Sunday, 17 June 2018

THE EAGLES RETURN - EALING TOWN TO PLAY IN THE MIDDLESEX COUNTY LEAGUE FOR 2018/19

There has been some great news for non-league football in West London this summer with the announcement that Ealing Town Football Club are to return after we last saw them unable to complete the 2014/15 Spartan South Midlands Division Two season. The team will now play in the Middlesex County Football League and will play home games at "Club Des Sports" in East Acton. TheColdEnd spoke to Club Chairman Ayman Suleman about the new season and the return of The Eagles 

WHATS THE HISTORY OF YOUR EALING TOWN? 
The club started as a Sunday league side called 'Aym Higher FC' in 2011 and then went on to the Middlesex County League where we later changed the name to Ealing Town FC after a merger with a team called 'AFC Hillgate' The club unfortunately folded during the 2014/15 season. 

(AFC Hillgate had finished top of the Middlesex County League Division Two in 13/14 with Aym Higher finishing in ninth place of the thirteen team division)

WHAT ARE YOUR AIMS FOR THE CLUB THIS FORTHCOMING SEASON? 
Everyone wants to win but we want to win in the right way. Our aim is to get promoted by playing attractive football and we can do that by building a cohesive group both on & off the pitch. 

HOW CAN THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION HELP CLUBS LIKE YOURS IN GRASS ROOTS FOOTBALL? 
They can provide us with more opportunities to progress up the footballing ladder - for example providing clubs with connections to apply for good funding opportunities. 

HOW CAN LOCAL COUNCILS HELP CLUBS LIKE YOURS? 
The local council have a great audience in the area and they can give exposure to their local club by making football fans in Ealing aware about Ealing Town FC. The council can also help reduce the rates of costs in pitch hiring and provide the clubs with land to build their own ground. 

EALING TOWN DIDN'T COMPLETE THE 2014/15 SEASON IN THE SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLAND LEAGUE DIVISION TWO CAMPAIGN.. WHAT WENT WRONG? 
The club weren’t able to continue as they didn’t have the capabilities to go on. Now with a fresh start, we have great confidence in everyone involved who will help steady the ship if there are difficulties ahead. The whole infrastructure of the club has changed from the coaches to our new owners. The health and fitness organisation (@LiveRight2018) will be co-owning the club with Al Manaar. 

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO GET A GAME ON THIS SEASON? 
It will roughly cost the club £15,000 to run throughout the year. 

WHICH TEAM ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO PLAYING THIS SEASON? 
There are a few teams out there that I’m sure will be tough to play against. We don’t know much about these teams as we’ve previously played in the SSMFL but it would be interesting to see the different styles we come up against.

THE EAGLES BEFORE THEIR PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY WITH LONDON COLNEY IN 2014. 

You can follow the club on twitter @EalingTownFC where details of pre-season games will be announced very soon. TheColdEnd wishes them the very best of luck for the 2018/19 campaign. 

Saturday, 16 June 2018

ENFIELD 1893 FC PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE

Essex Senior League side Enfield 1893 FC have announced their pre-season schedule which kicks off on Saturday 7th July with an away game at Southgate based Old Minchendians who finished in 10th (of 11) place of the Amateur Football Combination Premier Division last season. Matt Hanning's side have three home games arranged against Bostik League side's Waltham Abbey, Basildon United and Ware. 



ENFIELD 1893 FC PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE 
Saturday 7th July - Old Minchendians
Saturday 14th July - WALTHAM ABBEY 
Saturday 21st July - Ryan FC 
Tuesday 24th July - BASILDON UNITED 
Saturday 28th July - WARE 

WALTHAMSTOW PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED


Essex Senior League side Walthamstow FC have made a number of impressive signings ahead of the 2018/19 Essex Sernior League campaign and they have a busy pre-season schedule arranged including a fantastic home game against Vanarama South Dulwich Hamlet in less than a month's time on Saturday 7th July. The also host Grays Athletic, Enfield Town and Billericay Town as well as travelling to Coggeshall United, Epping and Cheshunt/Harlow Town in a three team tournament. 

The club (formerly Waltham Forest) need all the support they can get so if you are local to E17 please pay them a visit - you will be made most welcome. 

Friday, 15 June 2018

HARTHAM UNITED FORMED IN MEMORY OF ALFIE CALVERT


Andy Calvert founded a football team called Hartham United FC is 2008 in memory of his son Alfie Calvert, who was born sleeping on the 29th July 2015. 

The club and the team is his way of keeping Alfie's name alive whilst doing something good for the amazing charity @_4louis who place memory boxes in UK hospitals in aid of bereaved parents who have lost a child through stillbirth or neonatal death. 


Hartham United's aim is to get each player that plays for the cause, a sponsor, which can be anyone and anything, each player having a target of £50. The club will play in the East Herts Corinthian Sunday League Division Two and have a number of pre-season games (as detailed above) arranged. 

You can find out more on their Just Giving page or follow them on twitter @HarthamUnitedFC or you pop along to the club's charity match and fun day at Hartham Common in Hertford with a 12.30pm kick off. This date coincides with Alfie's third birthday so it would be great to see a good turn out and some money raised for the charity.  


Good luck to Andy and everyone at Hartham United for the forthcoming season. 


HUGE NEWS FROM EAST LONDON - CLAPTON COMMUNITY FOOTBALL CLUB

Some massive news from the non-league scene in East London has been announced today as the fans of Essex Senior League side Clapton FC, formed in 1877, have announced they have joined the club's surviving life members to announced they will field a team for the forthcoming season with the supporters, volunteers and members making the decision to break with the entity affiliated to the ESL in order to preserve the legacy of one London's oldest and most historic football clubs. The announcement comes just days after The Ton's entire youth team structure quit the club to move to Hackney Wick FC. 

The decision has been made due to their dispute with the club's current owner where they have been boycotting the club's home games at The Old Spotted Dog for the entire 2017/18 season. More details can be found on claptoncfc.co.uk

CLAPTON COMMUNITY FOOTBALL CLUB will play in the Middlesex County Football League and will be completely fan owned where each member will have an equal vote in the running of the club with their mission statement wonderfully championing community football with it's aim to promote wider community participation in local grassroots football. They will play home games at Wadham Lodge in Walthamstow. 

The campaign and fight to save The Old Spotted Dog, which is London's oldest football ground, from liquidation is ongoing and is back by the local Member of Parliament, The Mayor of Newham, local councillors and nearly 2000 people who have signed an on line petition to keep the ground as a community asset. They have been helped and advised by the marvellous people at Supporter's Direct to get to this stage. 

I'm sure the Middlesex County League will have some record attendances to report for the 2018/19 campaign. Three hugely anticipated pre-season fixtures have announced so far with more to follow in the following week 

SATURDAY 21st JULY  
Holland v Clapton Community Football Club 

TUESDAY 7th AUGUST 
Enfield Town XI v Clapton Community Football Club 

SATURDAY 25th AUGUST 
Clapton Community Football Club v Wanderers AFC 
@ Wadham Lodge 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

"WE DON'T TRAIN" - TALKING TO BEN SEYMOUR ABOUT SPORTING 50'S RISE THROUGH THE LEAGUES


Sporting 50 FC were formed back in 2013 and are a fantastic grass roots football club based in Cheam, Surrey.  They had a wonderful 2017/18 season in the Surrey South Eastern Combination Junior Division One where they finished runner's up (by goal difference) to AFC Walcountians, won The Geoff Ellis Premier Shield and were runner's up to Sporting Kitz in the League Junior Cup Final. The Cold End spoke to player Ben Seymour who also doubles up as the club's secretary. 

WHAT IS YOUR FOOTBALLING HISTORY? 
I started off playing in the Morden Little League, back then there was some really good players in it, a couple that now play for Sporting 50 and a few who are still playing semi-pro football now. It was the right introduction into grassroots football at the age of seven. I then went to Tooting and Mitcham United for two seasons before moving to Spain and playing for CD Fuengirola until I tore my ankle ligaments. I came back and played for AFC Ewell for four seasons which was the youth football I enjoyed most until my final season at youth level at Worcester Park. 

Since then it’s all been playing and trying to build Sporting 50.

WHAT'S SPORTING 50's CLUB HISTORY? 
The club was started in 2013 by Warren Mott, Neil Seymour and Andy Brenen. They always said they wanted one more crack at the Surrey Cup and to do it with close friends and family. It was all started as a bit of a laugh and joke really. We got drawn in the first round against Cheam Baptists with a spare kit, a bare XI with an average age of 34 and went down to 10 men in the first half, we lost 1-0! 

We played in the Redhil & District League Division Four and managed to go up. In 2014 we came runners up in Division Four and had another promotion party in true Sporting 50 style, there is nothing like them I tell you.


ANOTHER PROMOTION PARTY FOR THE SPORTING 50 SQUAD

The Redhill and District was a perfect starter league for us and provided many great memories back when Scott Andrews ran the club, but in 2015-2016 we decided to take our promotion to the Surrey South Eastern Combination, we were put in Division Three and it was a great season, new players came in, we kept winning games and had a great title rivalry with Melwood.

It came down to the last day of the season when we won 2-1 against them.
They were a good bunch of lads and we always had good games against them. On to Division Two for the 2016-2017 season and this was probably the year where we thought we could have a bit of momentum and the start of a great club. It was another bright season and we came runners up on the final day of the season to Tolworth United, once again, great fierce rivalry on the pitch and good lads off it. Another promotion captured we entered the 2017-2018 season in Division One. 


MATCH ACTION FROM THEIR 2017/18 GAME VERSUS WANDERERS AFC

Some more great players signed while keeping the club a big group of friends which I think helps us massively, we don’t train, we don’t warm up properly, we celebrate three points like it’s a league title but on the pitch you won’t find a team more together than us, and with another promotion in the bag we find ourselves preparing for Intermediate football, a league I thought we wouldn’t reach, or even have a club still running after five years

So let’s see where it goes and we won’t change our ethos and routine until we aren’t progressing as club. 

HOW CAN THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION HELP CLUBS LIKE YOURS AT GRASS ROOTS LEVEL?
I think at our level the toughest part is cost. It’s so expensive to run a football club at this level and there is only so much money you can ask to get off the lads each week. I think the FA doesn’t have to do much to help, things like providing a match day pack would help, 10 balls at the start of the season, a pump and a medical kit. For the price they could get that stuff it’s probably £50 a team - but for us we see it as entering the league, a cup and a bit of money to a pitch fee. 

Maybe also give the local FA a referee fund to contribute to officials costs, it isn’t much but every little saving at this level will help teams stay alive. I believe they should also do more to try and get players to clubs to try and stop teams having to pull out because they can’t field full teams. 

Finally, Do clubs really need to be Charged £10 a yellow card? 


WITH THE GEOFF ELLIS PREMIER SHIELD 

CAN YOU AND MEMBERS OF THE TEAM AFFORD TO GO TO PREMIER LEAGUE GAMES? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE PRICES OF TICKETS?
Some of the lads have season tickets and go a lot, but they save at the start of the season so it works out cheaper and they’ll be there for the football only, if the rest of us wanted to go, it’s say £40 a ticket, £10 travel, £30+ on food and drink and that becomes expensive. 

Most of the lads prefer to play for a tenner and watch it on the TV. I think it’s about preferences on how you want to enjoy Premier League football. I do think the prices are becoming ridiculous, it will keep going though with every season with the more money being pumped into TV rights and sponsorships. I’ve never felt less in touch with the club I support as it generally feels like a business and that is reflected in the passion and efforts of professional players.


MORE MATCH ACTION FROM THE GAME VERSUS WANDERERS AFC 

THE BEST THING ABOUT FOOTBALL AT YOUR LEVEL?
Team spirit, feeling part of a club, the pre-match buzz, earning your three points and the celebrations when you win. 

THE WORST THING ABOUT FOOTBALL AT YOUR LEVEL? 
Some of the facilities, cost of running the club and the winter postponements. 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET A GAME ON AT YOUR LEVEL?
A home game will cost us £155. Pitch is £120 and referee is £35. Cup games split in half and away games won’t cost. We probably spend £300 a year on footballs and equipment. 

ONE THING THAT YOU WOULD CHANGE ABOUT THE GAME THAT WILL IMPROVE IT?
Fund the game at the lower levels and reap the rewards at the top level without making it all about transfer fees.



SPORTING 50 FC'S PRE-SEASON FIXTURES 
Saturday 28th July - TOOTING BEC FC 7-a-side tournament 
Saturday 4th August - NUTFIELD FC 
Saturday 11th August - TOLWORTH UNITED 
Saturday 18th August - GUILDFORD UNITED 
Saturday 25th August - SELHURST 

The club are still looking for players to join them as they enter Intermediate football for the first time in their history. If you are interested please contact them on social media @Sporting50FC for more details. The club's twitter feed is well worth a follow. 

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

THE COLD END SPEAKS TO NEW NORTHWOOD MANAGER DEAN BARKER

DEAN WELCOMES DEFENDER CARL PEARCE TO NORTHWOOD FOR THE 2018/19 CAMPAIGN

Northwood Football Club, who for the 2018/19 season will play in the Bostik League South/Central Division, have appointed Dean Barker as their manager.

Barker spent last season in charge of Wingate and Finchley under 23s and was very successful in winning the Isthmian League Development North Division as well as reaching two cup finals. Previous to his time with The Blues he was in charge of Cockfosters taking them to their highest ever finish in their history when they finished third in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division in 2016/17. He will be assisted by Frank Piazza (following Barker from W&F), Steve Rolfe (was with Welwyn Garden City who were SSMFL champions last season), Scott Dash (was boss at Leverstock Green last season) , Ben Andreos and Chris Stead (goalkeeping coach). Both Ben and Chris were with Barker during his time at Cockfosters. TheColdEnd spoke to Dean about his footballing career and the forthcoming season with Northwood. 

WHAT IS YOUR FOOTBALLING HISTORY? 

I played many years of semi-professional football scoring over 300 goals in the process. I was the record goalscorer for Cockfosters scoring 48 goals in one season and I'm really proud that record still stands with the club to date. 

DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS IN YOUR COACHING/MANAGERIAL CAREER TO DATE? 
Losing finals is not great but as someone told me this season it's better to reach them and experience the occasion than not at all. I'm very happy with reaching six finals in three years of managing so far. 

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENT IN YOUR COACHING/MANAGERIAL CAREER TO DATE? 
Managing Cockfosters was a great experience and beating Hampton & Richmond Borough (who went on to be Isthmian Premier Champions) in a world record penalty shoot out at their place was up there, along with winning the Charity Cup against then step four Potters Bar Town. It was also lovely to break so many records at a club I hold close to my heart and make the people at the club so happy and see their enjoyment during the two years. 

Winning the league at Wingate & Finchley FC last season with the U23 side and in the process becoming the first team in Wingate's history to win a senior league will be something I look back on in years to come with fond memories. 

SUM UP LAST SEASON WITH WINGATE AND FINCHLEY u23S? 

A brilliant experience all round meeting fantastic people along the way from within the club and elsewhere. The first team had their second best league finish in the club's history. The U18s reached the furthest the club had in the FA Youth Cup for 20 years and played against league two side Barnet at The Hive. To learn from Keith Rowland was fantastic along with being successful in winning the league and reaching two cup finals with the U23 group was brilliant. Also seeing our young players making their first team debuts was a joy to watch. Seventeen year old Luke Alfano playing at Conference South Hemel Hempstead Town FC in the FA Cup, Seventeen year old Isaac Ebelebe and 18 year old Ned Clarke scoring against Dorking Wanderers FC was great for our set up. Not forgetting seventeen year old Ruben Rabstein making his debut in goal away at Harrow Borough FC. 

I managed the first team away at Margate (while Keith was away) who had only lost once all season at home and were second at the time in front of 700 to 800 people and winning a crazy game 4-3 after being down to nine men is something I will also remember. Only negative was losing the cup finals but the young group will have benefited so much from the experience. 


WHO WERE THE BEST TEAM YOUR TEAM COME UP AGAINST AND WHO WAS THE BEST PLAYER YOUR TEAM COME UP AGAINST?
At U23 level probably East Grinstead Town FC - they were a very good side packed with first team players on the night. First team wise it was nice to come up against a star studded Billericay Town FC four times during the season. 

There were some really good young players in the U23 league especially at Brentwood Town and in the two finals against Margate and Hastings United. 


First team wise it was good to see our own Spencer McCall, Joe Kizzi and Nathan Mavila progress during the season even though it affected our team. Opposition wise I thought Byron Lawrence at Leiston FC was outstanding and Jake Reed was the best striker I saw during the season. He played for Lowestoft Town FC and Leiston FC last season.



YOUR AIMS FOR NORTHWOOD FOR THIS FORTHCOMING SEASON? 
Firstly I'm delighted to have be given an opportunity to manage at Step four with a club who have a solid and proud non league history. Obviously they have struggled during the last few seasons so this season will be about getting the community together as one to support the club, giving the youngsters at the club an opportunity to shine and if we can finish in the top ten I think it would of been an hugely successful season. Everyone at the club is looking forward to facing a team from Premier League Chelsea in a pre season friendly on Saturday 14th July 2018. 

WHICH TEAM ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO FACING IN YOUR NEW LEAGUE? 
I'm have followed non-league football all my life with my dad so I like going to new grounds/stadiums I haven't been to before and coming up against experienced managers who have been in the game along time. I see every game as an opportunity to learn, gain an experience so I can't wait for pre-season to start on Tuesday 26th June 2018 at Northwood. 

HOW CAN THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION IMPROVE FOOTBALL AT GRASS ROOTS AND NON-LEAGUE LEVEL? 
Many people would say pumping money into non league football will help. Clubs are seeing the benefits of astro surfaces now and the income it brings in. I'm still old school and believe football should be played on grass but I can understand why clubs are going down that route. In non league football in particular you meet some great people who love their clubs and give up so much of their free time and for those people all we can say is thank you and you're support is greatly appreciated. 

WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT FOOTBALL AT YOUR LEVEL? 
Winning and seeing smiles on people faces. 

AND THE WORST THING ABOUT FOOTBALL AT YOUR LEVEL? 
It's hard to find loyal people these days like years gone by and players seem to be more interested in money rather than how they can develop, become a better player/person and I'm all for my players progressing up the ladder rather than getting a pay day at the same level. But from a players point of view if clubs are going to give you silly money you're going to take it and I understand that but I would always say enjoy your football first and let the rest take care of itself. 

WHAT STYLE OF FOOTBALL CAN PEOPLE EXPECT FROM NORTHWOOD NEXT SEASON? 
As a former striker I like to see my team play attacking football and enjoy scoring goals. At Cockfosters and Wingate & Finchley I wanted my players to express themselves, play with freedom and not fear making a mistake so that will be the same this season. If your paying to watch a game you want to leave the ground thinking I'm glad I came to this one. 

WHAT ONE PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD PLAYER LOOKING TO MAKE IT IN THE GAME? 

Play games! People will notice you if your playing not sitting on a bench somewhere. If you have to drop down a level so be it you will find your level eventually. It's a long 50/60 game season. 

FINALLY - YOU ARE WELL KNOWN AS A FAN OF QUEENS PARK RANGERS - HOW DO YOU THINK THEY'LL DO UNDER STEVE McCLAREN THIS SEASON? 
Yes - I am a season ticket holder unfortunately haha! Steve won't have much money to spend but similar to Northwood I hope both teams can surprise a few along the way let's see what happens!


Northwood have a really exciting pre-season friendly game coming up on Saturday 14th July when Premier League Chelsea send a side to play them. Tickets for the game are now on sale via the club's website. 

The club are also offering an incredible season ticket deal which enables holders to watch all home league games for just £40.00 for the whole season! The ticket also covers social membership to the newly refurbished clubhouse and promotional discounts along with reductions on booking the clubhouse for events. It will also get you entrance to all under 18 games in the Isthmian Youth League. Contact the club via the website or on social media @NorthwoodFC. You can't beat that for value for money!

Thank you to Dean for talking to TheColdEnd - I wish him the very best of luck for the forthcoming campaign with Northwood.