing better than enjoying football on with a group of friends who just love to play the game!
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE GAME TO MAKE IT BETTER?
Apart from some decisions made by the referees there's not really much I'd change as you can't lose the tradition which comes along with Sunday football i.e shocking pitches, terrible challenges and what not, although it would be a touch if each team were supplied with oranges & water bottles.
PLAY THE BEAUTIFUL GAME OR THE RESULTS THAT MATTER?
If you're a very good team playing "football" is key because no one wants to wake up and play long ball to success you want to have some sort of pride whilst winning to correct way.
WHERE DO HATCH LANE PLAY THEIR HOME GAMES?
Hatch Lane play their home games at Hackney Marshes and will forever do so until the marshes gets closed down somehow. The team is very local and all of the boys live within about twenty minutes journey of the pitches.
WHAT GAME ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS SEASON? WHO ARE YOUR MAIN RIVALS?
Our main priority is getting to the cup finals as this is a special date for the club; a day out in the sun and 90 minutes away from a Trophy all in front of all our friends and family but most importantly of all in memory of our founder and legend Yinka!
Our closest rivals are currently 'Dalston Lane (Queensbridge)' and a team called 'Reama'. No other club has beaten us as much as Dalston have since our formation and we look forward to playing them the MOST of all Sunday teams we've faced!
Thank you to Kevin for talking to The Cold End and good luck to all at Hatch Lane FC for the 2016/17 season.