BALHAM BLAZERS FOOTBALL CLUB

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Shrooty To Stevenage
Former Balham Blazers FC coach and age group manager, Robin Shroot, has signed to play for Stevenage Borough FC in League One. After coming to the end of his contract at Birmingham City, the Northern Ireland U21 International was looking for a good club to play for. Having scored the winning goal in a pre season friendly for Stevenage against Fulham whilst on trial, in addition to putting in some other excellent pre season performances, Robin was asked to sign on the dotted line, which he has very recently done. It's great news for Robin as, Stevenage, promoted last season from League Two, are a well run club heading in the right direction, hopefully towards the Championship, it's great news for Stevenage as Robin is a fantastic footballer with top technique and it's great news for BBFC as now he's back south, Shrooty is very keen, time permitting, to get back to coaching on the 3g at Chestnut Grove with Balham's finest.
 

BBFC 10th Anniversary Celebrations
A very special evening is being planned, later this year, on Saturday October 8th, at the White Eagle Polish Club in Balham, to celebrate 10 years of Balham Blazers FC.

The evening will include a 3 course dinner with band, DJ and guest speaker Adrian Chiles. Please put the date in your diary now. You won’t want to miss it! More info to follow.


Victory At The Abbey
Flying the flag for BBFC, as our only age group entered, the U15s - Harry Amankwaah, Reyneel Ashie, Yuyi "The Rock" Kabanje, Frank Mably, Aaron Mitchell and Khalid Savage - made it a triumphant end to the 2010-2011 campaign by winning a keenly contested Abbey Rangers Tournament on Sunday July 17th. Having lost to Kingstonian 1-0 in the group stage the boys from Balham gained revenge in the final when the same two teams met again, having both got out of their groups and won their semi finals, Kingstonian against the other BBFC team entered. This time Balham Blazers prevailed 2-0 in what was to be the final game for any of our age group teams this season. Another cup won and a great way to end another great season for the club. Well done to all involved.

Sports Massage Therapist
A We are very lucky to have Andrew Petrou joining us as a resident Sports Massage Therapist, working in tandem with Darren Gregoire, our resident Club Physiotherapist.

Andrew graduated from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 1996, completing a masters degree in psychology. He has worked in the corporate sector in the areas of psychometrics and training for many years.

A keen sports person himself, he became interested in anatomy, sports psychology and the impact that injury can have on all areas of performance. He formalised this interest in anatomy and studies in sports massage and sports treatments at Essentials for Health at St Thomas’ hospital. 

He conducts training in nutrition and vitamins for a pharmaceutical company, has his own 2-day clinic with Nuffield Health in the city and works with the highly reputable, Richmond Physiotherapy.

All Tens Final At Furngate 
The highlight of an excellent Furngate Tournament on Saturday July 3rd and Sunday July 4th, which saw our U15s make the semi finals and our U12s go out, very unluckily in the group stage, despite being unbeaten, was undoubtedly the performance of our two U10 teams entered, who both came through their seven team groups and semi finals to make it an all Balham Blazers Final. The normal Colts and Eagles squads were mixed up for this tournament to give the players experience of playing competitively with players they normally only train with. It certainly didn't hinder their performance as both squads played exceptionally throughout. There had to be a winner at the end of the day and it was the team of Sam Arbuckle, Ellis Griffiths-Phipps, Sebastian Fallowfield, Fred Fordham, Matthew McDowell, Findlay O'Brien and Jack Tomkins who won the cup scoring three goals in extra time after the final had initially finished 2-2. The gallant Runners Up were: Callum Close, Gus Colfer, Danny Given, Max Oliver-Matthew, Tom Stephens, Tane Stappard and Marshall Travers-Elwin. The real winner however, where the final, not for the first time, featured two teams from Balham Blazers FC, was Balham Blazers FC.

More Prizes At Petts Wood 
It was another incredibly successful Petts Wood tournament in Bromley for our teams entered on Saturday July 2nd. U18 players: Junior Appiah, Tashan Babb, Jake Henry, Mirhire Tarimo, Joe Taylor-Holland and Tomasz Wocial, with< the addition of new coach, Marcelino Mata, between the sticks, won the twenty-one team Mens tournament, conceding only one goal in nine games. Our Under 17s: Romelle Amos, Charlie Barthorp, Niah Burke, Alec Fiddes, Tom Jelliffe and Michael McConnell, went unbeaten too in winning their age group tournament and our U15s were runners up in theirs. Our other Mens team very nearly made it an all Balham final, losing on pens in the semis. Our other U15 team also lost on pens in the semi and our other U17 team lost to a golden goal in the semi finals too. Our one U10 team entered also came through the group stages only to go out in the semi finals as well. In fact the only team not to make at least the semi finals was our U9s however they missed doing so by only one point and one place in the groups and can therefore consider themselves somewhat unlucky.
Football Foundation £5k Grassroots Grant For BBFC
We are delighted to have secured a £5,000 grassroots grant from the Football Foundation. The much needed money enables us to start two Under 9 teams next season, as well as a second Under 10 team and an adult First Team, which will be called Balham FC. Greg Cruttwell the Balham Blazers FC General Manager, the Mayor of Wandsworth, Jane Cooper, Ollie Kanner, Club coach and the entire under 10s squad were in attendance to accept the award on Tuesday June 28th.

The Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. They give financial support to local youth teams to encourage children to take up the sport and develop a passion for competition and exercise.

Our club has been singled out as an innovative and ambitious club who are giving boys and girls, some of whom are from deprived and difficult backgrounds, a sense of purpose and belonging. The grant will allow the formation of a long planned adult First Team to create a complete player pathway from youth to adult football – crucially important to us as many of our players don’t want to leave Balham Blazers when they turn 18!

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation said: “Credit should go to Balham Blazers and the London FA for securing this Grow the Game funding. The Foundation’s Grow the Game grant scheme is giving crucial financial support to grass roots clubs across the country, enabling them to provide new footballing opportunities for boys and girls of all ages and significantly increase football participation.”

Greg Cruttwell, General Manager and Head Coach at Balham Blazers FC, said: “This is great news! We are extremely grateful to the Football Foundation for this grant; we are an ambitious club and need every penny we can get to continue to grow. This grant will help us to provide more football for more players in the local community.”.

2011 Presentation Evening
Thankfully once again the weather was kind for our annual end of year Presentation Evening, which this year, for the first time, was at our home ground at Trinity Fields in Wandsworth. The event, kindly sponsored by Sullivan Thomas and Parkgate Developments, is the big night of the year when everyone in the club comes together to celebrate the achievements of all our m teams and players. As usual, there was a great turnout and a great atmosphere. Every burger and hot dog was consumed, along with lashings of soft drinks, wine and beer.

Many thanks to all those who helped on the night and many congratulations to all those who won individual club awards:
Sullivan Thomas Training Trophy Winners:
U9s - Tom Appleton
U10 Colts - Tane Stappard
U10 Eagles - Matthew McDowell
U12s - Josh Edu-Appiah and Olaitan Ogunnowo
U15s - Isaac Wong
U15 Eagles - Cornell Taylor-Holland
U18s - Niah Burke 
Youth - Tomasz Wocial

Parkgate Players Player Of The Year Winners:
U9s - Cheick Diabate
U10 Colts - Marshall Travers-Elwin
U10 Eagles - Max Oliver-Matthew
U12s - Olaitan Ogunnowo
U15s - Yuyi Kabanje
U15 Eagles - Romello Cozier
U18s - Thomas Read
Youth - Junior Appiah
County Arms
Many thanks to the County Arms at 345 Trinity Road, Wandsworth, which has very kindly agreed to host our six weekly Committee Meetings in their function room upstairs. Whilst we'll miss the home comfort of Mike Allen's abode and others too, the County Arms is the perfect venue for our ever expanding Committee.

Race Night 
The first ever BBFC Race Night on Friday June 10th was a huge success with players, parents and friends, raising the roof, cheering on the nag of their choice in each of the eight races on show. The races were accompanied by a delicious chilli con carne supper. The evening raised a superb £824 for the club. Many thanks to all those who helped on the night and special thanks to Paula Fallowfield, who organised the event, ably assisted by Mark Chaudoir, Mary Kleckowski and Rachel Arbuckle.
Youth Team Dinner 
The Youth team squad marked their excellent first season in the Southern Youth League with a celebratory dinner at Pizza Express in Balham on Thursday June 2nd. Whilst some of the squad will be moving out of London to university next season a number of them will still be here and will be playing for our new adult team (First XI). Those who were Under 17 and played up a year will have a second season as part of the Youth team squad.
BBFC Wins FA Community Club Award 
We are delighted to announce that Balham Blazers FC has won the Regional Award for the FA Charter Standard Club category of The FA Community Awards. This is a great honour for the club and means we will be included as a nominee for the National FA Community Awards.

Balham Blazers Blue 
The Balham Blazers Blue team won an excellent senior 6 a side tournament at Chestnut Grove on Saturday June 4th. The Blues, who were up against two other Balham Blazers teams and two from Westside FC, defeated Balham Blazers Pink 4-0 in the final. The victorious Blues consisted of Youth Team players - Romelle Amos, Alfie Cruttwell, Terry Elliott, Alec Fiddes and O'Chain Gondorf, Club Coach - Pat Walker and ex Club Coach and professional player - Robin Shroot, who has just finished the season at Birmingham City scoring nine goals in nine games for the reserves.
Half Term Camp 
Well done to all the U9s and U10s who attended the BBFC Half Term Soccer Camp. The weather was good on all three days and so was the football.
Colts And Eagles Joint League Champs Again 
After a twenty game league campaign in an eleven team top division, for the second season running, our U10 Colts and U10 Eagles finished as joint London Saturday Youth League Champions. It has been another incredibly successful season for both the Colts and Eagles, who not only won the League but both reached the League Cup Final for the second year running too. Many congratulations to both teams, their team managers and coaches.
Messi Meets Messi 
Messi from Balham met Messi from Barcelona when super skilful BBFC Youth player Alec Fiddes, known to all within the club as "Messi" actually got to meet his namesake in person at the after party for the Champions League Final. Not only do the pair look alike but Alec, whose Mothers side of the family hail from near Barcelona, plays like his hero too, hence him being known as Balham's answer to the pocket footballing genius.

laygate Hat Trick
It was another very succesful Claygate Tournament for our U15s on the weekend of May 221st/22nd. Not only did they win the tournament trophy for the third year running, but for the second year running it was an all Balham Blazers final. In fact all four of our teams came through the group stage to make it Balham Blazers v Balham Blazers in both semi finals. Our U12s also had a successful day winning the U12 plate competition and our U10s and U9s reached the semi finals and quarter finals respectively. .

Cup Final Saturday
For the second year running the U10 London Saturday Youth Football League Cup final, played on Saturday May 21st, was an all Balham Blazers affair. Last year the Colts were victorious however, this season it was the Eagles' turn to prevail, coming back from 1-0 down to win a riveting, high quality final, 2-1. The game was not only a great advert for the pass and move playing ethos of BBFC but was played in a fantastic spirit and all involved were a credit to themselves and the club. Our U9s, in their first season playing competitively, also did themselves proud by reaching their age group Cup Final. On the day however, even though they gave it their all, they lost 3-1 and had to settle for being Runners Up - still a great achievement. Well done to all!
Old Fellers Tournoi
Many thanks to the eight teams of Old Fellers, some of whom were bolstered by younger fellers, for bringing their beer bellies and knackered limbs to Chestnut Grove on Friday May 20th for what turned out to be an excellent, keenly contested, fundraising tournoi. Congratulations to Grenville Fox's team of misfits, who won on the night, beating Andrew Scott's Under 12 dads 2-1 in the final. The event, organised by Grenville and Richard Mably and supplemented by Vicki Sabatini and Gary Farquharson's, top notch nosh, raised a brilliant £600 for the club.

BBFC Physiotherapist Introduction
Our new resident Club Physiotherapist, Darren Gregoire, will be making an introductory presentation to all parents and players in the club, outlining the work he will be doing and the services – all free of charge – being offered to every player at Balham Blazers FC.
This will be at 8pm on Wednesday May 25th in the Canteen on the first floor at Chestnut Grove School, where we train. Following the introduction Darren will answer any questions in an open forum, finishing at 9pm.
Parents and players, please make sure you attend, to see what exciting opportunities are on offer to all players in the club.


2011 BBFC Presentation Evening
This years' end of season BBFC Presentation Evening, the big night of theyear, when everyone in the club comes together to celebrate the achievements of all our teams and players, will be on Wednesday June 29th - 6.30pm to 9.30pm. This year it's at a new venue: The Romany Scout Hut, 22a Lyford Road, Wandsworth, London, SW18 3LG.
Please put the date in your diaries now and make sure the whole family and friends come along. Awards will be presented, including the much coveted Players Player Of The Year Awards and Training Trophies too. There will, as usual, be a bar, a raffle and a bbq, with top quality burgers and hotdogs.

Nearing The Summit
Having finished sixth in their first season in the Tandridge League A Division in 2008-09 and fourth in 2009-10, the U15s have continued their steady progress towards to the top of the league by finishing third this season, 2010-11. This new high is a fantastic achievement by all in the squad and bodes well for the future.Trials For Youth And Senior Teams
Balham Blazers FC will be holding Open Trials for our Youth and Senior teams, for 2011-12, on Saturday June 18th at Chestnut Grove School.
Thank You Ronald In Wandsworth
Many thanks to the McDonalds on Wandsworth Road who have very generously donated training and match equipment to the club. Their bibs can be seen here, worn at training by our U10s and their help and support is much appreciated.
Resident Club Physiotherapist
We are delighted, after a long search initiated by Kate Sheehy at Richmond Physiotherapy, to who we owe many thanks, to have on board a resident Balham Blazers F.C. Chartered Physiotherapist, Darren Gregoire.
Upon graduation, Darren, originally from Liverpool, but an Evertonian, was appointed as a physiotherapist at Vauxhall Motors F.C. in the Blue Square Conference. Having taken responsibility for the reserve team, Darren was quickly put in charge of both first and reserve team affairs and became a well integrated member of the club.  
Having recently re-located to London however Darren has decided to join BBFC and is now in the process of establishing the Balham Blazers F.C. Medical Department. He looks forward to working with all players in the club, providing a unique professional and expert service for all. Darren is affiliated with the English Football Association and is regularly involved with a variety of teaching workshops and lecture seminars relevant to the treatment of elite footballers. He is recognised by the F.A. as a safe guarder of children and is a recognised member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Health Professions Council.
Darren will be available at Chestnut Grove School on Wednesday evenings from 6pm until 9pm. Players from all teams in the club are welcome and encouraged to come for advice or treatment for injuries and fitness issues. All information shared with Darren will be confidential and exchanged in a trustworthy environment. In line with best practise Darren is happy to have parents attend any treatment sessions with players.
Appointments can be made by contacting Darren directly. To do so please get his contact details from your age group manager or one of our club coaches.

Four Go To Wembley
Thanks to the incredible generosity of Troy Moore who bid for and won Club Wembley tickets to the Stoke v Bolton FA Cup Semi Final on Sunday April 17th at our Quiz Night auction, but who then donated them back to the club, we were able to give them to four U15 players who have either never or only once been to a top level game. The players given the tickets, Kavar Abdulla, Maurice Dogbey, Yuyi "The Rock" Kabanje and Khalid Savage, were chosen as they have been committed to and brilliant in training, excellent in matches and have always had a great attitude. They were fully deserving of the opportunity given to them and thoroughly enjoyed going to Wembley for the first time. Luckily, none of them support Bolton.

BBFC Easter Soccer Camp
There was an in house Easter Soccer Camp for BBFC U9 and U10 players on Tooting Common in the week of Monday April 18th. It was very well attended and the standard of football was fantastic. We hope to run more holiday soccer camps for different age groups in the future.

Youth Team Runners Up
A 1-1 draw between Colliers Wood Utd and Westfield on Thursday April 14th means our Youth team are confirmed as runners up in the Southern Youth League. This is a fantastic achievement in their first season playing at semi pro level and they have set a benchmark for other age groups to follow. They have also won many plaudits for the style and quality of football they play. Many congratulations to them all!

Will Donkin Update

Former U9 Colts player, Will Donkin, has enjoyed a successful first season as an Under 10 in the Academy at Barnet FC, making the centre midfield position his own and notching up a number of goals against opposition ranging from Arsenal and Spurs to Wycombe Wanderers and Northampton Town.
Following a couple of outings for the Under 11's before Christmas Will has spent the latter part of the season training and playing full time with the older age group, gaining his first experience of the 11-a-side game. At the time of writing he has just been offered a new contract for the 2011/12 season.

BBFC Film
As part of a short film being made by Mark Chaudoir and Toa Stappard to celebrate the ten year anniversary of BBFC a group of U10 players were taken by three current Youth team players, Alfie Cruttwell, Fred Fox and Joe Taylor-Holland, back to the small church hall on Weir Road in Balham, where the club started out in 2001. In those days a lack of floor space meant players sitting on window ledges to look on if they weren't involved. It's a far cry from where the club is now, training on a state of the art 3g facility and playing midweek floodlit football at semi pro level. Despite the club's humble beginnings however, there's a certain magic about the old days often recalled with pride and pleasure by players who started out back then and both the Youth players and U10s enjoyed playing classic BBFC church hall games such as Up The Wall and On The Line for the cameras.
BBFC Year 3 & Year 4 Trials
BBalham Blazers FC will be holding trials for current School Year 3 and Year 4s on Saturday May 7th - 9am to 10.30am at Chestnut Grove School, Boundaries Road, Balham, SW12. If you would like your son or daughter to attend please contact the club at balhamblazers@clubmember.org 

Old Fellers Footie Fundraiser – Friday May 20th
Balham Blazers’ first annual fund-raising Old Fellers 6-aside tournament will be played on the fantastic 3g pitch at Chestnut Grove School, Balham, SW12 8JZ, on Friday May 20th, 6.30pm to 9.30pm. Eight teams will contest two groups, followed by semi-finals and a final. Each team is guaranteed at least 3 games. Entry fee is £10 per player and each team must have a minimum of 6 and maximum of 8. The tournament is strictly for over 35s with the option, not mandatory, of including one Balham Blazers youth (15-18 year old) player per squad. 


Family Night At The Races - Friday June 10th
Come and enjoy a fun packed night at the races on Friday June 10th, 6.30pm to 9.30pm at St Mary Magdalene Church, Trinity Road (opposite Trinity Fields). An exciting evening for all the family is planned. A full card of horse races will be shown on a large screen. Bets can be placed and money won! It’s a night of thrills and excitement for players, parents, families and friends. Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for children. Included in the ticket price is a delicious Chilli Con Carne supper. There will also be a cash bar, sweet shop and other goodies available on the night.

Ollie In Demand
Ollie Kanner, who has his UEFA B License and is a key member of BBFC, is a young coach in demand. In addition to coaching our Youth team, U15s and U10s and doing a brilliant job alongside General Manager, Greg Cruttwell, Ollie coaches with great success in local schools, the local community and also at Barnet FC, where he trains and manages their U13 Academy team, who judging by recent results and performances are making excellent progress.

Max Noble
Having been out of the game for two years with tendonitis, former Fulham academy star player, Max Noble, has been training with our youth team to regain fitness and work on his game. It has been great for our players to have such a technically gifted player as Max training with us regularly twice a week and we all hope that we can help him rebuild his promising career and see him in the Premiership or La Liga, where his talent deserves to be.

Adding Alex Addison
We are delighted to be adding Alex Addison to our coaching roster.
Originally from St Albans, Alex graduated from the University of Durham in 2009 where he read sport. Soon to take his FA Level 2 coaching badge, Alex, who recently moved to Clapham, is keen to gain some first hand experience coaching different age groups. He will be coaching in a specialist sports camp, across the pond, in the USA, for five months this summer, gaining valuable experience which he hopes to put into play when he returns for his first full season at BBFC in 20011 - 2012. He is really looking forward to helping develop the skills and technique of players at his newly found home club. "Balham Blazers is a fantastic club to be a part of. The standard of player development and ability is extremely high. The kids love coming to training and their effort and the intensity of the sessions is exemplary. To be part of such a successful club, one which is growing, is exciting and I look forward to being a part of the future of Balham Blazers FC."

First Mauritian At BBFC
We are extremely lucky to have players and coaches at BBFC from many different countries all over the globe, but Shezad Ameeralee, who has joined us as a new coach, is the first person involved at the club from the island of Mauritius. He moved to London in 2003 and has a degree in Management. Shezad played at semi professional level back home and was lucky enough to play against Manchester United Under 16s while they were on tour in 2001. Shezad was also involved in the Junior African Cup of Nations for the Mauritian national team. He started coaching this year, having taken his FA Level One badge and we are all thrilled that he's joining BBFC.

Active Wandsworth 2010 Sports Awards
Congratulations to Club Chair, Jennie Molyneux and Club Welfare Officer and U15A Manager, Grenville Fox, who both won Voluntary Services to Sports Awards, at the Active Wandsworth 2010 Sports Awards on March 23rd. 
Congratulations also to last season's Under 9s - Colts and Eagles combined - who were nominated for the Team Of The Year Award, having finished last season as joint league champions and cup finalists.
Sullivan Thomas
Many thanks to Sullivan Thomas, one of South West London's leading independent sales and lettings estate agents, who very generously sponsored the 2011 Balham Blazers Quiz Night. We very much hope that this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.
Footballer Fish
Not only is U10 Colts player, Gus Colfer, a talented footballer and key member of the Colts squad, he's also a fish in the water. He demonstrated this recently by winning a gold medal at the Surrey Swimming Championships in Guildford. Gus' gold came in the 50 metres breaststroke. He was also a finalist in other sprint events competing at his first County Championships and has other distances still to swim. Watch out Michael Phelps, Gus Colfer is coming.


Developing Nicely
With a free Saturday on March 5th our U9 league squad joined our U9 development squad for friendlies against local club, Fit4Kidz, on Wandsworth Common. Whilst the league squad, who won both their games, are well into their first season playing together, this was only the second time our development squad have played matches of any kind. They acquitted themselves very well, winning one game, losing the other, but, most importantly of all, attempting to play good pass and move football.

What A Quiz Night!
Despite being on a half term weekend, the sixth annual BBFC Quiz Night, on Saturday February 26th, sponsored by Sullivan Thomas, was sold out in advance and proved to be another great night for the club, both in terms of entertainment and fund raising. The sixteen team quiz was keenly contested to the end with the Quiz Akabusi team just pipping the Zulu Warriors in the last round to win on the night. In the process a staggering £4,130 was raised for the club, which is more than double the previous years’ total.

Many thanks to all those who helped prior to and on the night itself. Special thanks once again to Diana Luchford, the quiz night supremo, for organising the whole event and to Matthew Taylor and Claire Holland for compiling, compering and scoring another unique and hugely entertaining quiz.

10s Triumph In Mud
It’s not easy staying true to the principles of pass and move football to feet on a bog of a pitch however, that’s what both the U10 Colts and U10 Eagles attempted to do in their respective League Cup Semi Finals on Saturday February 26th. Despite having to cope with horrendous playing conditions both of our teams managed to stay true to the playing ethos of Balham Blazers and thankfully both emerged victorious, the Colts beating Fit4Kidz 2-1, in a very tight game and the Eagles beating Greenhouse Bethwin A 3-1. This means, as it was last season, the League Cup Final in May will once again be an all Balham Blazers affair.

Dan In The Middle
With a sweet left foot, Daniel Doorgakant was a cultured full back for Balham Blazers. After injury forced him out of pre season a couple of seasons ago however, he ran the line for a friendly. Since then he has developed an interest in officiating. After pulling out of Balham's squad, he decided to take the FA refereeing course last summer. Since completing it and gaining his referees badge Daniel has been officiating for us, refereeing our U12 home games. He is an excellent prospect and is clearly enjoying being the man in the middle. "I am delighted to have been offered a number of U12 games. It has been a pleasure for me to referee at BBFC and give something back to the club that improved my game as a player."

Richmond Physiotherapy
Many thanks to Kate Sheehy and Richmond Physiotherapy for the comprehensive screenings and advice they have given to players in our Youth team. It has been incredibly educational and beneficial. As we continue our search for a resident Club Physio we are looking at ways of working together further and hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.

Marathon Total
Many thanks to all those who raised and donated money for the 2011 Sponsored Marathon. Your help and support is much appreciated! Our Marathon total this year is £2,221.50, which is fantastic. Please give yourselves a pat on the back.
Semi Success
Congratulations to our U9s who, on Saturday January 8th, in their first season playing together, got through to the London Saturday Youth Football League Cup Final. Despite having to play in extremely muddy conditions, which generally doesn't suit Balham Blazers teams, they produced some excellent pass and move football to win their semi final against Bedhead Gold 4-0.

Jimmy Garcia
We are delighted that Jimmy Garcia will be joining the coaching roster at Balham Blazers F.C. Jimmy, from Wakefield in Yorkshire, attended Leeds University and has recently moved into the Balham area. Jimmy, who has played at county level himself, coached Hall Green United's Under 12s for three years leading them to the West Ridings Cup Final. He has been travelling for the last two years but now working in London is very keen to dust off the cobwebs and start coaching again. "The set up at Balham Blazers, from U9's right through to U18's, is incredible. There's some serious young talent on board at this club, which is why I'm so excited to start coaching again here. Hopefully I can help continue the club's winning ways." Jimmy will initially be working with our U9s and U12s. We feel sure he's going to be another excellent addition to the club.

Snow Training
Our U9s managed to train in the snow at their last session before Christmas, as did all age groups. Despite the artic conditions and lack of matches recently we've managed to only cancel very few training sessions, although we have had to take hand and feet breaks as well as drinks breaks, allowing players and coaches to go inside the school where we train to get the feeling in their digits back again, even if only temporarily.

Curry Night
The 2nd Annual U12's Curry Night, organised by Mark Chaudoir, took place despite the snowy and icy conditions on Thursday Dec 2nd. The group met at The Hope pub in Wandsworth and enjoyed a curry at The Indian Ocean restaurant opposite our Trinity Fields home ground. England had failed in their 2018 World Cup bid earlier that day but despite this disappointing news the feeling was one of optimism for youth football particularly after a fantastic unbeaten start for the U12 team in their first year in the Tandridge League.

Away Strip Unveiled
The new maroon and white Balham Blazers away strip was unveiled on Wednesday November 24th when the Youth team played at Molesey in the Southern Youth League Cup. In addition to looking the part the Youth team played excellently winning a tight game 2-1 to progress to the 3rd round.

Lefties Smash Club Record
Super skilful U18 left footers Romelle Amos and Tomasz Wocial smashed the club keepy uppy record at training on Saturday November 6th, completing a staggering 111 passes to each other, doing three or more kick ups before making each pass, without the ball ever touching the ground. Apart from being a feat of exceptional technique it also requires great focus and concentration as the ball is in the air, without touching the ground, for a very long time!Fred Fox
Congratulations to U18 player, Fred Fox, who recently attended and passed the FA Level One Coaching Course. Fred has immediately put his qualification into action helping to coach our U9 squads on Monday afternoons.

BBFC Sponsored Marathon
Many thanks to everyone who turned up and ran in the Sponsored Marathon on Saturday October 16th and to all those who helped organise and run the event.Thankfully, after setting up in rain, the skies cleared and once again there was an excellent turn out and some brilliant committed running from players in all age groups. There was also some equally committed post run Krispy Kreme doughnut eating.
The Marathon, run as a 1km relay, was completed in 3 hours 5 minutes. Although not a club record breaking time - the club record which stands at 2 hours 47 minutes was set in 2008 - this was exceptional none the less given that most of the runners were Under 9s, 10s and 12s, some of whom had already played a match earlier in the day.

The fastest individual runners in each age group were: U9s – Tom Appleton, U10s – Sebastian Fallowfield & Danny Given, U12s – Theo Chaudoir, U15s – Aaron Mitchell, U18s – Charlie Barthorp.

Whether you attended and ran on the day or not please do your best to raise as much sponsorship money as possible. We need every penny we can get. Donations are also welcome. Any money raised or donated can be handed in at training or sent to our club treasurer – Sue Lamont.

Each season to date we've managed to beat the previous year's total raised. This year's target is £2,800, which won't be easy. Let's hope we can do it once again!

County Call Ups
Jake Henry, Joe Taylor-Holland and Tomasz Wocial have all been selected to play for Surrey U18s against Kent on Sunday October 3rd. All three played in a pre season game for the county at Hampton School on September 25th and have been called up for the seasons opener.

Shroot Update
Former Balham Blazers Coach and Age Group Manager, Robin Shroot, has gone out on loan to Cheltenham Town in League Two from Birmingham City for six months. Robin, who is a Northern Ireland Under 21 international, will be there until January. Still very much in contact with our club Robin visits whenever he can and joins in with training whether he has his boots with him or has to play barefoot. 

He has also very generously offered to sponsor some players at the club who can't afford to pay their club fees. Nice one Shrooty! 
Sinjuns Success
Our U18s won a four team pre season tournament at Sinjuns F.C. in Wandsworth on Saturday September 11th. A convincing 6-2 win took them into the final which they won even more convincingly 6-0. Although both games were won comfortably they nevertheless provided a good work out for the eighteen players involved.

Youth Team Kick Off In SYL
Our Youth team made a very promising start in the Southern Youth League on Thursday September 2nd. In their first game at this level they were unlucky to draw 3-3 and not come away with a win, having led Croydon F.C. 3-1 with fifteen minutes to go. Many thanks to all those who turned up to support the team on a historic night for Balham Blazers F.C.

FA Level One
Congratulations to U18 players, Jamie Brason, Alfie Cruttwell and Joe Taylor-Holland who all did the FA Level One Coaching Course in July and passed with flying colours.

Alfie has already been involved in coaching our new U9s in pre season and we look forward to all three players, who are long standing members of the club, steeped in the playing ethos of Balham Blazers, getting involved in coaching our younger age groups.

Keele Cup
Our U17s became the first Balham Blazers team to tour when they entered the Keele Cup, formerly known as the Manchester Umbro Cup, at the end of July. The tournament, held at Keele University, took place over four days and involved teams from all over the world. Our squad, who played a year up at U18, acquitted themselves very well. Results were mixed and although we just missed qualifying for the Cup semi finals we returned home with silverware after winning the Plate competition.


2010 BBFC Presentation Evening
The annual Balham Blazers Presentation Evening was held this year at a fabulous new private venue in Streatham Hill on Wednesday June 30th. The venue and the whole evening, a night when the club comes together to celebrate the achievements, dedication and hard work of all our players, was a great success. The weather was perfect, the turnout was huge, much drink was drunk and every burger was eaten. Many thanks to Mike and Arlene Allen and to all those who helped both with event organisation and with jobs on the night.

Congratulations to each and every player and special congratulations to the 2010 individual club award winners:
Parkgate Training Trophy Winners:
U9s - Ellis Griffiths-Phipps
U11s - Olaitan Ogunnowo
U14s - Yuyi Kabanje
U16s - Alec Fiddes 
U17s - Jamie Brason

Players Player Of The Year Winners:
U9 Colts - Jamie Milliken
U9 Eagles - Sam Arbuckle
U11 Colts - Aaron Kodua
U11 Eagles - Charlie Appleton
U14s - Aaron Mitchell
U16s - Romelle Amos, Harry Newnham & Seth Scafe-Smith
U17s - Daniel Forde & Joe Taylor-Holland

House Sale
Many thanks to Under 9 mums, Rachel Arbuckle and Paula Fallowfield, who organised a fundraising House Sale in Balham on Friday June 25th. The event was a big success and raised £900 for the club.

Coaching Opportunities At BBFC
Balham Blazers F.C. are always on the lookout for new coaches and team managers. Anyone interested needs to be qualified, CRB checked and would need to share the same playing and coaching ethos as other coaches in the club. If you're interested in joining us please email balhamblazers@clubmember.org

Student Aid To Sponsor Blazers
We are delighted to announce that Student Aid will be our main club sponsor next season 2009/2010. We thank them for their generosity and support. Student Aid provides a range of services to Universities and their students to make University life that little bit more fun and easier. Services include Student Aid Parcels, which are the official welcome parcels for leading Universities across the UK and our website, which enables students to communicate, buy club tickets, share lecture notes, join sports clubs etc. 

Charter Standard
We are delighted to announce that Balham Blazers F.C. has been awarded Charter Standard Club status by the Football Association. The FA Charter Standard Scheme is a best practice guide that sets standards of coaching, administration and child protection for all clubs outside the Football League and Premier League. As a benchmark for quality, it will improve the playing experience for all. To achieve the FA Charter Standard the Club needs to have policies and systems in place such as a written constitution, FA CRB-checked volunteers and all team managers have to have a minimum of the FA Level One Coaching badge. The club also needs behaviour Codes of Conduct in place and a commitment to attend in-service training, provide Mini-Soccer opportunities for under-10s and promote schools liaison and equal opportunities for all. 

"Rightly, it’s not easy to attain, but by achieving a Charter Standard award, you are demonstrating to all members, parents and the public, that you are a well organised and safe club. It’s also an excellent way of promoting your Club to potential members, parents, volunteers and sponsors." says Les Howie, FA National Development Manager.New Club T-Shirts Now Available
We have a fabulous new T-shirt available to buy. It is an embroided Balham Blazers F.C. logo set on a rich black top quality 100% cotton T-Shirt. 

It looks good and demonstrates your support for the club as well as supporting the club's finances. Click here for more information and details of how to order