CHECK OUT THE MATCH REPORTS
We are oh so very near, a bench away in fact, from seeing the first BBFC player appear in the Premier League. Aaron Mitchell was on the bench for QPR at the away game against Aston Villa on Tuesday April 7th and for the home game to Chelsea on Sunday April 12th. Aaron, who is still very much a part of the coaching set up at BBFC has done fantastically well to get this close. It's surely only a matter of time before manager, Chris Ramsey, lets him off the leash and makes history for BBFC.
Congratulations to the Balham FC Youth Team who, for the first time, have won the Southern Youth League Central Division. This means they are into the play offs for the overall Southern Youth League Championship with the winners of the West and South Divisions. Balham are also through to the semi finals of the SYL Challenge Cup and are still in the SYL Invitational Plate, at the group stage. Come on you Balham!
Balham Blazers U17s became the first ever Balham Blazers side to win the London County Cup on Sunday March 29th. In beating Snaresbrook & Interwood 2-0 in the final, played at Mile End Stadium, this fantastic squad, which contains 13 players who have played for the Balham FC Youth team this season, have done a historic treble: London Cup Winners, Tandridge League Champions, Tandridge League Cup Winners. Both goals in what was an excellent all round team performance were scored from the penalty spot by cool as a cucumber Youth team and First team player, Arsen Ujkaj, who also picked up the man of the match award.
Just a reminder to all registered players that physiotherapy sessions are available on Tuesday's from 6-8pm, for half hour sessions (first starting at 6pm and last at 7:30pm). These will be with either Pablo or Katy, who volunteer for the club. The appointments will be in one of the classrooms behind the Chestnut Grove training pitch.
To make an appointment, please contact email@example.com stating the players name, age, team, coach, and a brief description of the problem. Under 18s to be accompanied by an adult please.
Shock! Horror! Amazement! Having won all three Old Fellers Tournaments last season The Fuzzy Wuzzies went out in the group stages of the first tournament of the 2014-15 season on Friday March 13th. It was left to two new teams to contest the final after another stalwart, Tugboats, lost in the semis. The overall standard was higher than in previous tournaments and given that the average player age was nearer 25 than 45 the Old Fellers tag may need rethinking. A very tight final was won by BBFC U11s coach Jordan Greaves' Not A Day Over 21 team who beat a Lauristons Estate Agents based team, Secret Agents, 1-0. The event, a fundraiser for the general running costs of BBFC raised £570.
Congratulations to Game On, the U9 parents team, who won the much coveted BBFC Quiz Night trophy on Saturday February 28th. Although it was, as ever, keenly contested, Game On won in the end by a clear five points. Many thanks to Lisa Kerr, who organised another sold out event superbly and to the team of BBFC helpers, who included: Jennie Molyneux, Sue Lamont, Mike Allen, Kate Jefferson, Sue Carter, Jaqi Whittaker, Philip Whittaker and Barbara McPhee. Thanks also to Matthew Taylor, who compiled an excellent Quiz and to all the cup cake makers, who provided a stunning assortment of calorific treats. The Quiz Night is traditionally the biggest fundraiser of the year at BBFC and it looks as though, as it always has done previously, it will have raised, once again, a substantial amount of much needed funds for the general running of the club.
We were delighted to host another In-Service Coaching event for the London FA at Chestnut Grove School on Friday February 20th. The two hour practical and classroom session on The Future Game was delivered by former Southampton and Swindon Town footballer Jon Gittens, who is a UEFA "A" Licence Coach and FA Regional Coach Development Manager for 11-16 year olds. Jon used the high flying BBFC U17s for his practical. The event proved to be very popular with over 50 coaches from local clubs in attendance, along with some from further afield.
The first BBFC Old Fellers 6-a-side Tournament of the 2014-15 season will take place on Friday March 13th. 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 7pm and the final will finish at 10pm.
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.
The always popular Balham Blazers FC Quiz Night is coming up on Saturday February 28th. Please see the attached flyer for details and book your tickets text or call Lisa Kerr on 07949 393274,
or email lisa.
This fundraising event is incredibly important for the club and is also a big social event where parents and friends of BBFC come together for a very entertaining, fun night out, with a bit of friendly competition thrown in. There’s a trophy and medals to win for the champion quiz team on the night!
We really hope that new parents in the club and friends of the club support this event as it's by coming to club nights such as these that you get a feel for what goes on away from the touchline. You can come alone or bring family and friends. There will be a very tasty curry on the menu and a well stocked bar.
It would be fantastic if each age group squad can enter a team - however you don’t have to be on a team to book tickets and anyone who needs to be put on team on the night can and will be.
There is limited space and the event has always sold out so please don’t leave it to the last minute. Get on the case now.
It’s Balham’s big night out of the year. Make sure you don’t miss it.
Congratulations to Eddie Luchford who has been nominated at the 2014 Active Wandsworth Sports Awards on February 12th for the highly prestigious Sports Person of the Year Award. Eighteen year old Eddie, who has been at BBFC since he was eight, had an amazing season in 2013-14, scoring 62 goals in 46 games for the Balham FC First Team and BBFC Youth Team. Congratulations also to BBFC Committee Members, Zoe Appleton, Del Fordham, Morag Rea and Patrick Walker, who have all been nominated for Voluntary Services to Sport Awards.
Balham players past and present gathered at Southfields Academy on Tuesday December 23rd for a Christmas training 11-a-side game. It was great to see so many returnees back where they started and particularly good to see Jermaine Townsend back in action, looking as sharp as ever.
Some of you may recognise the Santa seen above delivering prezzies to a Children's Home in Poland. It is of course none other than Balham's former Evertonian volunteer Physiotherapist, Darren Gregoire, who is studying medicine out there. Given the Toffees recent form in England Dazza may be thankful he's in Polska rather than back home in Blighty.
As every team at BBFC, apart from the Balham FC First Team who have games on Saturday December 27th and January 3rd, takes a short breather before league and cup campaigns recommence in the New Year, I thought I'd give you all a very brief end of term report. To sum it up in 4 words - So Far So Good.
The last game before Christmas saw our U17s win their Tandridge League Cup Semi Final, coming back from 3-1 down in the second half to win 4-3 AET. Let's hope they are the first of many to make Cup Finals this season.
Most of our teams are challenging for league or divisional titles:
Balham First Team currently 3rd in the Surrey Elite League
Youth Team currently 1st in the Southern Youth League Central Division
U17s currently 3rd in the Tandridge League A Division
U14 Eagles currently 2nd in the Tandridge League A Division
U13 Eagles currently 2nd in the Tandridge League A Division
U13 Colts currently 3rd in the Tandridge League A Division
U12 Eagles currently 2nd in the Tandridge League A Division
U12 Youth currently 4th in the Tandridge League B Division
U12 Colts currently 3rd in the Tandridge League C Division
U11s currently 2nd in the Tandridge League B Division
We also still have U12, U13, U14 and U17 teams in the London Cup - the age group equivalent of the Champions League.
Our U8-U10 teams, who all play non competitive football, where tables and results are not published, have also done exceptionally well to date.
Results are of course only part of the story. Our main concern, as always, is the style and quality of football that our teams play and thankfully on that front too everyone has done very well so far.
On behalf of all those behind the scenes at 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, popping it about on the green baize, in 2015.
Come on you Balham!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Greg Cruttwell, General Manager
We are delighted that Ben Carr has joined the coaching roster at Balham this season. He's been doing a great job with our new Balham Panthers womens team. Ben is passionate about his football. He has played for various teams in the past but always wanted to start coaching as soon as he could. He has completed his FA Level 2 and Youth Module 1 and is looking to progress further. Whilst wanting to continue coaching at Old Salesians FC, who play in the Southern Amateur League, Ben was also keen to take on a new challenge and the challenge that presented itself was BPFC. Ben shares the same philosophy to all at Balham in terms of the way football should be played and we look forward to him playing a big part in the future of the club.
Players and coaches said adios amigo and muchas gracias to goalkeeping coach, Jose Miguel Vega, on Tuesday November 11th, following his last session with the First Team and Youth Team keepers. Having been in London for over a year Jose (in blue in the picture above) is heading back to his homeland. During his time in London he has done outstanding work with keepers in many different age groups at BBFC. We are all very sorry to see him depart but the top tips our keepers have picked up from him will stick with them forever.
As far as injuries go for the Balham FC First Team it's not been the luckiest of season's to date. Clearly nothing compares in severity in any way, shape, or form, to the cardiac arrest suffered by Balham striker, Jermaine Townsend, in September. We are pleased to report that after five weeks in hospital and a major operation Jermaine is now recovering very well at home before he heads north to resume his studies at Hull University. On a non life threatening note Tim Edney is recovering from a broken ankle and hopes to return early in the New Year, Dan David is currently out with ligament damage and Sammy Machirimba is out with a hamstring injury and groin strain. Cornell Holland, a regular last season for both the Firsts and Youth team, is only now returning to full fitness following a groin strain picked up last season, as is Alfie McCheyne, who got injured in pre season when he turned over his ankle on Tooting Bec Common. Last season's top scorer, Eddie Luchford, isn't injured however, having banged a few into the onion bag this campaign, he jetted off in the first week of November to Australia as part of a pre planned gap year sojourn down under. He's to be joined in the New Year by fellow first teamer Hamish Frew, also on a gap year. Thankfully it's not all bad news as some excellent new players have been added and one or two have returned from university. The glut of injuries has also given a smattering of extremely talented Youth team players the opportunity to gain experience playing senior football.
Most people get a clock when they retire but 26 year old Robin Shroot has just got one as player of the year for his Norwegian Division One club, Il Hodd. Robin has had a great season scoring 16 times. Gratulerer Shrooty!
Anyone of a Balham bent who was watching the BBC's Football Focus on Saturday November 8th, which came on FA Cup first round day from Weston Super Mare FC, may have spotted that pundit, Jason Roberts, sitting alongside Mark Lawrenson in the home club's changing room, was perched on a bench in front of a Fiddes shirt. That shirt of course belongs to former BBFC Youth team player, Alec Fiddes. Unfortunately Alec didn't get to wear it on the day as the game was postponed twenty minutes before kick off. Fingers crossed though that the Balham boy scores the winning goal in it when he slips it on again for the rescheduled tie against League One side, Doncaster Rovers.
Ibrahim Olutade has become the first ever BBFC player to score goals for three different Balham teams in the same week. On Thursday October 30th he scored a hat trick for the Youth team in a 5-0 SYL Cup win at home to Molesey. On Saturday November 1st he scored his first ever goal for the Balham FC First team in a 2-0 away win at Spelthorne Sports and on Sunday November 2nd he scored another hat trick for the U17s in an 8-1 Tandridge League Cup win at home to Selsdon Junior.
We are delighted to welcome Katy Andriou to BBFC as a new volunteer physiotherapist. Katy graduated in 2013 from the University of Essex and started volunteering with us in September 2014. She will be taking some Tuesday physiotherapy clinics at Chestnut Grove School and working alongside fellow volunteer physiotherapist, Pablo Santander. BBFC offers free physiotherapy to all registered players in the club. To book an appointment please email Pablo and Katy at email@example.com
Having managed to keep it on show for three months after the World Cup, BBFC General Manager, Greg Cruttwell's World Cup Wall finally came down on Sunday October 25th. Where there was Spain crashing out, seventh hell for Brazil, Chiellini's bitten shoulder and Germany in triumph, white walls have returned. All that now remains as a reminder of the football fare in Brazil is the odd tiny mark left by World Cup Wall blu tack.
Having left these shores for a new challenge, after spells at Birmingham City and Stevenage, ex BBFC Coach, Robin Shroot, is now playing for Il Hodd in Norway. The former Northern Ireland U21 international is having a great time and is loving his football in the land of the Vikings. He's scored 13 goals in 20 games so far this season for the first division club, who have previously played in the Europa League. To see two his most recent brace - both top finishes - in a 4-2 home win click here and look out for number 11. View the Video
Super talented, majestic, First Team player, Julian Fuller, currently in Brazil for a year as part of his degree at Aston University, has been in touch to say that, surprise surprise - not, he's having a fantastic time. He's been to Sao Paulo, Rio and other places, traveling, as instructed, with his Blazers bag. He's watched and played the beautiful game on the Copacabana beach and the beach at Ipanema too. He's now hoping to join the team at the University he's studying at. He's watched a training session and says that the coach is crazy, crazy for football like most people in Brazil. He's also seen Sao Paulo play Santos and says the atmosphere was amazing. All in all our Mr Fuller is having a full on fiesta. He's loving the football, the people, the food and the beer although he misses a nice plate of fish and chips and his family too we hope and all at Balham FC. We all certainly miss him!
Balham Blazers are pleased to announce they have been selected to be part of the Jack Petchey Achievement Award scheme.
Each month players from a chosen team will nominate one player who has shown great leadership or sportsmanship. The nominated player will receive a certificate, membership card and will be given an Achievement Award Scheme Grant of £200 to be spent on the club.
Established in 1999 the Jack Petchey Foundation enables young people aged 11-25 to achieve their potential by inspiring, investing in, developing and promoting activities that increase their personal, social, emotional and physical development. Hannah Celia, Head of Grants for the Foundation said “The Jack Petchey Foundation is pleased to welcome Balham Blazers to the Achievement Award Scheme. We feel that the scheme will benefit the excellent work undertaken by Balham Blazers, and will enable young people to recognise the achievements and talents of their peers”
For a copy of the award overview download this PDF
For a copy of the Balham wish list download this PDF
For further information regarding the Jack Petchey Foundation please see their website
It's that time of year again when another crop of long serving BBFC players fly the nest to embark on university life. Yuyi "The Rock" Kabanje is off to Derby, Khalid Savage to Loughborough, Louis Farquharson and Luke Fenlon to Chichester, Ollie Keyser to Manchester and Isaac Wong has flown all the way to the USA where he's on a four year football scholarship. We also have plenty of others in their second, third, or fourth years. Michael McConnell at Southampton, Tom Jelliffe and Tom Read at Loughborough, Jermaine Townsend at Hull, Eliot Garcia at Bournemouth, Daniel Forde at Cambridge, Ramoy Jones at Hertfordshire, Haydn Read at Oxford Brookes, Fred Fox at Leeds and Charlie Barthorp at Nottingham. Joe Holland is back in the USA on a football scholarship, Julian Fuller is in Brazil on a years placement as part of his degree at Aston University and Alec "Messi" Fiddes, having played in Spain for a year at Lleida FC, is at Bristol, where he's combining his degree with playing for Weston Super Mare FC in the Conference South. The picture above is of Alec on the front of a recent match day programme. At the same time as some fly off we are also welcoming some back, including Guy Farquharson from Leeds Met and Alfie Cruttwell from Birmingham, who is coaching our new U8s this season together with Theo Marks, who has just graduated from Manchester.
Sporting a Robinson Crusoe beard, Balham's ex Aussie, Shane Robinson, made it a down under double when his Gold Coast club won the Cup Final in addition to the League. An ace performance saw them triumph 6-0. One can only assume that stoked Shane and his cobbers must have chucked a wobbly at the final whistle.
Former First Team player, Shane 'Socceroo" Robinson, who claims he can drink his own body weight in beer, has just won a league title back in his native Australia and is into the semi finals of the league cup to boot. He's the little beardy one in the celebratory pic. We all miss Shane greatly at Balham but are delighted to hear that things are bonzer for him on the footie front in the land that gave the world, Kylie, Flipper and Skippy the bush kangeroo..
Balham's First Team match v Ripley Village FC on Saturday September 13th was abandoned in the second half after Balham striker, Jermaine Townsend, suffered a cardiac arrest. It was an incredibly traumatic experience for everyone there. The player concerned, young, fit and very talented, has been at this club for many years but on Saturday he very nearly lost his life at the age of twenty doing the thing he loves most. Thanks to Balham parent Lucy Collier, Club Chair Jennie Molyneux, Diana Luchford, various others from both clubs and crucially the fact that there happened to be a paramedic on site, Jermaine survived and is now recovering well in hospital. This incident highlights again the need for players aged 14-35 to have cardiac screenings in order to identify any unknown heart conditions which doing sport and pushing the body to extremes can trigger.
Please see the following re Cardiac Risk In The Young:
Cry Heart Screening Brochure.pdf
The Cardiac Risk In The Young unit is based at St George's Hospital in Tooting, right on the doorstep of all BFC and BBFC players. Screenings can be booked by contacting them. We are as a club in the process of attempting to organise a blanket screening for all players aged 14+ in the club. Further information on this will follow asap.
For more informaton visit CRY Website
As the new season gets underway again we hope all our players are in tip top condition. If not this is just a reminder that we have the club physio Pablo Santander on hand on Tuesday evenings at Chestnut Grove. If you would like to get in touch with him please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment. Best of luck to all our teams this season. Come on you Balham!!!!!
A local friendly against a Battersea Ironsides Reserves team on Monday August 18th proved a worthwhile excercise and provided an opportunity to give more players some much needed game time. A very young Balham team, containing four U17s and only one player over 21, ran out 3-1 winners with goals from U18 centre back Zola Rodriguez and second half strikes from Luke Fenlon and Lewis Mitchell.
A 2-1 win against Nottsborough FC in the final pre season friendly on Saturday August 9th meant Balham completed an unbeaten six game pre season schedule. Well over thirty players have featured in the games which have all been good tests and workouts. Second half goals from Michael McConnell and Eddie Luchford, who has picked up where he left off last season hitting the back of the net, gave Balham a cushion in this keenly contested encounter on a lovely pitch at the Kingston University ground in Tolworth, before Notts got one back at the death, heading home from a corner.
This season, 2014-15, Balham FC are continuing to grow, adding a Ladies’ team to our armoury for the first time ever. We have welcomed Panthers WFC into the fold, an FA Charter Standard team who play in the Greater London Womens Football League Division 2 (South). Last season, the team secured a mid-table finish, and hope to build on Balham’s successes of last season to push for the league title. The squad will train on Wednesday nights at Kennington Park, Oval from 7.45pm and play on Sunday afternoons at 2pm (home ground currently Tooting Bec). We are currently recruiting players to bolster the squad so, whether you're a striker, defender or goalkeeper, please get in contact with BPFC Team Rep, Alison Campbell and join us at training to see if Balham Panthers FC is the club for you!
After a weekend with training instead of matches, on July 27th/28th, pre season friendles resumed on Saturday August 3rd v Old Wilsonians and Sunday August 4th with a rematch v Chelsea Development. A total of 24 players featured in all with 4 players playing in both games. The two matches were keenly contested and proved to be excellent workouts. 5 of the 7 goals scored in total by Balham, in a 3-3 draw on Saturday and a 4-3 win on Sunday, actually came from players who warmed the bench at the start. The goals v Old Wilsonians came from Eddie Luchford(2) and Tomasz Wocial, whilst on Sunday two goals from U16 player, Lewis Mitchell and one a piece from U17 player, Mateus Pires, on his debut and left back Khalid Savage gave Balham a second pre season victory against Chelsea Development in another close encounter on the 3g at Southfields Community College.
Balham's pre season friendlies continued on Saturday July 19th with a game at Cobham FC. The home team's squad was far from full strength and featured trialists in the main. Nevertheless Balham's young team, which featured a smattering of new players, played excellently throughout to win 5-0. The goals came from debutant James Adebayo(2), Sammy Machirimba, Alfie McCheyne and from an own goal.
The new season started with First Team pre season friendlies on Saturday June 12th and Sunday June 13th. Both were played on the 3g pitch at Southfields Community College and both proved to be productive outings. Different line ups were put out in each game. The line up on Saturday v Tooting & Mitcham Wanderers featured most of last season's First Team squad. It proved to be a close game, won by Balham 3-1, with two nice goals from Eddie Luchford and Jerome Boncoeur and a left foot Cahillesque volleyed wonder strike from Dan David. A smart finish from Under 17 player, Ollie Archard and a classy curler into the far top corner from left back Louis Farquharson, added to an opposition own goal, meant Balham also ran out 3-1 winners v Chelsea Development the following day, with a line up featuring Youth Team players and trialists.
2013-14 Season news
2012-13 Season news
Download a PDF of the 2012-13 Annual Report.