Category: Under 17B

KDFC – An FA Charter Standard Development Club

FA Charter Standard Development Club Application – Kensington Dragons F.C

We are delighted to announce that after a concerted effort from all the Club officers, managers and coaches KDFC has been awarded FA Charter Standard Development Club status. There are currently 600 Clubs affiliated to Middlesex County FA of which 120 are Charter Standard Clubs and only 8 are Development Clubs. We hope this award will not only raise our profile within the county but help us develop even more partnerships with groups within the London area, support our applications for funding, attract potential sponsors and secure training and development opportunities for our coaches, managers and players.

More details on the FA Charter Standard Scheme can be found at the link below.

Luke O’Donoghue

Charter Standard Coordinator

Kensington Dragons FC

Thank you for your recent FA Charter Standard application which we have received at the Association office. I am delighted to inform you that after meeting the necessary criteria your application has been approved by our Raising Standards Working Group for the FA Charter Standard Development Club Award.

Middlesex County FA believe that it is a fantastic achievement and honour to achieve the FA Charter Standard Development Award and therefore I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate your club on behalf of us all. By achieving the award your club has demonstrated an excellent level of discipline, administration and operating standards with a commitment to developing new activity within the club over the next three seasons.”

Peter Clayton

Chief Executive

Middlesex County Football Association

KDFC U15 Eagles

Tough finale for U15B

The U15 Eagles lost 2-5 to top of division Hayes and Yeading. As the Dragons Manager mused: “Well, at half time we were playing like champions. 2-2 yes, but only thanks to their lucky strike and soft penalty – for this top-of-the-division outfit had been chasing the game from the off. Unable to cope with our quick feet and sense of adventure, well-drilled Hayes were being taught a lesson in open, imaginative football. And then the break and a lesson of our own. They know how play at this level and swift balls to their excellent slippery striker meant the game was won well before the final whistle.  But our hearts aren’t down. These Eagles play a bigger game, with eyes on the world beyond the weekly win or lose. We play a way that not only pleases the eye but also fills the heart and ensures that despite the bruises, the head-dropping moments, the last-gasps and clenched teeth, the biting sense of injustices visited or loud shouts of right restored, the struggle for form, the loss of players, the broken arms and shaken faith, the relegation, that crack of the post, that mighty volley, the promotion, the offside seen and luck ridden and impossible pass and impossible pitch and brilliant twist and stunning dribble through the heart of a still-stunned team, that not despite but because of all this, we know we play with grace and pride and that will outlive all your Mitoo stats.  Because this summer and beyond each of our players will be able to hold their fine heads high and say, when West Londoners speak, as now they do, of the mighty Dragons, “why yes, that’s me, that’s the team I play for”. So here’s to all you boys, you men, who played and fought and entertained and brightened Sundays from September through to May. Happy World Cup Summer!”

KDFC U15 Eagles

Four point weekend for the Eagles

Kensington Dragons U15 Eagles 10 v 3 Willesden Constantine

St Gregory’s 3 v 3 Kensington Dragons U15 Eagles

It was a weekend of putting things right – and but for the accumulation of a couple more unwanted wrongs, we pretty much got there. Under-manned against both teams earlier this season, we had also under-performed. And with matches running out in which to fully express ourselves, the compliments we’ve recently been getting were seeming bitter-sweet.

No such ambiguities on Saturday against Willesden, though, for at times we were simply breath-taking. Distance strikes, team goals, sublime skills and hard defensive resilience, this spoke volumes for our boys. It also proved an enduring truth about football: it’s amazing what you can do with 11 players on the pitch.

It’s still pretty impressive what we can do with 10. Despite a full team making the long trip north to the countryside on Sunday we were soon a foot-stomped man down – but with a magnificent pitch beneath our feet (the legend of the St Gregory’s turf turning out to be true after all) we were soon 3-0 up. With the two easiest chances spurned and the bar denying us twice this looked to cap the finest weekend of Eagle’s football.

St G’s, though, are a willing side and a 1956 interpretation of the off-side rule denied us twice. But just when it seemed something special had been snatched from our two-day struggle with destiny, the very highlight of a long weekend: our fine coach’s magnificent speech to his dejected troops on the nature of injustice, its persistent place in all our worlds and the vital need to face it with a head held high and a heart held out to triumph nonetheless. Peerless.

KDFC U15 Eagles

Plucky U15Bs lose away to West Drayton

West Drayton 2 v 1 Kensington Dragons U15B

With the team once more diminished by three late no-shows the talk on the bus was of the film “300” in which an indomitable band of plucky Spartans holds off the massed hoards of invading Persians, some two and half thousand years ago. But who knows how Western Civilisation would have turned out if those ancient Greek warriors had stopped for a half-time breather?

In the first 40 minutes our intrepid nine were simply magnificent, with passing and movement and trickery and guile that left many of the massed Drayton hoards stock still and watching. Our goal, when it came, was uncharacteristically scrappy but at 1-0 up we looked very good for more…

But then the fatal break and some simple, intelligent coaching from the opposition did for us in the second. They finally started to run and to press and to think and to probe and two set pieces later they walked away winners.

Which, understandably, delighted the excellent Drayton coach. He’d said before the game we were the finest footballing side in the division. He’d scratched his head at some of our recent results. But with less than 11 for at least the fifth time this season, the reason is simple. And that’s why some older heads returned to St Mark’s ruefully recalling older, forgotten films. Our stuttering Eagles might have been such Raging Bulls. We too could have, should have been contenders…

KDFC U15 Eagles

U15B need their whole squad to pull together

Willesden Constantine 5 v 1 Kensington Dragons U15B

The floods of February may have floored us, but the rising tides of March had seen our rocky spirits lift. A second place finish now seemed once more within our grasp. Until this Sunday, of course. Already shorn of players, including our leading striker, we lost another key mid-fielder to a last-minute no-show. And despite our recent heroics when, outnumbered, our plucky few had penned legends in the West London clay, we knew the mighty Constantine would prove a different prospect.

An old foe with whom we have tussled, unfruitfully, on many an occasion, Willesden are a more than willing side. Our ten men were never going to be enough. Two goals shipped in the opening five seemed to sink us and while, of course, we fought and passed and probed and crafted highly polished chances we were simply too wasteful when it counted. So 5-1 it was. The defeat still sharply stings. Can our enormous promise deliver as we enter the season’s unforgiving end-game?

KDFC U15 Eagles

U15B back to full strength

Hanwell Town B 0 v 5 Kensington Dragons U15B

It was a morning of happy returns: a first start in a month for our trusty keeper; a first match in four with a full starting 11; and once again a cold dawn drenched in pouring rain. But rather than unsettling, the insistent sense of déjà vue was more than welcome. Since the winter rains departed we have been, for the most part, a shadow of our former selves.

And as we headed West to once more face the black and white stripes of Hanwell Town, several signs of second chances travelled with us: it was on their pitch that our valiant ten had taken their A team to the wire before succumbing to weariness and a dignified, though frustrating, exit from the cup. It was last week we’d lost three players and two points to their Bs.

Our performance here, however, was faultless. Imaginative, hard-working and ruthless in front of goal, we showed that for all the recent questions that have been raised about this team, our boys have come up with very, very good answers. So the case, it seems, is unarguable. Spring is here. The team is blooming. The Eagles are once more on the wing.

KDFC U15 Eagles

The Magnificent Eight earn draw for the Eagles

Kensington Dragons U15 Eagles 3 v 3 Hanwell Town

It was the best of games, it was the worst of games. And with six players to show at kick off it also looked to be the very last of games. Then a full back and a striker were spotted on the distant horizon tipping us just over the statutory minimum. The game could go ahead. The ref heaved a sorry sigh. And our eight plucky souls, facing 11 smiling Hanwell Towners, took eight mighty steps straight into the annals of Eagles legend.

We scored first, hungrily scavenging for every half-chance the bewildered visitors spilled. When we struck again, a strike of fearsome power and intent, and the terror in the faces of the visiting coaches was plain to see: how could they explain being so comprehensively outplayed by a team lacking three outfield players? That they chose to blame both ref and linesman provoked a momentary loss of sang-froid in the home manager. But it was an emotional day.

And while weariness saw us ship two goals in the second and an unconventional interpretation of the linesman’s flag gifted them a third, our final defiant equaliser showed that we were not to be bowed. Yes, we may be morphing into a five-a-side team. But we’ll still hold our own in the Harrow Youth League where opponents would be wise to face us with, at the very least, eleven.

KDFC U15 Eagles

U15Bs defy the odds and soar to victory

Kensington Dragons U15B 3 v 1 Forest Utd

After the broken arms and broken hearts could we break our recent run of luckless, morbid form? With a thumping away win against our opponents back in the golden days of Autumn, we certainly hoped so. Until two late no-shows saw us down to a far from comforting starting ten before the lonesome whistle blew. But here is the curious thing: a sense of up against it, of ‘what more can we face?’ seemed to set us free. We were, simply, magnificent – and before the massed, ranks of an initially delighted Forest Utd our midfield stoked the fires on which our wingers soon took flight. At 1-0 up the kicks and swipes began. At 2-0 they increased until they had us down to nine. And while they lucked a soft and open goal back, with our keeper off his line to stop a fight unspotted by the ref, the result was never really in doubt. For spirit such as ours on Sunday is simply unconquerable. When our third unanswerable shot rifled into the back of their almost well-defended net, the message, or the hope, was as clear as the piercing mid-Spring sunlight: the Eagles, surely, are on the rise again.

KDFC U15 Eagles

Testing times for the U15Bs

Kensington Dragons U15B 2 v 4 St Gregory’s

So the rain came down and the goals dried up. Would this be the way we’d recall our season? At 0-4 down in the second half, the home support supposed so. Where were the Titans who bestrode the pitches of west London with verve and fire before Christmas? Where was the net result to all those cunning runs and quick, deft touches still on show? In the last ten minutes we glimpsed them. But two late goals were not enough on a strange day of sunlight and soul-searching. The season yet remains. And we will rise again. But in the meantime, heads are down. We’re an exceptional team, with excellent players and magnificent coaches. But we should have walked this shock defeat.

KDFC U15 Eagles

Eagles suffer cup heartache

Hanwell Town 3 v 2 Kensington Dragons U15B League Cup Quarter Final.

Well, it was March and we were still in the cup. That we can only put this down to the weather, however, is now something of a sore point. This was a match we could have, should have, and but for three non-footballing injuries that struck out our keeper and two defensive titans, surely would have won.

We travelled with 11 players and, inevitably, lost one to a knock after ten minutes. They, meanwhile, had more substitutes than a classic Who track. Yet it was the plucky Dragons that played the finest football in the first half. And to what end? Strong running from Hanwell Town forced two scruffy goals against the run and while we pulled one back on the stroke of half time (a thunder-bolt that for a moment sent the sudden sunshine scurrying for cover) there was a sense of a turgid tide flowing against us.

When they scored a scraggy third the class response we always threaten seemed to fade with the fragile spring morning.  A late rally and a fine free kick put us back in touch but it was too late. Our league cup felleth over.

Yes, we’ve had a fine run, including two 1st division scalps. But oh, these games we coulda, woulda, shoulda won. To quote White City’s much older rock combo once more, though: our kids are all right. We’re looking good for the league.