Tuesday, 29 May 2018

A QUICK WORD WITH KODAK FC'S DANNY GODFREY


Kodak FC's first team play in the Middlesex County League Division One (West) where they finished in seventh of twelve teams last season. They also have youth teams catering for players from under 8 to under 18 level.  
Here in the first of a number of interviews with local footballing people we spoke to Danny Godfrey who plays for the first team and also manages the club's under twelve side.  

YOUR FOOTBALLING HISTORY
I grew up playing in the Harrow Youth Leagues. I tore the ACL in my knee at U18s level before getting back into football after University and have played for Kodak for the last four years. 

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF KODAK FC?
Kodak Harrow was formed in 1935 for workers in the Wealdstone factory and played in various leagues until 1973 when they joined the London Commercial League. Kodak won the MCFA Intermediate Cup in 2005/6. In 2007 the team joined the Middlesex County Division One West and were the champions that season getting promoted into the Middlesex County Premier League. This year we reached the final of the Middlesex FA Junior Cup Final (where they unfortunately lost to FC Deportivo Galicia Reserves). The history books have Kodak Juniors winning their league in 1945, but it wasn't until 1995/96 that some adult players ran a summer soccer school leading to a creation of the youth section. The club previously played at the Kodak Sports Ground but the land was sold and the club now plays its home matches at Boxtree Park in Harrow Weald. 

HOW CAN THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION HELP CLUBS LIKE YOURS AT GRASS ROOTS LEVEL? 
They could put more money towards clubs achieving the FA Standard Charter, which Kodak does do. Any money granted could go towards facilities for training and clubhouses. New AstroTurf pitches would go along way too, in Harrow there are not many and most charge hefty fees for an hour's use. Subsidising this would benefit grassroots teams across the country to be more accessible to all players from all backgrounds. 

CAN YOU AND MEMBERS OF THE TEAM AFFORD TO GO TO PREMIER LEAGUE GAMES? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE PRICES OF TICKETS? 
I used to have a season ticket at Chelsea but paying £800 a season seemed a waste. I'd much rather play football every Saturday afternoon than watch the Premier League. Ticket prices are absurd these days for the average fan. I'm much more likely to go and watch my local team Harrow Borough play instead. 

THE BEST THING ABOUT FOOTBALL AT YOUR LEVEL? 
The people. Most members of football clubs at our level don't get paid. Most clubs don't make a profit. Most of the people in grassroots are there because they love football and want to allow others the opportunity to play. 

THE WORST THING ABOUT FOOTBALL AT YOUR LEVEL? 
Either the referees or facilities. I won't moan about the referees but some facilities can be dreadful. Some teams have had money invested by the football foundation and it really makes a difference. 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET A GAME ON? 
The most expensive thing for us is probably the pitch. As we have to hire the local park pitches after losing our ground in the sale of the Kodak site we pay about £2000 a year for the pitches. Considering we will play about 11 adult home league games, that's a lot of money. It's only doable as we also have some youth teams that will use the pitches too and makes it worth while. Referee fees cost about £35 per match too. If we want linesman, that's about another £40.

ONE THING THAT YOU WOULD CHANGE ABOUT THE GAME THAT WILL IMPROVE IT? 
In the professional game, one video replay challenge per team. I'm not a fan of VAR but if it was only used once a game per team similar to cricket, then I think I could get on board. At Kodak's level, it would probably be some of the absurd an unnecessary rules/fines. For example, we get a £10 fine if our captain forgets to wear his armband. 

The Cold End thanks Danny for his time and wishes him along with Kodak FC the very best for the forthcoming season. If you are local to Boxtree Park why not pop over to give the first team some support or if you are a player looking for a team to play for why not contact them as detailed below. 



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