This years Balham FC & Balham Blazers FC annual presentation evening will be held on Friday July 1st from 6.30PM to 9.30PM. The venue will be Trinity Fields, Trinity Road, Wandsworth SW17. There will, as usual, be a bar, a raffle and a bbq, with top quality burgers and hotdogs. Club Shop items will be on sale. Parents or Guardians must be present and are responsible for their own children.
Congratulations to the Balham FC First Team who have finished as Runners Up in the SEIFL and as a result have successfully gained promotion to the Combined Counties League for the 2016-17 season. In 2011, when the First Team was formed, a 5 year target was set of getting 4 promotions in 5 seasons to reach the dizzy heights of the CCL. Had the facility requirements required to play at Step 6 been met the target would actually have been achieved last season, a year ahead of time, but, as it is, it's been completed bang on time. A new target has now been set.
BBFC parents have been among Wandsworth and Lambeth residents raiding their wardrobes to help refugees stuck in camps near Calais and Dunkirk, in France. Clothes for Calais, a grassroots initiative set up by South Londoners - including BBFC parents - is collecting men’s clothes and shoes, blankets, sleeping bags and other items to help people including those living in the 'Jungle' camp near Calais. The group filled three vans with items in a collection earlier this year and hopes to do the same again on Saturday 14 May.
Bring any items you can spare - or buy stuff to donate - and drop it off at ReStore Base, Larch Close, near Ravenstone School between 10am and 4pm. Clothes for Calais volunteers will drive all donations to France the following day.
Have a look at the group's Facebook page for details of what they're collecting www.facebook.com/clothesforcalais .
We are delighted to announce that Balham FC will be moving back to the Wibbandune next season, on the A3 Southbound, ground sharing with Combined Counties League residents, Colliers Wood Utd. Both the Balham First team and Youth Team will be playing there. We would like to thank Cobham FC for their hospitality at the Reg Madgwick Stadium in 2015-16 and wish them luck with the ground developments currently taking place there and with future ground shares.
Many congratulations to the Balham FC Youth Team (defending SYL Champions), who for the second season running have won their Division (West) in the Southern Youth League and are into the overall League Championship Play Off Final in May against the winners of the South Division, which will be either Loxwood FC from Sussex, who made the play off finals last season or AFC Croydon Athletic.
With no First team game scheduled for April 2nd, Balham played a very useful friendly on Monday April 4th against Chelsea Kickz. The team put out was a mix of First teamers, needing game time, Youth teamers and new players. Balham won 7-1 with a sumptuous hat trick from Jerome Boncoeur, two goals from new signing, Daniel Galvarro, who acquitted himself admirably on the left side of midfield, a header from centre back, Hamish Frew and a top drawer, top corner, Morgan Roberts-Watson finish from the edge of the penalty box.
The second Balham Sixes 6 fundraising tournament will take place on Friday April 29th at Chestnut Grove School.
It went to the last round once again at another sell out BBFC Quiz Night on Saturday March 5th. Four of the thirteen teams entered remained in contention, but it was the U13 Eagles based team, "Bob's Your Uncle", which sounds like a runner at Wincanton, who tasted glory, pipping "Nine Men Went To Mow" by three points and "Tane's Left Foot" and "The Mighty Tenors" by seven. The Balham First team put in a team who came a creditable eighth and the Panthers entered too, although the less said about where they finished the better. It's not winning that counts though girls, it's taking part! Many thanks to everyone who supported another exciting, fun packed fundraising event and to all those who helped on the night. Special thanks to Sue Lamont and family, Victoria Hunt, Mike Allen and Jennie Molyneux and extra special thanks to Lisa Kerr, who has now organised three stellar Quiz Nights for BBFC.
Congratulations to the BBFC U21s who won the Tandridge League Cup Final on Thursday March 17th, beating Chipstead Kent FC 3-1 at Chipstead FC in Surrey. A blistering fifteen minute spell midway through the first half saw Balham take a stranglehold on the game with two goals from Morgan Roberts-Watson and another from Jack Haire. More could and should have followed after the break, but the only score was a Chipstead consolation. Skipper Zola Mafolo- Rodriguez went up to lift the trophy, sparking jubilant celebrations from the boys!
Congratulations to Kate Jefferson who won a Voluntary Services to Sport Award at the 2015 Active Wandsworth Sports Awards on Thursday February 11th. Congratulations also to our all conquering Under 17s who were nominated for Sports Team of the Year and to Under 17 striker, Ibrahim Olutade, who was nominated for Sports Person of the Year.
We are delighted to announce that Balham Blazers all conquering Under 17s have been nominated for Sports Team of the Year at the 2015 Active Wandsworth Sports Awards. Centre forward, Ibrahim Olutade, who scored 80 goals last season for the 17s, Youth team and First team has also been nominated for Sports Person of the Year and BBFC Club Fees and Bursary Secretary has been nominated for the Voluntary Services to Sport Award. The Awards evening, hosted by Sky Sports News Presenter, David Garrido, is on Thursday February 11th in the Civic Suite at Wandsworth Town Hall.
Congratulations to Alfie Miller and Arsen Ujkaj who have both played regular representative football for the London FA Under 18 team this season. Congratulations also to Admir Ujkaj who has played regularly for the Under 16s. At Professional Academy level, it was very good to see three BBFC players, Sam Arbuckle, Fabio Carvalho and Tiannie Wilson, all playing for Fulham Under 15s against Tottenham recently and at Professional level to see Aaron Mitchell captaining QPR's Under 21 side.
It was great to see so many Balham players, past and present, at the annual First team Christmas training game, played this year at Imperial Fields on Tuesday December 22nd. The weather wasn't the best but the football was up to scratch, as were the mince pies after it.
It's been an excellent term for Balham FC & Balham Blazers FC. On the field most of our teams are challenging for honours. At the time of writing the Balham FC First team and Youth team are in contention for league titles as are the BBFC U21s, U17s, U15 Eagles, U14 Colts, U13 Eagles in the Tandridge League A Division and the U15 Colts in the B Division. Our U17s, U15 Colts and U12s are all into the latter stages of the London Cup and our U21s are through to the Tandridge League Cup Final.
Our U7s-U11s play non competitive football where results and league tables are not published. Both U11 squads are doing very well in the highest band of the Tandridge League. Our U9s and U10s have picked up where they left off last season, winning most of their games and playing some exhilarating top quality BBFC football. Our new U8s took a while to get up to speed but are now coming on nicely. Finally our new U7s have been tearing it up in the local LCSYFL where they remain unbeaten having scored hatfuls of goals.
It should be said of course that results are only part of the story. Our main concern, as always, is long term individual and collective development and the style and quality of football that our teams play. Thankfully on that front everyone has done very well so far.
Off the field the two undoubted highlights this term have been winning the London FA Award as Charter Standard Club of the Year for an unprecedented third time and signing an exciting new partnership with Fulham FC which is hugely beneficial for our club.
On behalf of all those behind the scenes at Balham FC and BBFC I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all players and their families a very Happy Christmas and New Year. We look forward to seeing you all back in training or in action in 2016 aiming to bring a bit of Barcelona to Balham.
BFC/BBFC General Manager
Carlton Cole proved to be the winner at the first Balham fundraising 6 a side tournament of the season on Friday December 11th. Ollie Kanner's team, named in his honour, justified their strong tag as favourites beating Kaz Kakai's durable Footie Killers team in the final. The competition was keenly contested both at the group stage and in the knockouts where one semi final went to sudden death pens. There will be further tournaments in February and April when, should they return to defend their title, the Carlton Cole posse will take some shooting down.
Balham FC & Balham Blazers FC Jack Petchey Award Winners, Ollie Kanner (Coach), Harry Herbert (First Team), Chris Kleczkowski (U14 Eagles) and Thomas Jefferson (U13 Colts) attended the JP Awards Scheme Presentations in the Wandsworth Civic Suite on Tuesday December 8th. They were presented with their prestigious awards by former Olympic Athlete, Mark Richardson.
Last season's First team and Youth team players player of the year, Jamal Bartley, recently came up against former Balham First and Youth team sensation, Alec Fiddes, as Exeter University played Bristol. On this occasion Jamal came out on top scoring the winner in a 3-2 victory. In addition to playing first team university football, Alec, who spent a season in Spain playing for Spanish league club FC Lleida Esportiu, is now playing semi pro football for Yate Town FC in the Evo-Stik League Southern. He was at Weymouth FC but the travelling to and from Bristol to train on the south Dorset coast proved too difficult. There are plenty of other top Balham players currently away at university. They include Jermaine Townsend, Sammy Machirimba, Eliot Garcia, Fred Fox, Julian Fuller, Haydn Read, Ramoy Jones, Louis Farquharson, Khalid Savage, Ollie Keyser, Ollie Beauchamp and Yuyi "The Rock" Kabanje. Tom Read was part of the Loughborough University first team squad last season and Joe Holland, Cornell Holland and Isaac Wong are on four year soccer scholarships in the USA. Tom Jelliffe has been on a work placement from Loughborough with Adidas in Singapore and Michael McConnell has been travelling on a post university gap year. Luke Fenlon, who is currently in his second year at Chichester, has managed to travel back to play for the Balham First team and Daniel Forde is back in London training in SW12 having played in the Cambridge University Varsity team for the three years he was there. Junior Appiah, having played for Chertsey Town whilst at Brunel University, is also back in the Metropolis, working as a football agent for one of the top companies and Alfie Cruttwell and Theo Marks, who went to Birmingham and Manchester are both very much around, in their second season coaching and managing the talented BBFC U9 squad. We've also seen the elusive Guy Farquharson from time to time, who went to Leeds Met and played volleyball for England.
The first Balham FC Six a Side Fundraising Tournament of the season will take place on Friday December 11th.
Balham Panthers FC are looking to add committed, talented female players aged 16+ to the newest squad at Balham FC.
Joe Holland continues to tear it up across the pond in US College Soccer. Not only have his Hofstra Pride College team won the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) championship play offs and qualified for the USA National Finals but, in the play off final itself, following a typical Holland mazy run and being upended on the edge of the Delaware opposition box, Joe scored a scorching free kick. To cap things off in style Joe also won the much coveted CAA Most Valuable Player of the season award.
Balham FC are delighted to have signed a unique partnership agreement with Fulham FC, who have a top level Category 1 Academy. The agreement, which is extremely beneficial for both clubs in different ways, was signed on November 2nd by BFC General Manager, Greg Cruttwell and FFC Academy Director, Huw Jennings.
Balham Blazers won the Charter Standard Club of the Year Award at the London FA Awards, held at Wembley Stadium, for an unprecedented third time, on Wednesday October 7th. We have previously won this prestigious and much coveted award in 2011 and 2013.
Balham First team centre forward, Jerome Boncoeur, had a field day in front of goal away to Warlingham in the Surrey Elite League on Saturday October 3rd. Our French goal machine scored a double hat trick in a stunning 9-2 victory. Jerome's six goals scored is a new club record individual tally in a senior game. Bon job, Boncoeur!
img src="Images/2015-16/NEWS/NEWS-JoeHolland.jpg" width="600" height="413" />
Former Balham FC First team and Youth team captain, Joe Holland, who played for BBFC from the age of eleven, is doing incredibly well on his university soccer scholarship across the pond. For his latest triumph see their website. Away from university Joe was also in the league team of the season for Long Island Rough Riders in the summer Professional Development League (which is a kind of under 23s feeder league into the MLS).
While the younger BBFC age group squads have been on a months break in July the Balham FC First team have been in pre season working hard to prepare for the league campaign which started on August 15th. A seriously impressive 38 goals were scored and 9 conceded in an excellent seven game pre season programme. Notable scalps were taken as Balham, who won six out of seven, beat clubs higher up the football league ladder. The league itself started with a hard fought 0-0 draw away to Horsley, which was followed on August 22nd by a scorching 7-1 home win against NPL, on a scorching summers day.
Balham's first Youth team and First team keeper, Tom Jelliffe, is spreading the Balham word out east whilst hanging out with past and present Premier League stars. Tom, who is studying at Loughborough University is in Singapore on a six month internship working for Addidas. He's missing Balham and England but is having a great time, which isn't surprising if you get to schmooze with the Great Dane, Peter Schmeichel, who's your goalkeeping hero and other football notables such as, Mr Abbey Clancy, aka, RoboCrouch.
Balham rounded off a very successful seven match pre season programme with a resounding victory against highly rated Southern Amateur League side, Nottsborough. An own goal following a cross from Balham left back, Jake Henry, was the only score of the first half. The following forty-five minutes saw Eddie Luchford, who is regaining match fitness and sharpness following a year out of the game, score four to make it six in pre season for him. Balham have scored a very impressive thirty-eight in their seven game programme, conceding nine and played some lovely football. There are unfortunately no prizes or promotions for pre season however. It's all important preparation for the long, hard, league and cup campaign which begins on August 15th away at Horsley FC. Come on you Balham!
Balham's sixth pre season game against Leatherhead U21s proved to be another very useful outing on the 3G at Southfields Academy. Some of the football played was of the highest order and but for the Leatherhead keeper and some profligate finishing the win could have been more comfortable. Arsen Ujkaj opened the scoring with a sweet strike from the edge of the box, finishing a fine move. Left back Khalid Savage, who was excellent throughout, added a second and Eddie Luchford netted the third, all before half time. A wonderful left foot strike from Ollie Archard was the only goal scored in the second half but on another day it could have been a lot more. The goals scored and the football played were just what the doctor ordered but the most pleasing aspect of the win was undoubtedly the clean sheet, the only thing missing in what has been a top pre season to date.
We are all very sorry to be losing Patrick Walker at BBFC. Pat has put a huge amount of time and work into the club over many years, initially as a coach and manager and then on the Balham FC/Balham Blazers FC Committee as a Child Welfare Officer, Grants Secretary, Work Placement Scheme creator and co-ordinator, Physio Clinic creator and co-ordinator and Jack Petchey Awards Scheme co-ordinator. Needless to say Pat's shoes will be very difficult to fill. He is moving with his wife Geri and their new born son, Elliot, seen in his BBFC babygrow above, to Bristol, where, having qualified at St George's in Tooting, he will be working as a doctor. Everyone at the club thanks him enormously for all that he's done and wishes Pat, Geri and Elliot great success and happiness in the west country.
It was the turn of the first team squad to nominate their Jack Petchey Award winner and Harry Herbert was selected by his peers as the worthy winner. Pictured is Harry receiving the award from General Manager Greg Cruttwell. On presenting the award Greg remarked, "Harry has come into the Balham FC First team this season and been a revelation both as a person on and off the pitch and also as a player. He has performed at a consistently high level in a very successful league campaign, which resulted in Balham finishing in a promotion position in the Surrey Elite League. He is a natural leader who has led and organised his team in inspirational fashion, totally embracing the club's playing ethos and winning the admiration of all, especially those who train and play regularly with him." From everyone at Balham, congratulations Harry.
Congratulations to long standing club coach Ollie Kanner for receiving the Jack Petchey Leader Award for Balham Blazers.
The Leader Award was developed by the Jack Petchey Foundation to recognise the dedication and commitment of adult leaders who go the extra mile to support young people.
General Manager Greg Cruttwell paid tribute to Ollie's outstanding work "Ollie Kanner has been coaching at BBFC for over six years. He has put in an incredible amount of time working with many different age group squads developing and improving players and teams. He has coached, managed, run soccer camps and been instrumental in formulating and developing the ongoing coaching programme at BBFC. In addition to his coaching work, Ollie has also helped at the club in many other capacities behind the scenes. People such as Ollie, with a passion to help motivate and develop young footballing talent are worth their weight in gold. He is inspirational and a key and irreplaceable member of our set up." Pictured is Ollie receiving his award from General Manager Greg Cruttwell and fellow coach James Scott.
As part of the award Ollie also receives a £750 grant for the club. With the money he plans to enrol the help of Coerver coaching to tailor a coaching package with players selected from all squads (U11 - U17). Any remaining money will be put towards the purchase of a defibrillator for the club.
Congratulations Ollie on a fantastic achievement.
Balham's fifth pre season game, played at their ground share home at Leg O'Mutton Field, produced another good performance to beat co habitants Cobham 5-2 on Wednesday July 29th. Two first half goals from Jermaine Townsend and one from Jerome Boncoeur gave the boys from SW12 a 3-2 half time lead, which was added to after the break by Eddie Luchford and Richie Emmett, who has now scored five in his four games for the club. Balham also had a goal disallowed, Jake Henry, skipper on the night, hit the bar and the Cobham keeper pulled off two outstanding saves. Balham keeper, Alfredo Kuklinski, although called into action from time to time, had a quieter evening.
Balham put in their most impressive pre season performance thus far to come back from 1-0 down to beat top six Combined Counties Premier League side, Spelthorne Sports, in a humdinger on Saturday July 25th, at their ground in Middlesex. Goals from Eddie Luchford, playing his first game since returning from his gap year in Australia and new signing Richie Emmett, who now has four in three games, won the day. There were many contenders for man of the match, from new keeper, Alfredo Kuklinski, who pulled off some stunning saves, all the way through the fifteen players on duty, in what was a spellbinding performance in Spelthorne.
Having relocated to Dubai towards the end of the season, Balham First Team stalwart, Adam Hall, has been playing in the Dubai Amateur Football League (DAFL) for Dubai FC. A very well run club he says, not quite as good as Balham, but with five senior teams of varying ability. The first team play in the prem division and there are some serious players in the league (ex pros etc.) Adam, far right in the team pic above, got a couple games in at the end of the season for the first team. Apparently the pitches are amazing. His team played in an end of season cup competition and won it, playing on the Dubai 7s Emirates pitch in the final which is modelled on the Emirates Arsenal pitch. They then got into a 7-a-side summer league, where they played 36 games, Tuesday and Sunday, over 8 weeks, won 34, drew 1 and lost 1, all in 38+ degrees heat on 3g! His team capped it off by winning a champions league of all the 7-a-side leagues in Dubai. In short: eight weeks,
four trophies and most impressively of all very nearly a sun tan.
There's not a blade of grass in sight, as the picture above testifies, for Balham First Team skipper, Zak Elbekri, who is in Morocco for a month, which means doing most of his pre season in the sweltering heat. He was hoping to train with a team near his family home there but as they are still in season that hasn't been possible. He's managed instead though to play in local games and also every day on the beach. Sun, sea, sand and football - it's a tough life.
It's good to report that Our Man In Brazil, Julian Fuller, has had a great time out there on his year long placement from Aston University. He's played a lot of football too for his University team. Lots of tournaments, intense heat and a lot of passion, not surprisingly. His team made it to the University Cup Competition final but unfortunately with tempers flaring and two red cards - not our boy of course - they finished runners up. Julian, who is fourth from the right on the back row in the team pic above, is now on his way home to London via family in the USA and we all look forward to seeing one of Balham's finest young players in SW12 again before he heads north to Birmingham for his final year.
It was the turn of the Balham FC Youth Team to nominate one of their peers for the Jack Petchey Achievement Award and Jamal Bartley was the worthy winner. Pictured is Jamal receiving his award from Jack Petchey Coordinator Patrick Walker. After being nominated for the award Youth Team manager Greg Cruttwell said "Jamal has been an exceptional leader both on and off the pitch for our Southern Youth League Championship winning Under 18 team. Jamal is a fierce competitor who leads by example but, he is a totally honourable person. Despite being an extremely talented footballer, with huge potential, Jamal is as modest and humble as they come. As an inspirational captain, totally respected and admired by his peers, his leadership, along with his stellar performances on the pitch and his fantastic attitude and commitment to training, makes him special and has been a key factor in our U18 team's success"
Congratulations to Jamal.
Balham were in sizzling form on a sunny Saturday July 18th in their third pre season game, putting thirteen past Tooting & Mitcham Wanderers. The game started brightly with both teams playing well. A brilliant move from back to front saw Balham open the scoring which they then added to a further six times in the first half. Another six followed the break as Balham's young guns took on board the simple half time message to keep pushing, pressing and hitting the back of the net. The goals a plenty, many of them corkers, came from Jake Henry(2), Jamal Bartley(2), Luke Fenlon(2), Richie Emmett(2), Thomas Fosse(2), James Adebayo, Ollie Archard and Jermaine Townsend. The only frustrating blot on an otherwise peachy performance was a goal conceded when the score was 2-0. When you've scored so many at the other end it's difficult to be too critical but the aim in every game always has to be to keep a clean sheet.
Balham were two minutes away from beating Croydon Athletic on Wednesday July 15th. The pre season game against opposition two leagues higher was very even throughout. Balham took the lead in the first half when Tomasz Wocial converted a clear penalty. Croydon gained parity however just before the break. New striker, Richie Emmett, making his debut as a second half substitute looked to have scored the winning goal with a fine drilled finish from a Dan David assist but two lapses of concentration at the death meant the only downside in what was an extremely encouraging Balham performance was the unfortunate final 2-3 result.
Balham made a flying start to the new campaign in the first pre season game of 2015-16, against Chelsea Kickz, on Sunday July 12th. Four goals from last season's top scorer, Jerome Boncoeur and one a piece from James Adebayo, Jermaine Townsend and Tomasz Wocial, from the penalty spot, meant Balham ran out 7-2 winners on the 3g pitch at Southfields Academy.
2014-15 Season news
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2012-13 Season news
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