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Following a frustrating season at Stevenage Borough FC in League One, former BBFC Coach, Robin Shroot, a fans favourite at Broadhill Way, where he made 74 appearances, scoring 11 times, after signing from Birmingham City, has left British shores for a new adventure in Scandinavia. The brilliant, technically gifted 26 year old former Northern Ireland U21 international, who coached various age groups at BBFC in his late teens, has signed for Il Hodd FC, who played in the Europa League last season. It's still relatively early days but Shrooty is clearly loving the style and quality of football in the Kingdom of Norway and we all at BBFC wish him great success. Lykke til Shrooty!
Congratulations to the Balham Blazers Youth team who are through to the Southern Youth League Cup Final on May 8th, having beaten Crowborough Athletic 5-4 in a pulsating, nail biting semi final on Monday April 7th. Balham scored first and were never behind. Each time they established a two goal cushion however they were pegged back by the Sussex side, who are unbeaten in the league. The pitch and playing conditions didn’t help Balham play the slick pass and move football that they like to but they adapted their game well and with two goals each from striker Eddie Luchford and skipper Cornell Holland and one from number ten, Luke Fenlon, they managed to get the job done and can now look forward to a show piece final at the home of Conference South club, Sutton Utd.
Just to let you know Aaron was offered a professional contract at QPR yesterday. I’m sure you will all join me in congratulating him. Aaron joined Balham Blazers as an U10 and was offered a scholarship at QPR as an U16. It goes to show with dedication and hard work just what can be achieved. If you’ve not seen him in action, click on this link.
After three years in London, former BBFC Sports and Conditioning Coach, Marçal Trulls Sevillano, moved back to his native Barcelona where he worked for a first division women’s team, an experience he thoroughly enjoyed. Having then been invited by a colleague to work for an academy team in Thailand, Marcal had a difficult decision to make. He decided the opportunity was too good to miss and so he packed his bags and headed East to coach the U16 and U18 teams at Buriram United. We all miss Marcal, who did great work at BBFC and hope that one day he’ll return to Balham, enriched by his experiences back home and in the land of Pad Thai.
In a quite extraordinary game on Tuesday February 11th the BBFC Youth team beat Molesey 11-5. The total of sixteen goals scored on the night broke the previous record for goals scored in a Southern Youth League game. It would be easy to say the defending wasn’t too clever and it clearly wasn’t. It should also be stated however that the standard of attacking play was exceptional. Starved of football for over a month both teams were hell bent on attacking at will, without worrying too much about leaving the back door ajar in Balham’s case or wide open in Molesey’s.
BBFC was delighted and honoured to have four award winners at the superbly organised and presented 2013 Active Wandsworth Sports Awards on Thursday February 13th. BBFC won the highly coveted Sports Club Of The Year Award, for the second time, having won it previously in 2011. BBFC General Manager, Greg Cruttwell, won the Outstanding Contribution To Sport Award and BBFC Committee Members, Rachel Arbuckle and Louise Eyeington won Voluntary Services To Sport Awards. Click here to see the Wandsworth Guardian report of the evening.
Former BBFC player, Ben Wood, who is currently in his second year at Leeds Trinity University studying, Sports and Exercise Science with Psychology, began a work placement with us on January 13th. Over the next six weeks, Ben, who has his FA Level 1 Coaching Badge and is studying a coaching module as part of his degree course, will be shadowing our lead coaches with age groups from U8 - U16.
"As a younger player I dreamt of a career in football and keeping goal for Manchester United. Sadly my lack of talent (and height) meant my future was elsewhere. At BBFC we of course would love all our players to have a future in football but for those that don’t we would like to be able to help them with their first steps on the career ladder.
We’re looking at establishing a network of work experience contacts that players 16 and over would be able to be contact if they wanted to arrange a work placement to gain some experience in an increasingly difficult job market.
Within the BBFC community we are fortunate to attract talented players from a wide range of backgrounds and this is also true for their parents. We would love to hear from any parent that could either assist in offering a work placement to a BBFC player or who may be able to provide help perhaps on developing their CV or interview skills. This project is still very much in its infancy so any advice or guidance would be very much appreciated. If you would be able to help please get in touch with Patrick"
Patrick Walker BBFC Club Coach & Committee Member
The final training session of 2013 took place once again on New Years Eve. Eleven First and Youth team players took to the mud on Clapham Common for a two hour workout in the rain. Despite the inclement weather and dire playing conditions a great year for Balham FC and Balham Blazers FC finished on a good note, with those present popping the ball about in fine style.
We are very pleased to welcome to the club two new volunteer physios, Craig D'Mello and Pablo Santander who are taking over from Neba.
Craig graduated from St. George’s University of London in 2013 and has just recently received a diploma in sports massage. Whilst with Balham he is keen to get both pitch side experience as well as help out at the Tuesday evening clinics at Chestnut Grove. Away from physio Craig is an avid footballer himself and a fan of Manchester United.
Pablo is a Physiotherapy (BSc) Graduate also from St George's Hospital Medical School and has a Diploma in Sports Massage (ProActive Training). He has previously volunteered in a Stroke UK exercise class in Hounslow. He hopes to specialise in neurotherapy in the future, and has special interest in paediatrics.
As recent graduates they are eager to build up their experience of managing sports injuries and we are very pleased to welcome them to the club. They are both registered with the Healthcare Professions Council.
If you'd like to make an appointment with them please click on this link for instructions.
It proved to be another Fuzzy Wuzzie Friday at the second Old Fellers Fundraising Tournament on Friday December 13th. Defending the title they won only a week earlier, this time against different opposition, the Wuzzies got out of their group, before defeating U12 Eagles Manager, Darran O'Grady's team, Moonbover Young'uns, in a tight semi final. After an even tighter final, against Alex Vinter's team, York Way Wanderers, which finished 0-0, the Wuzzies came good again from the penalty spot, securing their tournament win in a sudden death shoot out.
We would like to say a big thank you to Neba Al-Hashim who has been our volunteer physio since September but who, sadly, has to step down in the new year. Neba has done an outstanding job in re-establishing the physio clinic on a Tuesday night and we will be very sorry to see her go. From everyone at Balham FC/Balham Blazers FC we wish her well with her forthcoming nuptials and her move up to Birmingham. The physio clinic will be continuing in the new year with more news to follow soon.
The first BBFC Old Fellers Tournament of the season on Friday December 6th was won by the Tony Georgiou managed Fuzzy Wuzzies, who defeated The Sporting Shanks, managed by BBFC U8 Colts manager, Sam Emmery, 1-0 in the final. The eight team tournament was keenly contested both at the group stage and in the semi finals, where the The Sporting Shanks defeated Pat Walkers' Magnificent Fellas 1-0, before an epic sudden death penalty shoot out saw the Fuzzy Wuzzies sail into the final, leaving John Hyland's Tugboats in Stillwater. Many thanks to all those who entered this popular fundraiser for the club, especially BBFC Sponsors, Lauristons, who entered two teams on the night.
We look forward, once term ends, to welcoming back at training, over the Christmas and New Year period, all the Balham players currently out of London at University. They include: Julian Fuller at Aston, Daniel Forde at Cambridge, Alfie Cruttwell at Birmingham, Michael McConnell at Southampton, Guy Farquharson at Leeds Met, Jermaine Townsend at Hull, Eliot Garcia at Bournemouth, Tom Jelliffe and Tom Read at Loughborough, Haydn Read at Oxford Brookes and Ramoy Jones at Hertfordshire. Alec Fiddes, who spent last season in Spain on the books of league one team, Leida Esportiu, is now back in the UK, where he is combining playing for Weston Super Mare FC in the Skrill Football Conference South, with doing a degree at Bristol University. Joe Holland, who attended university in the USA is back playing for Merstham FC in the Ryman League and Jamie Brason, who also attended university across the pond, is back where all Blazer boys belong, in the First Team squad, at Balham FC.
Players past their prime but, who still fancy that they have a bit of the Messi about them, will be taking to the 3g at Chestnut Grove School, SW12 8JZ, in a keenly contested eight team tournament. Squads can be up to 10 players. Entry fee is £10 per player.
We're seeking entries from eight teams who will play in two groups, followed by two semi-finals and a final. Group games will commence at 6.30pm and the final will finish at 9pm.
So, why not put a team together from the BBFC age group that you are involved with, or, if you have a work team outside the club or a group of friends that you play with, why not enter them.
First come first served, so get on the case NOW!
If any individuals want to be placed on a team let us know and we’ll try and sort it out.
Entries with team names to: Greg Cruttwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07763 581 523
All monies raised, in what is an important fund raiser, will go towards the running costs of Balham Blazers FC. Players, check this out for some inspiration.
Marshall Travers-Elwin has played terrific football for Balham Blazers since he started with the Under 9 Colts four years ago. Unfortunately he’s out for the current season with a serious knee injury. Instead Marshall - a.k.a. M#5 - is presenting and posting Match Reports for his team, the Under 13 Eagles.
You can watch them at: www.youtube.com/FootballTBG Make sure to subscribe for regular updates!
At social events he always had the amber nectar in his hand and on the field of play he tackled like a Tasmanian Devil and buzzed about the pitch, with no little skill, like a dingo on speed. Whether playing at full back or in midfield Balham's Socceroo, Shane Robinson, who is heading back down under after two years in London, was always on the money and never had a poor game. His last appearance for the club on Saturday October 26th was a fitting climax as he came off the bench to help his mates from the metropolis through to the quarter finals of the League Cup. Opponents won't miss him but everyone at Balham will do. He's been a "great guy" to work with since he turned up at a pre season session in 2012 on Clapham Common, looking for a good club to try out for. We all wish him well back in his homeland, whether playing, coaching or watching Del Piero in the twilight of his career. We are also banking on super Shane organising a Balham FC pre season tour to Oz for us. Hooroo Shane!
Having won it previously in 2011, we are delighted to announce that Balham Blazers FC has won the London FA Charter Standard Club of the Year again in 2013. The award was presented to Balham Blazers FC and Balham FC General Manager, Greg Cruttwell, at the Awards Ceremony at Crystal Palace FC on Thursday September 12th.
Balham Blazers stalwart, Aaron Mitchell, had an amazing trip to the USA with his QPR U18 squad. Living the dream, Aaron, a second year scholar, scored a hat trick against Inter Milan and two against Liverpool, who QPR beat 5-1 in the tournament final. Aaron, who plays in midfield, won the golden boot as tournament top scorer. Nice one Aaron!!! Click on the link for further information
Can you spot BBFC General Manager, Greg Cruttwell, on holiday in France, in amongst the sunflowers?.
2012-13 Season news
Download a PDF of the 2012-13 Annual Report.