CHECK OUT THE MATCH REPORTS
• Shroot v Mitchell
• Balham FC Promoted
• Petts Wood
• First Team BBQ
• Aaron And QPR Win The League
• Don’t Forget The Tupperware
• Kit Washers
• Sky Diving Keeper
• Roger At Luton
• Hat Trick Debut
• Darren Departs
• Cardiac Risk In The Young
• Physio Clinic Suspended
• Uni Boys
• The Last Session
• Help For Heroes
• Crutts Awarded
• Young Leader
• Balham Meets The Marines
• FA Charter Standard In-Service
• Shrooty Grabs The Winner
• Blazers In the USA
• Lyle In Jamaica
• The Extremo
• Burgundy Beast
• BBFC At The Olympics
• First Team Promoted
• Club Secretary Of The Year
• Summer League
• Glory Glory Balham Blazers
Former BBFC Coach Robin Shroot (wearing orange in the photo) came up against former BBFC player and current U14 Coach, Aaron Mitchell (number 21 in the photo) when Stevenage played QPR in an U21 pre season game on Tuesday July 16th. Robin, who used to coach Aaron at BBFC, was one of a number of over age players on show. Although QPR lost 2-0, Aaron, who is only 17, got to play alongside Anton Ferdinand, Luke Young and Jose Bosingwa.
It's official - Balham FC have been promoted. Two seasons, two promotions and another step nearer to The Champions League. Many congratulations to all involved with the First Team, who having lost their first three games of the season, lost only one of the remaining seventeen, to finish third in the SSEC Intermediate Division 2. They scored seventy goals in twenty league games and had the best goal difference in the league. They also played some fantastic football. Next season Balham will be in Intermediate Division 1, which is two steps below the Combined Counties League, which the club is aiming to get to.
Congratulations to our U18s who won the Petts Wood 6 a side tournament on Sunday June 30th. After a slow start the team got into it’s stride to qualify from the group stage courtesy of 1-0 and 3-0 wins in their final two games. They then won the semi 2-0 and the final 2-1 with a golden goal in extra time from Reynell Ashie. The same squad were also runners up the previous weekend at the Guildford City tournament.
Once the burgers were demolished, along with a few beers and the football quiz winners, Dan David and Zak Elbekri, had been showered with Lindt chocolates, there was time for a bit of footie on the lawn, watched over by Shane Robinson, our very own player from the land of the barbie, who seemed to have a bottle of Fosters in his hand from 3pm until he departed late in the evening - not the same bottle it should be said. Many thanks to the ever generous Jennie Molyneux for opening the doors of her home to the BFC rabble and to Charlotte for the delicious carrot and chocolate cakes.
Many congratulations to former BBFC player and current U14s coach, Aaron Mitchell, who played for QPR U18s in the Professional Development League Play-Off Final at Loftus Road on Wednesday May 15th. Not only did Aaron, a first year scholar at the club, have a cracking game himself but his QPR team won the final v Huddersfield Town FC 1-0. Nice one Aaron!
QUESTION: Is it more important when going to a Youth Team game, to win the match that you are playing or to make sure the Tupperware is returned to the households that filled it with half time snacks, pre and post match food?
ANSWER: Failure to win the match costs points but failure to return the Tupperware is a fate worse than death.
Many thanks to all those who wash kits for the club. If you're happy to fly the club colours on your washing line please let us know as we could do with more volunteers, especially for the BBFC Youth Team and the Balham FC First Team.
We all knew that Balham First Team keeper, Tom Jelliffe, can dive all over the place, like all good keepers do but, not then he can sky dive too, which he did recently on a two month gap year trip to Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and California - all countries, as he commented, that prefer the wrong shaped ball. Along with the sky diving Tom and his two travelling companions also did some bungee jumping, white water rafting and bull shark scuba diving - with no cage! As instructed, Tom managed to get photos in most places wearing the Balham Blazers badge. He says the only thing that he missed was playing for Balham FC, although I'm sure he must have missed his family a little bit too. Hope so, as they are very nice people.
BBFC U16 player last season, Roger Peron Conceicao, is living in digs during the week in Luton in his first year as a scholar at the club. We are delighted that when he comes home for the weekend he often comes and visits us at BBFC and joins in our Friday training sessions. All is going well for Roger so far, as it is for Aaron Mitchell at QPR, Alec Fiddes at Lleida Esportiu in Spain and Shawn Lyle, who has been on a three month camp with the Jamaican U20 National squad. Former Youth team captain, Joe Holland, is also currently doing very well in the First Team at Ryman League club, Merstham and a number of other BBFC players are playing at a similar level, looking to push on higher as and when an opportunity arises. We also have a number of players doing very well at University including, Daniel Forde, who will be playing for Cambridge in the Varsity Match this coming Saturday March 30th at Selhurst Park.
Striker Louis Jeffery made a record breaking full debut for the Youth team on Thursday March 14th at home to Hanworth Villa FC. Having come on as a sub in the previous game against St Andrews, he started for the first time against Villa and marked the occasion by bagging a first half hat trick, which contributed greatly to Balham's 4-3 win on the night. It's great to see Louis, who is a very talented player, back playing for the club after he stepped away from playing football altogether for a season.
Many thanks on behalf of all at BBFC to Darren Gregoire who has finished his time as Club Physio. Darren started the department, holding clinics at Chestnut Grove School and then at Ernest Bevin College. We are very grateful for all that he has done and his work has paved the way for others to follow. Darren is leaving to pursue medical studies abroad and we all wish him great success. We hope to have a new Club Physio in place asap.
We as a club urge any BBFC player aged 14-35 to attend a cardiac screening at St George’s Hospital Tooting. Everyone will no doubt have read of high profile cases in the media where extremely fit young athletes who push themselves doing sport but who have undetected heart conditions, have in some cases tragically lost their lives. CRY – Cardiac Risk in the Young – is the charity that is raising awareness about this issue which affects approximately 1 in 500 people. Every athlete owes it to themselves and their families to make sure that they do not have a condition which could, if undetected, have serious consequences. There are free screenings on offer at St George’s on May 11th and BBFC urges you all to book in for one either then or at the next available opportunity.
CRY - 01737 363 222
Download a copy of the CRY information booklet - Heart Screening Booklet
We are suspending the Wednesday Physio Clinic until further notice as the sports club partner we had in what was a joint venture hiring the gym at Ernest Bevin College, has regrettably had to pull out, leaving us to fully fund the clinic, which we can’t, at present, afford to do. We are currently renegotiating our booking and will keep you posted with developments. Rest assured however the Physio Clinic, which has become an integral part of BBFC, will be up and running again, either at Ernest Bevin College or elsewhere.
A number of former BBFC Youth team players are currently at University. They include: Junior Appiah at Brunel, Alfie Cruttwell at Birmingham, Dan Forde at Cambridge, Julian Fuller at Aston, Michael McConnell at Southampton, Tom Read at Loughborough and Guy Farquharson at Leeds Met. As well as being a fine footballer, Guy, number 3 in the picture above, is also a very talented volleyball player and as such recently won his first international cap after being selected to play for England in the Novetal Cup in Luxembourg. The young inexperienced England team, average age of twenty, beat the Czech Republic and competed well against very strong sides from Norway and Luxembourg.
The last training session of 2012 was held on Clapham Common on Sunday December 30th. With a mix of current First Team and Youth Team players along with players back from university on show, the 9 a side training match, despite a bog of a pitch to play on, provided a good post turkey and trimmings work out and was, as ever, an excellent advert for Balham FC and Balham Blazers FC football.
For the last eighteen months Balham FC First Team player, Andy Neill and a work colleague of his from HMP Wandsworth have been fundraising in order to raise money for Help For Heroes. Rather than just raising money, they decided to try some sort of challenge in order to replicate some of the challenges our soldiers take on every single day.
They chose to tackle Mount Everest and set off for Nepal on Wednesday November 14th. They will arrive back on December 2nd. The trek itself will take roughly sixteen days -eleven to ascend and five to descend.
To date they have raised in excess of £12,500 and are hoping that this figure will continue to rise. The money goes directly to Help For Heroes with no tax or administrative deductions. It is used to help injured servicemen and women. The donations help to create Rehabilitation Centres, such as Tedworth House and Headley Court, which offer full medical rehabilitation to the injured personnel returning from Tours of Duty. Not only is medical rehabilitation offered but the injured personnel are also offered opportunities to reintegrate back into the community.
Andy and his colleague would be very grateful for any support and donations towards this worthy cause. You can contact him at email@example.com
The donation page is www.bmycharity.com/everestchallenge2012
BBFC General Manager, Greg Cruttwell, was the proud recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Community Football Award at the 2012 London FA Awards Ceremony held at Upton Park on Thursday November 1st. In his acceptance speech Greg thanked and paid tribute to the fantastic Committee and Coaches at Balham Blazers and of course the hundreds of players that he’s worked with over the years since starting the club with one Under 10 team back in 2001. Everything, according to Greg, is about the team you get around you both on and off the pitch. “If you work in tandem with good people then you tend to get good results.”
Congratulations to First Team player, Dan David, who applied for and has been selected to be on the newly set up London FA Young Leaders Council. Dan has been a top player for BBFC for many years and is currently on a gap year. He has also just completed his FA level 1 coaching badge.
The Royal Marines came to First Team/Youth Team training on Tuesday October 9th, as part of their Meet The Marines programme and took a fitness session for our squads, none of whom knew they were coming. The PT Instructors were seemingly very impressed with our players levels of fitness and attitude to being put through the wringer. Needless to say a lot of fatigued, sore bodies left the 3g at 8pm. One squad member remarked the morning after, "Walking to work today, looking like I was trying to lay an egg!! Cannot move at all." Another remarked, “I got up this morning and realised I’d left my quads at Chestnut Grove.”
Balham Blazers FC have been invited by the London FA to host a second prestigious Charter Standard In-Service training session at Chestnut Grove, having hosted one successfully last year. The session will take place on Friday November 9th from 7pm to 9pm and all coaches from Charter Standard clubs are invited to attend this event for CPD and further learning. The BBFC Under 17 squad will be put through a themed practice with opportunities for further questions at the end of the session. The session, which is part classroom and part practical, will be led by FA regional coach development manager, Matthew Joseph, following on from Fulham’s Derek Bradley in 2011. It is a chance for any coaches to complete this item on the Charter Standard health check form.
Former BBFC Coach, Robin Shroot, who hopes to return to coaching with the club this season, continued his fine form for Stevenage Borough by grabbing the 90th minute winner away to Notts County on Tuesday October 2nd. Robin's goal means that Stevenage currently sit in second place in League One. It was a smart finish from Shrooty and a smart shirt removal afterwards, as part of his zestful goal celebration.
Former First team and Youth team captain, Joe Holland and centre back, Jamie Brason, known as St Jamie, both of whom have been with BBFC since they were ten, have won four year football scholarships to universities across the pond. Joe is in Long Island and Jamie is jetting out to St Louis. College “soccer” in the USA is highly prestigious and very well supported. Needless to say we wish them both great success.
Shawn Lyle, BBFC Youth Team centre forward last season, is currently in Jamaica having been called up to the Jamaican U20 National Squad for a three month training camp.
It is with great pride that we at Balham Blazers FC can announce that in August, long serving Balham Youth team and First team player, Alec “Messi” Fiddes, signed a professional contract with the Spanish Football Federation to play for Club Lleida Esportiu in the 2nd B Division, which is the equivalent of League One in the UK. Alec is registered as a Juvenil (Under 19) but Lleida also have him lined up to play first team matches as an "Extremo" (winger). Alec is currently training five hours a day from Tuesday to Friday and playing matches on Saturdays. Lleida are currently second in the League. Alec, along with a Malian and Ghanaian, is one of three foreign players at the club. He is loving every minute of his time at present – who wouldn’t?! - and is especially looking forward to lining up against Barcelona B on November 18th.
A front left panel is all that remains of BBFC General Manager Greg Cruttwell’s Burgundy Beast, a car synonymous with Balham Blazers. Always full of football equipment the Beast has given it’s all to BBFC ferrying equipment to training sessions and taxiing hundreds, if not thousands, of BBFC players to and from matches for many years. The Beast, a red Mercedes 2.8, was stolen from outside Greg’s house on the day the Olympic Torch Relay came to Tooting, with, as you might expect, two bags of balls, a few bags of bibs, two sets of cones, eight training poles, a set of water bottles, a tactics board and a first aid kit in it. The whereabouts of K524 FJV became a trending topic on twitter but alas the rest of the car has not materialised. Auf Weidersehen, Burgundy Beast. Dankeschon.
Two sporting legends were snapped together at the Olympics beach volleyball but the question is, which one is the swimming gold medal winner and which one is the BBFC Committee member?
Congratulations to all those who have been part of the Balham FC U21 squad for the inaugural LFA 7 a side Summer League, held over the past ten weeks on the 3g at Southfields Community College - Reyneel Ashie, Charlie Barthorp, Niah Burke, Dan David, Zak Elbekri, Daniel Forde, Alec Fiddes, Julian Fuller, Bryan Gonzalez, Jake Henry, Joe Holland, Alfie McCheyne, Michael McConnell, Aaron Mitchell, Walisson Luz, Haydn Read, Tom Read, Tomasz Wocial - Despite having to use a lot of players throughout the campaign, the squad consistently played excellent, eye catching football. There was pressure too in the last game v Chelsea Kickz on Thursday July 27th, which Balham had to win to be crowned champions. Thanks to a first half penalty from, skipper on the night, Tomas Wocial, Balham had a deserved 1-0 half time lead. Despite creating numerous chances in the second half however Balham couldn’t get the all important second goal and were then, against the run of play, caught on the break with ten minutes to go. With the game now at 1-1 and Balham requiring victory to win the league by a point, the team piled the pressure on Chelsea Kickz but still couldn’t find the back of the net. With two minutes to go the unthinkable happened when, caught on the break again, pushing forward, Balham conceded a penalty. Thankfully, for all of a Balham persuasion, the penalty was missed and less than a minute later Tomasz Wocial, came up trumps, drilling home the game winning, league winning goal. Phew!!! Final result: 2-1 to Balham. Hard work on the night but ultimately, mission accomplished. Balham FC – LFA Summer League Champions!
Congratulations to the newly formed Balham FC First Team, who have won promotion in their very first season. As a result they will be playing in the Intermediate 2 Division of the SSEC in 2012-2013. The only way is up we hope, for BFC, with the aim being to get into the Combined Counties League before too long. Promotion was especially satisfying as the team played some great football to achieve it, with an incredibly young squad.!
BBFC General Manager, Greg Cruttwell, has won the Southern Youth League Club Secretary of the Year award and was presented with it at the SYL AGM on Thursday June 21st at Sutton Utd.
Balham FC will be playing in a new London FA U21 7-a-side Summer League which runs for ten weeks on Thursdays from 24-5-12. All games are to played on the 3g pitch at Southfields Community College.
Check out the games and league position by clicking through this link.
It was a glorious night for BBFC on Tuesday May 15th as the Youth team produced another eye catching display of pass and move football to win the SYL Invitational Plate Final, played at Molesey FC. From first to last whistle the boys from Balham dominated the game and were unlucky at the break to be only 1-0 up, courtesy of a smart finish from Alec “Messi” Fiddes. Centre forward, Shawn Lyle, put them further ahead midway through the second half before their opponents, Oakwood FC, against the run of play, got one back to give themselves a chance. Although Oakwood had a good ten minute spell following their goal and Balham keeper, Bryan Gonzalez, had to pull off an outstanding save, Balham kept creating opportunities themselves and late in the game, after right back Ramoy Jones was felled in the box, Alec Fiddes stepped up to secure victory from the penalty spot. Relief came soon after as the final whistle blew and players, staff and supporters could celebrate the first trophy won by BBFC in the club’s second season playing in the Southern Youth League.