Update 29th January 2021

Newsflash: Zoom Fitness Sessions starting Saturday 6th Feb at 9.30am.

Rose, U12 Girls Manager, is holding free fitness sessions for players, parents and all. Rose’s passion is football but, after her professional career in Milan was cut short by injury, she switched to Karate to become UK Champion 5 years in a row,  winning the European Championships Gold medal along the way. Rose will structure the 45 minute sessions into:

  • 15 mins – Fitness Test (series of basic exercises for 30 seconds with as many repetitions as possible, followed by 30 secs rest). Participants will be able to track their progress each week
  • 25 mins – Workout with exercises to improve speed, agility and stamina
  •   5 mins – Cool down, Stretch

The Zoom link will be sent out next week.

The Riddle:

The response to last week’s riddle has been intense with your correspondent hardly able to open his metaphorical front door for the pile of wrong answers.  Indeed it was apparent that skulduggery was afoot when an innocent looking parishioner at St Johns turned around at the end of last Sunday’s service to enquire as to the answer. Under vigorous cross questioning it transpired that she had been engaged by a certain striker and goalie to prise the answer from your correspondent. Rules are of course Rules, as our various Leagues are fond of reminding us, so no information was forthcoming.

The answer is “One for All and All for One” as in Alexandre Dumas’s motto of the three Musketeers:  Aramis; Porthos and Athos. A fitting motto for our Dragon football teams

Our overall winner was Helen Wilson, U13s Boys Manager, who emailed the correct answer at 11.18am last Saturday morning. Adam Brown, our IT Manager had pipped her to the quiz post at 11.16am but was judged to have entered the pitch early and disqualified. The next correct answers were: Robert McMillan (11.32); Sandra Crane, U12s Boys Manager (11.48); Piers Wilson (12.25, with the Referees’ Enquiry judging that he had not peeked over the shoulder of his lighting quick wife Helen); Rob Burleigh, U17s Manager (12.36);  Rob Matthews, Senior Football Sec (12.39); Emma Turner- Samuels (13.48); Trudy Crockett (14.08) and Stephen Toth (16.41). The final whistle was blown at 5pm. Well done everybody – you left the rest kicking their literary selves. Tremendous prizes await you all at our next in person event.

Coaches’ Training Conference:

All our coaches should attend the next session on 9th February, with the theme “How do you Approach Match day?”

For those of you trying to remember last week’s riddle:

  • Man U             4 – Man City    1
  • Arsenal            4 –  QPR         1
  • Rangers           4 – Burnley      1
  • Charlton           4 – Chelsea     1
  • Fulham             4 – Liverpool    4

All the best everybody

Update 22nd January 2021

  • Kensington Dragons Update:

    If only Trump had been a Dragon – he would have learnt to how to lose gracefully and shake hands when leaving the pitch.

    We carry on following the lockdown rules but at least the end is in sight. To keep our coaches in peak condition we have continued with our Training Conferences. The next one is on 9th February, with the theme “How do you Approach Match day?” – not with trepidation one hopes. All our coaches should attend.

    For the cerebral among you see if you can work out what well know literary phrase the followings represents:

    Man U             4 – Man City    1

    Arsenal            4 –  QPR          1

    Rangers           4 – Burnley      1

    Charlton          4 –  Chelsea      1

    Fulham            4 – Liverpool     4

    Clue: It has nothing to do with football. The first to email me with the correct answer will earn a tremendous prize

    All the best everybody

 
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Update 5th January 2021

Kensington Dragons Update 5 January 2021:

As you probably know, our matches and training have had to stop again.  The good news is that when we come out of this new Lockdown we are probably coming out of it for ever. By then the vaccine program will be in full swing and the sun shining. The season may be extended until June and even July.  In the meantime we will press on with our virtual Coaches’ Conference and Training Program whilst making significant progress in our quest for better facilities. We will burst out of this difficult past year like a chrysalis to stun the footballing world – splendidly attired in our new training tops which are even now wending their way to London.

To fill the possible void I can recommend reading  “The Thursday Murder Club” by Richard Osman – it is a clever, funny, murder mystery which is heart-warming in places.

This organising then de-organising football reminds me of the grand old Duke of York:

He had ten thousand men
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again

And when they were up, they were up
And when they were down, they were down
And when they were only half-way up
They were neither up nor down

All the best everybody

Update & Results W/E 20th December 2020

We have secured our first promotion  – to Tier 4.  We would now naturally have a rest over the Christmas/ NY break and plan to start matches again on the weekend of 9th & 10th January. Our current advice is that at least youth football will be allowed to start again then. This has certainly been an unusual year for all of us. On the narrow footballing front it has been difficult keeping the “Footballing Show on the Road” through stop/starts, coaches and players off due to Covid and council staff furloughed – a perfect storm.  On the whole we have pulled through by working together and covering for absences where possible and generous donations, so well done everybody for being so helpful and mostly cheerful in difficult times. A certain bleak humour helps –  as one of our managers said “Even though we don’t produce much in the UK we were the first with the new Covid mutant”

Results W/E 20th December:

We end the footballing year undefeated with all our teams winning over the weekend. The mathematically inclined may notice that most matches were postponed due to Covid but never the less all those Dragons that entered the field came away victorious:

The U12 Boys beat Celtic 6-2 away. This was a fantastic performance from the Dragons who, despite going down 0-1 early on, kept their composure and as the game progressed got better and better.  Every player had a big contribution to play in the win. It is a tribute to the Coaches, Managers and Players that they have progressed so much since the end of last season as Under 11s – mostly with the same players. They have hugely grown in stature and maturity. Well done.

The U13 Girls beat Wealdstone 2-1 at home in a tense, exciting match. The first half was an even affair but the Dragons went into the break 1-0 up with a goal on the stroke of half-time. Unfortunately the Wealdstone parents have yet to reach that state of maturity where they can cope with being behind in a match they assumed they would win. They complained about everything from the pitch to the referee. A commotion at half time affected the Dragons at the restart as Wealdstone equalised from a Dragons mistake,  playing out from a goal kick. The match continued to be evenly contested until the Dragons found a winner in the final 10 minutes. This was a tremendous performance from the Dragons who kept their composure right to the end and in doing so scored the vital winner. Well done to the Coach, Manager and  Parents.   

The U10s trained and then played a match against the U11 Boys. This was their only second only match but one could see definite signs of improvement in the U10s as they start to progress to being entered into the League.   

All the remaining matches could not be played due to Covid. The Coaches, Managers or Players from the oppositions or Dragons either had symptoms or had to isolate because they had been in contact with somebody with Covid. Frustrating but the whole world is in much the same Covid boat.

Happy Christmas and New Year to everybody – it may be quieter for most than usual but good news is just around the corner.

Update & Results W/E 13th December 2020

 With London in Tier 3 we must all be extra careful to continue to socially  distance. The Government’s ruling is however that outdoor organised football matches can continue. There is therefore one weekend left before we break for the Christmas / New Year break.

Results W/E 13th December:

The Firsts drew 3-3 with Indian Gymkhana away in the Premiership.  Despite the long break the Dragons played well, despite conceding an early goal, before equalising and playing fantastic football for the next 30 minutes. Two 2 clear chances should have put the Dragons in front but  it was Gymkhana who scored – twice! The second half was absolutely fantastic with the Dragons playing with passion as they camped in Gymkhana’s half to score twice to equalise. Unfortunately time prevented the elusive Dragons winning goal. 

The Blues lost 2-4 against Old Hat at home. This was one of those matches where the Dragons were not in peak condition

The U11 Boys played fantastically to beat Wealdstone 4-1 at home.  The teams had first met at the Dragons first ever match at the start of the season with predicable results.  Wealdstone arrived at St Marks confident of another win but were rocked back in their footballing socks by the focused professionalism of the Dragons who held them before then pulling ahead to secure an impressive win. What an improvement.  

The U11 Girls lost to Ashford Town in the League Cup. The Dragons showed flashes of brilliance but not quite enough to win against a good team.

The U12 Boys beat Samuri 4-3 away in the Middlesex Cup. The Dragons started strongly to take the lead early on before a lapse in concentration resulted in an equaliser just before half time. The Dragons showed great mental and physical strength to come out fighting and were rewarded with two great team goals from counter attacks. Despite a second Samuri goal, and a missed Dragons penalty, they pushed on to win by scoring a fourth just before conceding a consolation goal at the end. 

The U12 Girls lost away to QPR in the Middlesex Cup. The Dragons girls put up a brave defensive effort with the whole team fending off wave after wave of QPR attacks. This left little opportunity for offensive breakouts.  It was a character building test against a well drilled team, perhaps the best one the Dragons have faced all year. 

The U13 Boys did not play

The 13 Girls beat Hampstead 4-2 at home in the League Cup.  The first half was very tight with Hampstead scoring first from a defensive error. The Dragons regrouped to equalise before Hampstead took the lead again. The Dragons dug deep to come back 2-2 before finding another gear in the final 10 minutes to score twice more to reach the next round.

The U14s did not play

The U15 Boys had no match

The U15 Girls lost to Denham at home in the Middlesex Cup. The Dragons were missing players due to players isolating so agreed to play a smaller sided match with the opposition. The referee intervened to insist that Denham however field 11 players. Denham hammered at the depleted Dragons but Wow! on the 51st minute, the Dragons scored a goal from a break-away by the lone striker who danced around the back-four, took a shot in the penalty box, which was saved close-range by the keeper, but the ball luckily fell at the feet of a Dragon player who tapped it into the net.

The U17s did not play

The U18s trekked out to the Pinnstars ground only to have the referee to call off the match off due to a waterlogged pitch.

 The U10s trained

Update & Results W/E 6th December 2020

Thank you all those kind people who responded to our financial appeal. For those parent and players who meant to contribute, but it slipped their mind, just click the “Donate” Button on our website –  you will be surprised how good you feel after.

On the pitch we came out of this most recent Lockdown in surprisingly good form:

Results W/E 6th December 2020:

The U18s soundly beat Belmont Bees 7-1 at home.  The Dragons at times played sublime football with back passes cleverly opening up attacking routes at such speed that Belmont could only stand and wonder. Inevitably towards the end Belmont allowed their frustration to show through and their behaviour slipped a little below the ideal. This was a tremendous performance from the Dragons

The U17s match against Pitshanger away was called off as Pitshanger could not raise a team

The U15 Boys beat FC Starz 3-0 away in a tremendous display. The Dragons were – to quote their coach  – “a bit rusty”  after their long break but they faced up to the challenge, despite the added pressure of playing away, and triumphed.

The U15 Girls had no match

The U14s had no match

The U13 Girls beat Vicky Park Rangers 8-4 away. The Dragons started at a huge pace to be 5-0 up at half time. The second half was a different affair as Vicky upped their game to score before the Dragons were awarded a penalty which was converted after rebounding off the crossbar. Vicky were  then awarded 2 penalties which were put away to bring it back to 6-3. A fourth Vicky goal could have had the Dragons doubting themselves, but in last minutes they gloriously scored twice more.

The U13 Boys lost to Wealdstone at home. The Dragons were depleted with players having to isolate due to Covid but bravely decided to fulfil the fixture

U12 Girls home match against Kinja was called off as Kinja could not raise a team.

The U12 Boys beat Venceremos 4-2 at home. The Dragons got off to a tremendous start to score 4 goals in 15 minutes. Venceremous scored just before and after halftime in a remarkably similar fashion. The Dragons performance slipped in the second half but nevertheless  they secured a secure win.

The U11 Girls just lost 0-2 against Alexandra Park away. The Dragons were missing half their squad who were taking secondary school entrance exams. Despite the huge disadvantage the Dragons played so well that after the match they regretted not taking their chances to win.

The U11 Boys lost against Elite London away on Wormwood Scrubs. This was a competitive match where the Dragons could see that relying on natural skills is not enough – it is teams that win matches not individuals. The rematch will be a different affair as the Dragons continue to improve in this their first season.  

The U10s trained

The First had no match

 The Blues had no match

Update

This recent lockdown ends tomorrow so we can start training again on our normal sessions. Our team managers and coaches will contact the players.  Matches have already been scheduled for this weekend 5 & 6th December. For the players now is the time to polish your boots. For our fans now might be a good time to find your winter coat. Please everybody to remember to social distance and take sensible precautions as we all get out in the fresh air and meet up again.  

Update

 
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Wake Up Dragons

We are now half way through this recent lockdown so we need to make sure we get back into peak condition when matches start again on the weekend  5/6th December to be followed by 12/13 December and then 19/20 December before we break for Christmas and New Year.  Normally many Dragon teams block off the first weekend after New Year but some may prefer to start again on 2/3 January, rather than wait until 9/10 January. Our Managers will consult with the players and coaches.

We are not allowed to organise training sessions but our players should be keeping fit and practicing their skills – our Director of Football strongly recommends practicing:

  • Turns: Cruyff Turn; Stop Turn; Inside Hook Turn; Outside Hook Turn
  • Dribbling
  • ‘Keep Ups’ using feet only and then using Feet, Thigh and Head
  • Before progressing to the pinnacle of Keep Ups – Around the World

Help on how to practice can be found by Googling each skill. A full range of  practices for younger players can be found by googling  FA  Superkicks

A gorilla walks into a bar and orders a pint – the barman decides to double the price of beer thinking that the gorilla won’t know what a beer costs – “£11 pounds please” says the barman – the gorilla pays and then asks  “Do you get many gorillas in your bar?”  “No not many at all“ replies the barman – “well I am not surprised, with the price of your beer“

What a season!

Update & Results W/E 1st November 2020

Covid-19 Update: Unless Parliament votes against the Government this Wednesday our activities will be “suspended’ from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December. We hope to start matches again on the weekend of 5&6th December. We encourage everybody to continue to get out in the fresh air, take exercise and keep fit. The season is not over and we will be back on the pitch. This will certainly be a season to remember.

Results W/E 1st November 2020:

To date it looks like our best performing team is the senior Blues …. there is however a long way to go – if we are allowed to get there:

The Blues beat Hillingdon Abbots 4-2 away. The Dragons fielded their veteran goalkeeper who sparkled in parts, but who was possibly less assured in others. All in all however this was a match that the Dragons never looked like losing.   

The Firsts just lost 2-3 to Hilltop at home in the Premiership. The Dragons started well by scoring what must be the quickest goal of the season. At the kick off, rather than employing a judicious tap to a teammate, the Dragons shot straight at goal and, to the disbelief of all, scored, leaving Hilltop’s bemused keeper embarrassed. Hilltop equalised and then it was a close match throughout, with Hilltop the eventual lucky winners.

 The U18s just lost 1-2 away to Hendon in a very close match. The Dragons were unable to capitalize on their chances in the first half. Hendon then took the lead via a corner, assisted by the strong wind. The Dragons equalised with a 25 yard screamer that will be a contender for “Goal of the Season”. Unfortunately Hendon then took their chances, which the Dragons did not, with the inevitable result that Hendon squeaked a win.

The U17s lost to Brentham at home. The match started with the wind whistling down from the west to carry the Brentham ball straight into the Dragons net. The weather was against the Dragons all the way. Their ever resilient Manager was heard to say “ In my opinion, we have started to open up as a team. It will be a tough season but I think we’re going to be very good.” 

The U15 Girls just lost 1-2 to  Hampstead at home. Hampstead dominated to lead in the 9th minute. There then followed a series of goal-mouth chances for both sides but it remained  0-1 at half time. In the second half the Dragons created more opportunities to eventually score in the 69th minute. Two minutes after the equaliser disaster struck when the Dragons conceded a second goal.  With 5 minutes left the Dragons nearly made it 2-2  – Hampstead’s goalie made a weak clearance and strolled back towards her goal only to find a shot roll passed her ankles… unfortunately just the wrong side of the post. 

The U15 Boys lost to Celtic at home. On the whole Celtic were the better side but the best executed goal came from the Dragons who passed from the back to score – just as they had practiced in training.

The U14s match against Kodak was called off as Kodak could not raise a team

The U13 Boys lost to Harrow United away. The Dragons need to add a few players but for now are being thwarted by lockdowns.

The U12 boys lost 4-6 to St Joseph Red at home.  This was a high scoring fun match that was only marred, from the Dragons perspective, by losing. As a Dragons fan said “I am not happy with the result but I am happy with the way the Dragons played

The U12 Girls had no match so trained

U11 Boys just lost 2-3 to Pro FA Boreham Wood at home. This was a thoroughly good, exciting match. The Dragons goals came from a superbly crafted free kick and a later good passing set of moves. The Dragons may have lost but they enthralled their fans who thoroughly enjoyed the match and which could so easily have resulted in a Dragons win.

The U11 Girls had no match so trained

The U10s trained

 

Financial Appeal & Results W/E 25 October 2020

Help!  It costs £100,000/year to run the Dragons – hiring pitches, buying equipment/kit and paying coaches’ expenses etc. It costs £250/year for each player. The Trustees and Managers are all voluntary. There is no charge to join the Dragons as it is not fair that youths should be stopped from playing because they cannot afford it. We rely on voluntary donations from parents and players, our small group of anonymous Patrons making substantial contributions, and applying for grants –  recently from the John Lyon’s Charity and Grenfell Fund.   We provide around 30,000 person contact hours/year through our 14 teams. We are good value but we do need funding. Certainly if your son or daughter plays please think about making a contribution  – however small or large – by clicking on the Donate button.  If you would like to discuss becoming a Patron please email Chris Shirley –  one day you would be invited to the Patrons Dinner……… when such delights return.

On to the Results – the honours must go to our Girl’s teams this last weekend:

The Firsts beat PFC Victoria 2-0 away in the Premiership in another good display

The Blues beat Wiseman West 2-0 at home to record their first clean sheet. This was another sound performance from the Dragons who are shaping up to be a strong team

The U11 Girls beat Acton Ealing Whistlers 3-1 at home. What a turn around from their first ever match only a couple of weeks ago! The first Dragons goal came from the right flank whilst the second started from staunch defending . The Whistlers were not to be outplayed and were only thwarted by the Dragons formidable keeper. The Whistlers started strongly in the second half and from fine play made it 2 – 1. The Dragons however ended the match unstoppable as their very own sharp-shooter banged in their 3rd goal.  Well done the Dragons.

The U11 Boys beat London Athletic 5-2 away. The Dragons started well and were unlucky to go 0-1 down early on but soon pulled back to 1-1. The Dragons then dominated with LA  barely troubling their keeper, mainly due to excellent defending, until they did! –  to score after another unfortunate OG. The Dragons pushed on to make it 2-2 at HT. The 2nd half was again dominated by the Dragons as their defence shut out LA’s attacks; whilst they constantly troubled LA’s defence. It was not long before the Dragons took the lead and  drew ahead to 5-2 for their first away win.

The U12 Boys lost 2-5 to Hanwell Town away. The Dragons will learn from this match as they went 2 goals up before becoming overconfident letting Hanwell come back to 2-2 in the first half. Alas the Dragons collective heads went down as they were second to every ball, allowing Hanwell to score more than they deserved.

The U12 Girls beat Kinja at home 5-2. The Dragons demonstrated excellent ball control in the first half with a strong defensive strategy, putting  Kinja under constant pressure to make it 3-0 at half time. They had to regroup in the second half, after a slight loss in focus saw Kinja score, before the Dragons scored their fourth. The teams then scored one more apiece, with the Dragons piling on the pressure in the last few minutes to maintain their lead.

The U13 Girls had no game

The U13 Boys played a friendly v Hendon

The U14 Boys did not play

Under 15 Girls lost 1-3 at home in their first match to previous League Winners, AFC Stoke Newington. Chances came and went but in the 4th minute the Dragons made the breakthrough and then came close to taking a 2-0 lead 5 minutes before the break as a 20-yard cracking shot hit  the crossbar. The second half continued with end-to-end action. The Dragons were always vulnerable as AFC fought back like a boxer trapped on the ropes to inevitably score and draw level with 17 minutes left. Five minutes later  AFC scored from a corner. With 5 minutes left there was still all to play for. A guilt-edge chance broke to the  Dragons striker as she found herself with a one-on-one with Kinja’s keeper, only to blast the ball high over the bar. On added time SFC drove a dagger into the Dragons heart with a third goal, via a scrap in the 6-yard box, and there was no way back.

The U15 Boys beat previously undefeated top of the division AP Stars 3-1 at home. The Dragons had trained and planned around being organised and it showed. AP had no time on the ball and, after a goalie error, conceded the first goal before the Dragons put another away from a beautiful cross pitch pass culminating in a powerful strike to lead 2 – 0 at halftime.  The teams traded goals in the second half for a solid 3 – 1 Dragons victory.  Fitness levels and organisation shined through with the Dragons making it clear that opposition goals will not come easy this season.  

The U17s  lost 1-5 away against Hendon. The loss was due to combination of circumstances including just bad luck

The U18s lost 2-6 away against Magix.  The Dragons were playing with a depleted squad due to 6 injuries and then lost their keeper the night before from another injury. They went 0-2 down but fought back to bring it back to 2-2 before half time. The second half saw the Dragons lose their momentum.

The U10s trained