Cheshunt Sports and Leisure LTD. Company registration: 07532736, VAT Number: 117532823.
Good Afternoon and welcome to Cheshunt Stadium.
As one of non-league footballs best-known names, thanks to their Cup exploits in the 1970’s, we particularly would like to welcome Leatherhead back to Theobalds Lane after a two-year absence. The Tanners last visit here resulted in a 3-1 victory with Zachary Robinson (2) and Charlie Hester-Cook putting them into the lead before Ryan Moss pulled one back in added time. We, of course, met earlier this season at Fetcham Grove when Taylor MacKenzie and Jamie Reynolds scored in a 2-1 victory for the Ambers. (see front page)
After Tuesday nights win over Hemel Hempstead Town, we now face Hitchin Town in the semi final of the Herts Senior Cup on Tuesday 29th March.
Enjoy the game
Please note Cheshunt FC operates a No Dogs policy. (except Assistance Dogs)
You are responsible for your own children on the site, unless they are participating in an organised event at the site with qualified staff.
Welcome everyone to Theobalds Lane for today’s Isthmian Premier League match. Today we extend our welcome to the officials, players and supporters of Leatherhead.
It was good to get back to winning ways on Tuesday and reach the semi-final of the Herts Senior Cup. Perhaps this will be our cup season?!
This week we interviewed for a Digital Media Assistant on the Kick Start Programme. We will be making an appointment in the coming days as we look to grow our social media presence and brand.
You will have noticed that yet again our marquee is without a roof. I think it was Albert Einstein who quoted that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This time therefore we will not be replacing the roof, and instead will dismantle the marquee! It served its purpose well during Covid and the Euros and was a worthwhile investment.
We will look into replacing the marquee with a more sturdy structure, but a lot depends on our proposed redevelopment of the ground. This is currently in the hands of the council. The Council Cabinet are meeting on Wednesday to discuss whether to allow us to proceed with our Cheshunt Sports Village Scheme. I hope to report some positive news in my next notes.
Let’s also hope for a positive result today. It will be a tough match as we look to pick up three points for the first time this year. Then we can we start to look ahead to our FA Trophy match next weekend at Stockport.
Enjoy the game.
The Ambers kept up their habit of knocking over Vanarama South sides in cup competitions with a fine win over Hemel Hempstead on Tuesday night in the Herts FA Challenge Cup.
Manager Craig Edwards, confident in his squad, sought to get everyone who hadn’t started matches in January a slot in the starting eleven and so George Marsh came back in between the sticks, Adam Crowther returned from injury partnering Tom Gardiner, club captain Ola Williams started at right back with Enock Ekongo moving into midfield, and Mo Camara started in the 9 shirt swapping places with Rowan Liburd.
The Ambers had an energy about them from the start, not allowing The Tudors to settle and fizzing the ball around the middle of the park with pass & go movement opening the visitors up. Within 5 minutes Reece Beckles Richards sprang the off side trap latching onto a through ball in the channel, for the first attempt on goal, Hemel keeper David Saunders on debut, did well to be quick off his line and smother the attack at Beckles Richards feet.
Beckles Richards & Jamie Reynolds combined well and looked up to see Joe re making a Lampardesque late run into the box, finishing the move with a low drive that flashed past the base of the post.
For Hemel, Alfie Cerrulli was lively and looked most likely to be a danger to the home defence. Gardiner & Crowther looked comfortable central, and Daniel Ojo had the pace to keep any attack down the Cheshunt left wide and out of dangerous areas.
Referee Stuart Creek kept play moving with some very astute ‘advantage’ decisions, and when his whistle went, took time to explain why and got the game moving again without complaint. A well contested first half seemed destined for nil-nil at half time when Daniel Ojo moved out of his left back slot, advanced to receive a ball on half way, beat his man & drove into the space that opened up before him, as the Hemel defence backed off he pulled the trigger on the edge of the box, keeper Saunders got down and across well but could only parry the ball back into his six yard box, where Beckles Richards was first to react, twisting to volley home from short range.
The goalscorer was in the thick of it at the start of the second half teeing up Mo Camara for a shot the keeper did well to tip wide of the post. From the resulting corner swung deep, Adam Crowther headed back across goal and Beckles Richards got a header goal bound, but the keeper covered.
Jalen Jones slotted in for Tom Gardiner & Zubayr Boadi replaced Jamie Reynolds, both took a moment to pick up the pace of the game , then looked comfortable with their responsibilities. The Ambers were playing good football, enjoying plenty of possession, and moving around the pitch with a smile, none more so than Enock Ekongo, tireless in his new role, he was up & down the pitch winning vital challenges & intercepting multiple passes. On 65 minutes Ekongo won a challenge in his own half and drove forwards into the space in front of him, his team mates made runs ahead of him dragging defenders with them, he looked up 25 yards out then unleashed an unexpected but very welcome left foot shot that stunned both the defence and keeper as it hit the back of the Hemel net.
Hemel sought to make the last quarter a nervous one, but George Marsh was equal to anything goal bound, doing particularly well to get down to his right to smother an Ethan Holt attempt. The Ambers had time for one more attempt when Beckles Richards put through at inside left with the keeper to beat had the chance to ice the cup tie cake, but stroked the ball just wide of the far post.
A fine win against strong opposition & the Ambers back to confident football. A semi final against Hitchin Town awaits, in the other side of the draw Ware play Hadley for the right to challenge Royston Town in the other semi final.
For those interested in this years competition, here are the results so far…
Cheshunt 3-0 Colney Heath
St Margaretsbury 4-4 Baldock Town (St Margaretsbury win on pens)
Royston Town 4-3 Welwyn Garden City
Hoddesdon Town 0-3 Enfield
London Colney 1-1 Sawbridgeworth Town (London Colney win on pens)
Kings Langley 1-1 Harpenden Town (Harpenden win on pens)
Leverstock 0-0 Berkhamsted (Berkhamsted win on pens)
Potters Bar Town 0-2 Ware
Cheshunt 1-0 Baldock Town
London Colney 0-3 Hadley
Hertford Town 0-3 St Albans City
Royston 10-0 Oxhey Jets
Tring Athletic 0-4 Hitchin Town
Harpenden Town 0-0 Stevenage (Harpenden win on pens)
Hemel Hempstead Town 2-0 Berkhamsted
Ware 5-1 Enfield
Cheshunt 2-0 Hemel Hempstead Town
Royston Town 4-0 Harpenden Town
St Albans City 2-2 Hitchin Town (Hitchin win on pens)
Hadley v Ware
Cheshunt v Hitchin Town
Hadley or Ware v Royston Town
Firstly I’d like to welcome Luke, his team and everyone who has travelled up from Leatherhead for todays game.
I’d also like to extend a warm welcome to our match officials and hope they enjoy the game and their stay.
We’ve taken one point from the last fifteen including a promising display at Carshalton last Saturday where I felt we deserved the three points. After being so poor in recent performances it was important that we got back on track.
After losing one in nineteen it was proof that if you let your standards drop with it so will results and performances. I’ve had many reasons thrown at me for the drop in form but as far as i’m concerned they’re just excuses and not something I’ll entertain.
We made seven changes to the side in our Herts Senior Cup Quarter Final against Hemel and quite frankly we were superb. Make no mistake 2-0 flattered them no end. If I had to nit pick it was the amount of sitters we missed. It kept us 100% against National League sides, hopefully we’ll keep that stat for at least a couple of weeks.
The shout of the night was after the game as we were walking back to the dressing rooms….. “welcome back lads, we missed you *@*#* ! “
As I laughed to myself, I thought, yeah me ‘n’ all !!
Hopefully we can continue our progress today.
Enjoy the Match !
Clapton 2-3 Cheshunt
Hitachi Cup Second Round Replay
Tuesday 17th January 1978
This afternoon we look back forty-four years to Cheshunt’s first-ever season in the Isthmian League and, consequentially, their first foray into the Isthmian League Cup.
Having been gradually stripped of its bigger Clubs, Cheshunt rose to become one of the leading sides in the Athenian League by the mid 1970’s but the lure of the ever-expanding Isthmian League led to three unsuccessful applications before finally being accepted into the newly formed Isthmian Division Two for the start of the 1977/78 season.
Cheshunt travelled to the Old Spotted Dog Ground in Forest Gate to take on division one side – and founder members – Clapton in a 2nd qualifying round of the Isthmian league Cup. That season the competition was sponsored by the Japanese electronics company, Hitachi and portable televisions were presented as awards for the best performance of the round (which Cheshunt would pick up for a game the following season – it was a black and white set and sat in the Board room for several years after!).
The first game at Theobalds Lane had ended 1-1, with Cheshunt coming into the tie following a 0-2 home defeat in the league at the weekend against Eastbourne United where many disgruntled fans had voiced their opinions of the side and left early. Manager John Drabwell responded by sending out a side that produced a “crackerjack performance” according to the Cheshunt & Waltham Telegraph.
Clapton’s Dormer put them ahead after 28 minutes, following a mistake by ex-Tottenham and New York Cosmos midfielder Mike Dillon who was spending his NASL close season with his brother Tommy’s side at Theobalds Lane. Four minutes late, Steve Kiff picked up a pass from Micky Eldridge, played a one-two with Brian Reeves before lifting the netting with a thumping 25-yard shot. The Ambers took the lead on the stroke of half time when Roland Cray deceived everyone with an inswinging near-post corner that was guided home by George Berryman.
End-to-end stuff followed in the second half with Clapton having a goal disallowed for offside. In the aftermath, Reg Bishop turned in a Cray free kick to secure the tie. Shirley for Clapton pulled one back in added time but it would be Cheshunt who would go into the next round to meet Premier division Carshalton.
That game would end in a 1-2 defeat (with Mike Dillon having returned to training with Pele and Beckenbauer the day before) and Cheshunt’s first season as an Isthmian league Club ended in a mid-table finish, a dozen points above the relegation zone. After several seasons as a top side in the Athenian League, it is understandable that some at the Club – John Drabwell in particular – found the experience of being one of the small fish again frustrating. A very public fall out with Roland Cray came in March, followed by long-serving George Berryman and Tommy Dillon both being told to leave by Drabwell soon after.
A ‘simmering row’ between Drabwell and Chairman Ted Prosser boiled over, the details of which have never really been revealed, came to a head in April with Drabwell tendering his resignation. He had been at the Club for five and a half years (still the longest spell for any Manager at the Club) and had been given the title of General Manager only a few months previously. It was known that he was trying to impose his coaching methods throughout the youth teams at the Club and perhaps this upset the youth-orientated Prosser? Gordon Sedgley was quickly brought in as his replacement, watching the final games as Drabwell saw things out until the end of the season. After his last match in charge against Worthing, Skipper Colin Hyde presented Drabwell with a silver salver from all the players and his friends at the Club.
It wasn’t too long ago that we were in the height of the lockdown. It was a time when football was mourning the lack of crowds. Football people knew there were serious financial implications because of there being no spectators, but just as importantly it was increasingly aware that a complete lack atmosphere was slowly ruining the spectacle of a football match.
I personally hated the prospect of a game without spectators. After the long break I was glad to have a game back on TV but almost immediately it was clear that it just wasn’t the same, and that football was badly lacking the spice that a crowd offers a game. Even if it’s a game at The Emirates!
So why is a game of football made so much more of an occasion by the presence of fans?
Jock Stein was once said ‘football is nothing without spectators.’ Meaning take away supporters and all you have is a game of football. Cristiano Ronaldo said ‘Playing without fans is like going to a circus without clowns or sitting in a garden without seeing flowers.’
The significance of fans should never be underestimated. Us fans can take a struggling side and get them over the line, we can see a player struggling and help him lift his game, and we can create an atmosphere that can terrify an opposition. Unfortunately, we can also be the negative factor inside a stadium. We can make a team feel completely alone and unsupported; we can even make a player want to hide or worst of all we can end up being a distraction that serves only to motivate the opponent.
Being a fan is not as simple as it sounds, is it?
I remember being on The North Bank at Highbury back in the 1970’s, I stood on it every game and loved all the songs supporting the club, and adored the ones we used to sing to wind up our opponents. It was the same up and down the country, young people giving their enthusiasm and energy in a way only they can. However around the mid 70’s The News of The World ran a story about The North Bank, claiming our songs were offensive, that we swore too much, that we were going too far in our humour or anger. I remember at the time thinking why now? What’s different to what we were singing two weeks ago? Whatever the accuracy of the accusation I remember that we just took it in our stride and started singing songs about not being allowed to swear or substituting ‘flip’ for another favourite other word beginning with ‘f’! We basically took their negative and turned it into our positive.
The club loved us for it, the rest of the crowd loved us for it and even the press relented and praised us for our humour. Fans of other clubs joined in with songs telling us off for swearing and we sang politely back. We simply took the heat taken out of the story and we soon got back to normal, perhaps we may have temporarily tapered our vocabulary but we made sure we lost nothing of our atmosphere. Newspapers are after all only for wrapping chips in! (remember the days…)
Football crowds can be the strangest of beings, often wanting to appear offended but perversely never wanting to face their own hypocrisy, and always wanting to run with the fox, and hunt with the hound too. One example of this is when Leeds fans were being hugely ridiculed for singing a song that was about the death of the young Manchester United players at the Munich Air Crash of 1958. Radio phone ins were full of United fans incandescent with rage and berating the Leeds supporters for their disgraceful behaviour.
Were the Manchester United fans right to be upset?? Of course, they were. It isn’t acceptable to sing songs about young men who have lost their lives. It was disgraceful and the Leeds supporters had walked over the line.
So, when those same United fans stood and sang songs accusing Arsene Wenger of being an abuser of children where had their moral compass gone?? They weren’t calling the radio phone ins then to defend their own fans for impugning the reputation of a decent and innocent man. They instead made themselves look ridiculous and lost a great deal of the sympathy they’d previously gained.
At Arsenal there is a song that is sung about Spurs managers’ mothers which is disgusting. I’ve never sung it, I never will sing it and I have chastened people who have. In my opinion anyone joining in lets themselves down, lets the club down and makes all of us feel guilty by association when the truth is that most of us aren’t.
Not too clever some of this stuff is it?
We are lucky at Cheshunt to have a group of young and vibrant supporters who are fast gaining a positive reputation around the league. Our ‘Ultra’s’ or ‘The Amber Army’ may only be few in number at present but they are extremely loud in their appreciation and week by week are building a repertoire of songs and they are clearly growing in numbers. These are exciting times and more such times lie ahead for this lot and as an old git now, I envy them.
As they move through their Ambers experience, they are having the best of times, and developing an amazing relationship with the Cheshunt players and coaches. It’s a brilliant thing to watch and those of us who can remember games without the atmosphere they create, certainly don’t want a return to those dreary days at Theobalds Lane.
I have stood on many terraces, watched fans sing the most wonderful songs and I can’t deny that very often those songs will have a victim. The trick is to make sure that the humour is the biggest facet of the song, to make sure that the offence is minimalised but not eroded, and that others don’t overly take the offence but instead enjoy the humour. It’s certainly a bit of a balancing act and not achieved without a great deal of skill.
I was one of those on the North Bank who made Peter Shilton’s life a ninety-minute misery due to his philandering behaviour with Tina being exposed in the press a day before the match; I was also amongst those who stood on the Park Lane at White Hart Lane heaping scorn on the exposure of a certain Spurs managers for his nocturnal behaviour. Were we pushing the limits? Of course we were, but were we offensive? I don’t think so. We were drawing on gallows humour for the situation, we weren’t being saints, but we didn’t go too far and the language was moderate even if the songs were heated.
When Chelsea fans sang songs on seeing Wayne Rooney’s new hair transplant at Old Trafford, I have to ask what did people think was going to happen? The songs they sang in reference to what they labelled his new wig probably meant Wayne wasn’t too happy; but were they offensive? I don’t think so. Were they funny? Hysterically.
I think the moral of the story is being a vocal football fan at any club can be an awful lot of fun, and I hope I’ve demonstrated it can give you moments that will live with you forever, but if you make a wrong call it can equally provide you with a memory you’d rather have avoided.
At Cheshunt we want to encourage our fans to be the best, and I think we are well on the way to being able to say they are. If along the way they’ve stood on the odd toe or made the odd misjudgement than I’m certain they’d be the first to be contrite. We all learn from experience.
Next weekend we have the biggest game of the club’s history, and I can only say I’m genuinely so looking forward to winding back the years and standing with The Amber Army at Stockport. They will do themselves and the club proud next Saturday, in the weeks and months ahead and for many years to come.
Come On You Ambers!!!!
A HISTORY OF LEATHERHEAD FC
LEATHERHEAD FOOTBALL CLUB can trace its history back to the formation of Leatherhead Rose in 1907. Rose were crowned Champions of the Dorking & District League in 1910 and 1919 before joining the Kingston and District League where they won the League title three times, the last in 1938-39. Leatherhead United were formed in 1924 and, in 1925-6, won Division One of the Sutton and District League. In the early 1930s, United joined the Surrey Junior League becoming Champions in 1933-4.
After the War, officials of the two clubs met and in May 1946, Leatherhead Football Club was officially formed at a public meeting. United’s Fetcham Grove ground was to be used as the home ground. The Tanners went on to win four consecutive Surrey Senior League Championships before spells in the Metropolitan, Delphian and Corinthian Leagues. Tanners were Corinthian League champions in 1963 before moving into the Athenian League. Leatherhead won promotion from Division One at the end of the first season and inaugurated their floodlights with a match against a Fulham side. Leatherhead won the Surrey Senior Cup for the first, and to date, only time in 1969. After being elected into the Isthmian League, Leatherhead made national headlines in 1974-5 when they reached the Fourth Round proper of the FA Cup, defeating League sides Colchester Utd and Brighton & Hove Albion before bowing out to First Division Leicester City 2-3. In subsequent seasons, the Tanners defeated two more Football League sides at the Grove – Cambridge United and Northampton Town.
After the disappointment of defeat in FA Amateur Cup semi-finals in 1971 and 1974, the Tanners finally reached Wembley Stadium in 1978 but were beaten in the FA Trophy Final. The Club then entered a period of decline and were relegated in 1983 and in 1990, slipped down into Division Two South but were back in Division One in 1997. Finances were a problem and in the summer of 2000, the club was within a few days of folding but was saved by its supporters who took over following a crisis meeting.
In 2006-7, Leatherhead were the lowest ranked team to reach the First Round Proper of the FA Cup, losing 1-2 at Football League side, Torquay United. Mick Sullivan was appointed First Team Manager in May 2009. Under Sullivan’s guidance, the club had its most successful season in years, winning the Isthmian League Cup (the first major trophy for some 40 years) and finishing the season in fifth place in the League before losing a play-off semi-final. The following season, a dramatic play-off victory against Dulwich Hamlet (4-3 after extra time), saw The Tanners return to the Premier Division for the first time since 1983. Tanners stay lasted just the one season though. In 2013-14 Tanners reached the play offs again, this time edging out Guernsey 3-2, before winning a penalty shootout at Folkestone Invicta to return to the Ryman Premier Division.
Sammy Moore was appointed in the summer of 2017. In his first managerial job Sammy steered Tanners to the second round of the FA Cup, a County Cup Final and a top eight finish in the League before departing for Concord Rangers along with the majority of the team. He was replaced by former Margate boss Nikki Bull who, despite having to rebuild the squad, took the team to an 8th place finish narrowly missing out on the play-offs.
After a poor start to the 2021-22 season Luke Tuffs was appointed to the Fetcham Grove hot seat in January 2022.
MAIN CLUB HONOURS
FA Challenge Cup 4th Round 1974/75
2nd Round 1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79, 2017/18
1st Round 1977/78, 1980/81, 2006/07
FA Trophy Finalists 1977/78
FA Amateur Cup Semi-finalists 1970/71, 1973/74
Isthmian Division One South Play-off Winners
Isthmian Division Two Runners up 1996/97
Isthmian League Cup Winners 2009/10 Finalists 1977/78
Isthmian Charity Shield Winners
Premier Midweek League Runners up 1969/70
Surrey Senior Cup Winners 1968/69
Finalists 1964/65, 1966/67, 1974/75, 1978/79, 2010/11, 2017/18
London Senior Cup Finalists 1974/75, 1977/78
Athenian League Division One Champions 1963/64
Corinthian League Champions 1962/63
Surrey Senior League Champions
1946/47, 1947/48, 1948/49, 1949/50
Surrey Senior League Cup Winners 1949/50
Surrey Senior Shield Winners 1968/69
Southern Combination Cup Winners 1989/90
LUKE TUFFS – Young manager appointed in January 2022. He was heavily involved in Hartley Wintney’s phenomenal rise to Step 3 before enjoying successful spells as manager at Knaphill and Ashford Town (Mx).
JEMRAINE McGLASHAN – Croydon born, McGlashan started his career with the likes of Staines Town, Kingstonian, Merstham and Ashford Town (Middlesex). In the summer of 2010, he signed for Aldershot Town. He subsequently had spells with Cheltenham Town, Gillingham, Southend Utd and Swindon Town. In all he made over 350 appearances in the Football League. After being released by Swindon he played for Wrexham, Chesterfield and most recently Ebbsfleet Utd in the National League and for Cypriot Second Division side Akritos Chloakas. He has appeared regularly this season for Maidstone Utd before joining Luke Tuffs as player coach at Fetcham Grove in January 2022.
CAMERON BLACK – Centre back who re-joined the club in January for a second spell on loan from Dorking Wanderers. He came through the Academy at Wanderers, playing for the Under 18’s and Under 23’s before graduating to the first team squad this season.
JOSH BOHUI – Exciting winger signed in January 2022 from Hayes & Yeading. Started his career in the Academies at Brentford and Manchester United. Subsequently played for NAC Breda in Holland and Colchester United.
JOSIAH BRIDGEMAN – Midfielder signed in 2021. Previous clubs include Uxbridge and Windsor.
ARCHIE BURNETT – Young midfielder on a month’s loan from Bromley. Has also played for Margate.
POTCHU MENDES CALUCANE – Versatile young player who can play either wing back or midfield. Played for Merstham in the curtailed 2021/21 season. Started the current season at Athletic Newham before spending some time playing in Spain. Joined the Tanners in December.
HARRY CAWDRON – Young goalkeeper. Formerly with Crystal Palace Great shot stopper with excellent distribution skills. Signed in the summer from Hanworth Villa.
JAMES DALEY – James commenced his career in the youth ranks at QPR and made one substitute appearance for the Hoops first team before injury interrupted his progression. He then ventured home and signed for Drogheda United followed by a spell with Athlone Town. He had stints with Bromley and Airdrie before returning to Ireland to play for University College, Dublin. The midfielder come striker signed for Tanners in January 2022.
ADAM DESBOIS – On loan from Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion until the end of the season.
Adam started his career with Reading, playing for the Under 18 side and being called up to the England Under 17 squad. Whilst with the Royals he impressed during a loan spell at had that Hartley loan, and then during 2019 he headed to the south coast.
MICHAEL FERNANDES – Spent the last two seasons with Colchester United, playing regularly for the Under 23 side. He also had loan spells at Dartford and at Farnborough, before signing for the Southern Premier side in the summer. Signed on dual registration.
ANTONIO GERMAN – a forward who has extensive professional experience. He came through the youth ranks as Queens Park Rangers and graduated to the first team. He has also played professionally for the likes of Southend Utd, Brentford, Gillingham, Northampton Town and Partick Thistle. More recently he has played in both the Indian and Malaysian Super Leagues. He is also a full international with Grenada.
MITCHAL GOUGH – Joined from Walton Casuals and counts Farnborough, Hayes & Yeading, Merstham, Kingstonian, Ashford Town (Mx) and Harrow Borough among his former clubs.
JETHRO HANSON – Can play at either centre back or in central midfield. Spent a number of years in the Millwall Academy and has also played for Eastbourne Borough. Signed in November 2021.
AARON LAMONT – A skilful midfield operator Aaron returned to Kingstonian in the summer of 2021 to start his 4th spell at the club. He made his debut for Kingstonian in August 2016 after signing from Hampton and Richmond Borough. He was in the youth ranks at Queen’s Park Rangers and joined the Beavers in the summer of 2016. After a successful first campaign, he had a fine 2017-18 season with Truro City before returning to Kingstonian for 2018-19. At the end of that season, he moved on again, this time to Braintree Town but he was soon a Ramsgate player. He came back once again to Kingstonian in January 2020, and last season was with Walton Casuals before returning once more to Kingston. He was prised away to sign for Tanners in January 2022.
ISAAC OGUNDERE – Right back, although comfortable playing anywhere across the back four, on a season long loan from AFC Wimbledon. Captained the Dons youngsters to the 4th Round of the FA Youth Cup last season. Signed his first professional contract with the Dons in June 2021.
SETH OWENS – A physically imposing and versatile defender. Seth began his career with Wingate & Finchley before joining Brentford on a scholarship. He moved on to AFC Wimbledon where he signed professional forms and made his football league debut in 2017. After being released by Dons in 2018 he had spells at Maldon & Tiptree and Staines Town before signing for current club Farnborough. Currently on duel registration basis.
LOUIE PAGET – Louie is a versatile player who can play at full-back or anywhere in midfield. The athletic youngster came through Hartley Wintney’s youth team set-up (where he played under manager Luke Tuffs) and is their former U18 Captain, signing First Team forms in August 2015. Signed for current club Farnborough in March 2020. Currently on dual registration.
Manager Craig Edwards
Reece Beckles Richards
Manager Luke Tuffs
Potchu Mendes Colucane
Mr Jorden Gibson
Mr Douglas Lawson Mr Daniel Smith
So, after much deliberation, doubt and concern, England C is back – and in a whole new guise.
It’s been two-and-a-half years since Paul Fairclough led out Non-League’s Young Lions with many fearing that crippling FA finances from the pandemic may spell the end of the institution which has had young semi- professionals dreaming of representing their country since 1979.
You needn’t go far to realise just what donning those Three Lions means to a Non-League footballer. Players now playing in the top-flight of English pride have done so with immense pride and speak fondly about how the experience helped develop them as a player – and as a man.
Only a few weeks ago, NLP columnist Tony Incenzo spoke to QPR’s former Watford striker Andre Gray about his six England C caps won between 2012 and 2014 while playing for Luton Town.
“I loved my time with England C,” he said. “We travelled to countries that we probably never would have visited otherwise and saw some unreal places.
“The support from the coaching staff was really hands on and they were very good at the diet and psychology side of things. People might be surprised by how professional the England C set-up is run.
“It was such an honour to be capped at international level as a Non- League player. I found it a great opportunity to test myself against top young footballers from places like Russia and Turkey.
“Most of the players around me in Paul Fairclough’s squad moved into the Football League and the Premier League. I am sure that my England C appearances helped me progress as a footballer. The whole experience prepared me towards playing at a much higher level of club football.
“I would definitely recommend England C to any young Non-League players who are aspiring to move forward in their careers.”
Thankfully, calls for a reunification of the England C post-Covid have been heard and last week it was announced that the Three Lions would return to play their first game since June 2019 when they take on Wales C at Caernarfon Town on Wednesday, March 30.
As he has since 2003, Paul Fairclough will once again take the reins – but this time has an altogether different job on his hands with his squad selections no longer limited to players under the age of 23.
That means, the veteran former Barnet and Stevenage chief literally has the pick of Non-League football to choose a squad from and with the likes of Wrexham, Stockport and Chesterfield all spending big and taking the National League to a whole new level, that’s a pretty mouthwatering task. I mean, can you imagine a strike force, for example, containing the likes of Kabongo Tshimanga and Michael Cheek and boosting with the experience and firepower of an Ollie Palmer, Paddy Madden or Paul Mullin? Interestingly, this new England C set-up will no longer by funded by the Football Association but instead jointly by the National League and the Trident Leagues at Steps 3 and 4.
The FA have remained pretty tight-lipped on the reason for this but, thinking about it, with the TV connections that the National League have, could it be that the England C team begin to get the exposure that they deserve?
This, in turn, can resurrect careers and propel new ones with players of all levels vying for their chance to go under the spotlight.
At The NLP, we are naturally delighted to see the England C team back in action and can’t wait to see how the new venture unfolds.
It may have taken a while but the Three Lions are roaring again.
Football is the most popular sport worldwide, and there are so many children who do not have the same opportunities to safely play the game that they are so passionate about.
In the UK, children are often buying new pairs of football boots every season, as they so quickly outgrow their old pairs. This means that their used football boots are often left in near-perfect condition.
Our goal is to give these football boots a second chance and to bring joy to children who don’t have the same opportunity.
Cheshunt FC teams are collecting boots for this very worthwhile charity, please check your cupboards for any boots you may be able to bring along to the club and donate.
“The Isthmian Football League strongly supports the FA statement that there should be a zero-tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly, any form of discriminatory abuse whether it by reason of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sex and sexual orientation or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association.” (The FA 0800 085 0508 / Kick it Out 020 7253 0162).The Isthmian League and all Member Clubs in the League are committed to promoting equality by treating people fairly and with respect, by recognising that inequalities may exist, by taking steps to address them and providing access and opportunities for all members of the community.”