Regular website contributor, Paul Roth, has visited many grounds in the Kent County League and is already planning to take in new venues next season. Obviously missing his football he took in a game during his holiday to La Palma. Read Paul’s report below and see his photographs here
LA PALMA report by Paul Roth
Think of the Canary Islands and it’s Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife that usually springs to most people’s mind. In fact the archipelago consists of eight islands, La Palma being the fifth largest.
Referred to by the locals as ‘Las Isla Bonita’ (the beautiful isle), La Palma is by area the most mountainous island in the world. Not possessing facilities geared for mass tourism, apart from a smattering of black volcanic sandy beaches, it’s the fabulous walks, breathtaking scenery and stunning flora and fauna that attracts, for the most part, the more mature holidaymaker. With only two aircraft departing these shores bound that way each week – one from London Gatwick, the other from Manchester – that one statistic alone tells the story as to why La Palma remains such an unknown quantity to so few of us Brits.
Being so undulating and with jagged peaks soaring skyward at every turn, football grounds on La Palma are by definition set amongst some of the most stunning scenery to be found anywhere in the world. In fact my two all-time favourite footballing venues are set upon the outcrop, those being CD Mensajero and SD Tenisca, both located in the island’s capital, Santa Cruz.
Before our recent week’s holiday (this was actually to be my wife and my third visit to La Palma), I’d been lucky enough to take in matches at seven La Palman venues, the one glaring omission on my part being not to have visited UD Los Llanos de Aridane’s (LP’s second town) Estadio Municipal Acero.However, fate would deign my luck in that department was about to change. The Preferente section, Spain’s fifth footballing tier, is for financial reasons regarding distances and travelling times between islands, split into two geographical sections. The respective winners of the Tenerife-La Gomera-La Palma and Gran Canaria-Fuerteventua-Lanzarote leagues attain automatic promotion to Division Three. Two more promotion berths are then up for grabs. To confuse matters, La Palma contests it’s very own short season, due in no small part to the paucity of clubs (many have folded during the recent economic downturn) that number only ten in total. Those clubs’ short season started back in December, culminating in protracted play-offs, eventually producing one promotion candidate.
UD Los Llanos de Aridane had battled through, winning their island level play-off phase, drawing Tenerife club CD Raqui San Isidro in Round One of the promotion phase proper. They were dispatched with aplomb over the course of the two-legged tie. Up next however were stronger opponents, in the form of UD Cruz Santa, also from Tenerife. The winners of that match would glean the third promotion place. On this occasion LL lost 3-2 on aggregate, thus setting up the very final match, versus Puerto del Rosario, from Fuerteventura: having finished runners up in their respective group, that club had had the luxury of a few weeks’ r&r as the other protagonists slugged it out amongst themselves. If all the above sounds terribly complicated, then that’s because it is! Apologies if I’ve not explained the process lucidly.
Two one down after the first-leg on Fuerteventura, the second and deciding match that would provide the last remaining Third Division promotee, took place in Los Llanos de Aridane on Sunday 21st June, kicking-off at 12:30. Spare them a thought; this was to be the club’s twelfth (12th) play-off match during the course of the 2014/15 season. And we think it gets complicated in this country!
As is ever the case on La Palma, Los Llanos’ stadium boasts a mountainous backdrop, in this case the expansive caldera (volcanic rim) of the now-extinct Taburiente volcano.
Away goals count double in all La Liga play-off encounters, so when the homesters took the lead on the half-hour mark they were effectively ‘up’. The majority of the 1,000+ crowd’s joyous celebrations lasted precisely three minutes, Puerto del Roario’s equaliser stunning the crowd into a deafening silence.
That the Fuerteventuran’s didn’t manage another score remains a mystery, although goalkeeping of the highest order on the part of the homesters’ ‘stopper was pretty well wholly responsible for that.
On the day, the better team came through, earning this relatively newly-formed club a coveted spot in Division Three.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Ten new clubs were elected to the League at the AGM that was held on Thursday, 18th June. The new clubs are Ashford United Reserves, Aylesford, Cray Wanderers Community, Cuxton 91, Nomads, Parkwood Rangers, South East Athletic, Welling Park, West Farleigh and Willesborough Athletic. In addition, six reserve teams from existing clubs were added to the constitution from Bexley, FC Elmstead, Farnborough OBG, Meridian VP, Old Roan and Staplehurst United.
Presentations were made to the Divisional Fair Play Award winners and the overall Fair Play trophy was shared for the first time ever by Kings Hill FC and New Romney FC.
The Aford Awards Manager of the Year trophy was presented to Roy Davies of Metrogas FC.
The Doreen Johnson Shield for Secretary of the Year was presented to Karen Adams of Rolvenden FC, all divisional winners each received an award.
Fixture Secretary, Barry Goodsell received an award for 25 years’ service to the Kent County League.
View photographs of the award winners by clicking here
ANNUAL PRESENTATION DINNER 2015
Report by Andrew Gidley
Former England goalkeeper Ray Clemence proved a popular guest at the NRG Gym Kent County League annual dinner at Maidstone. The ex-Liverpool and Tottenham star was the latest big name to grace the occasion following ex-international team-mates Ray Wilkins and Peter Shilton. The rivalry between Shilton and Clemence, his days at first club Scunthorpe United for the young lad from Skegness, and the way the game has changed occupied an entertaining hour.
Clemence spent time signing autographs and having photos taken with guests as well as joining other guests to present trophies and awards. Willie Miller of Greenways was a popular winner of the Personality of The Year award. Keith Wenham looked very surprised to be named Referee of the Year, having overseen two other awards to fellow officials. Peter Wilson was named Most Promising Referee, while Darren Kavanagh was Assistant of the Year.
Meanwhile Aford Awards have confirmed their involvement as trophy suppliers to the League for another season – 23 in total.
Photographs of the evenings awards can be viewed here
Hawkinge Town FC are looking for friendly matches. Must be away on Saturday August 22nd and Saturday August 29th 2015. Contact Jake Taylor Manager 07802 534506
Cuxton 91 FC new members of the Kent County League, are looking for pre-season friendlies in August, home or away. Contact Frans on 07827 016250 or email
Tenterden Town FC and Faversham Strikeforce Seniors FC are looking for pre-season matches for further details click here
The FC Elmstead 5-a-sides are back! This year’s tournament will be held on Saturday, 4th July 2015 at Chislehurst Recreation Ground, the entry closing date is 27th June for full details click here.
Meridian Sports Club are launching a Summer 7-a-side competition, for further information and contact details click here
Greenways FC are forming a Vets team, and are looking for opposition to play friendly fixtures with over the forthcoming months. Please contact Willie Miller if interested, for contact details click here
LEADING LEAGUE & LEAGUE CUP GOAL SCORERS
|One East||Luke Blackaby||Otford United||20||20||0|
|One West||Schaveize Williams||Peckham Town||23||18||5|
|Two East||Frankie Steer||Lydd Town Res||18||12||6|
|Two West||Stephen Brady||Old Bromleians||23||23||0|
|Three East||Timothy Sims||Rolvenden||29||23||6|
|Three West||Joe Childs||Metrogas Res||34||28||6|
|U21 East||Newman Doku||Herne Bay||16||16||0|
|U21 East||Christie-Francis Pattisson||Cray Wanderers Youth||15||15||0|
Divisional listings can be viewed by clicking here
Figures only include goals scored in League matches and in Inter-Regional Challenge Cup, Les Leckie Cup and West Kent Challenge Shield matches. Goal details are those entered or supplied by clubs.
Over sixty matches have been included in this year’s GALLERY we are grateful to our League Photographer, Julia Hoare, who most weeks has covered at least one match. We also thank our other contributors Alan Coomes, Paul Roth, Phil Hudson, Colin Brazier and Mike Tarrant.
Photographs of this season’s matches can be viewed by clicking here
If you have photographs you would like included in the gallery please email to firstname.lastname@example.org – photographs should have a minimum width of 600px.
AFORD AWARDS MANAGER OF THE MONTH
The final award of the season was made on Saturday 9th May when the Western Section award for April was made by League Chairman, Cyril Windiate, to Tony Alliband of Kingfisher Glory FC before their game against Club Langley.
For details of all this season’s winners click here
We are most grateful to the awards sponsor, Aford Awards, for their continued support.
Clubs are now preparing for the 2015/16 season, do you need new players or volunteers? The latest vacancies received are from:
BEXLIANS FC – Are looking for committed players of a good standard to join a young exciting squad with promotion ambitions.
OTFORD UNITED FC – Are currently looking to recruit and strengthen their current squads for the 2015/2016 season.
BORDEN VILLAGE FC RESERVES – Are looking for new players to join the Club this season to help improve both the first team and the Reserves.
PARKWOOD RANGERS FC - Looking to build upon our first season as an Under 21’s side we are currently looking for players of all positions for next season.
HAWKINGE TOWN FC – Are looking for players in all positions to strengthen their squad following promotion to Kent County League Division 1 East.
BREDHURST JUNIORS – Are looking for players interested in coming pre-season training.
HALLS AFC -Are holding a Senior trials day on Saturday, 4th July.
STANSFELD O&B FC – Are looking to recruit Kent County Premiership standard Players for the new season. They also require a qualified Physio for the 1st Team.
BALDON SPORTS FC – Are looking to appoint a manager for their Under 21, in addition the are seeking players of all standards.
DEAL COMMUNITY SPORTS FC – Require a physio for match days and training nights.
BRIDON ROPES FC U21’s – Are keen to start recruiting players for their U21’s squad for the coming season, players for all positions are required.
STANSFELD O&B FC – Last seasons Kent County Premier Division Runners-up are looking to recruit an Assistant Manager/Coach.
QUALIFIED FOOTBALL COACH – Looking for a new team.
GREENWAYS FC – Are forming an under 21’s team and are looking for players aged between 17-20 years old to join the club.
TUDOR SPORTS FC - WANTED – Players, Management, and Coaches for the Premier and 2nd team Kent County League sides.
SOUTH DARENTH FC – Of Division 2 (East) are seeking new players to strengthen their existing squad.
ERITH 147 SPORTS FC – Are looking for players of any position for their new U21 side
PECKHAM TOWN FC – Are currently looking for a head coach and staff to lead a young and talented reserve team.
SEVEN ACRE & SIDCUP FC – Are looking for players for their Under 21 team for next season.
METROGAS FC – Are looking for players for the coming season.
STAPLEHURST & MONARCHS UNITED FC – Require an Assistant Manager/Coach for their reformed Reserves Squad.
GREENWAYS FC – Are seeking club officials along with new players (including a goalkeeper) for their 1st team.
SNODLAND TOWN FC – Are urgently seeking a Manager/Coach for their first team.
FOOTBALL FUTURES 2015
The Kent County League is delighted to have become a project partner to Kent FA Youth Council as they launch their Football Futures 2015 programme.
Kent FA’s award-winning Youth Council have set themselves an ambitious target of getting 2015 young people signed up to the Football Futures programme by this time next year.
To help encourage teams and individuals to join the army of Kent volunteers, the Kent FA is delighted to announce an opportunity for a lucky young person to win their club a new NIKE kit by simply signing up to the Kent FA Football Futures programme.
The Kent FA Football Futures programme is intended to support young people aged 14-24, who are interested in volunteering in football. The programme rewards young people by providing opportunities to receive training, gain experience and meet other young volunteers in the game.
For further details of the Football Futures programme and how to sign up to Football Futures and to enter the competition click here
They join APM Contrast whose new site all their twenty teams within the club.
Hildenborough Athletic have launched their new MyClubPro website which is fully customised for their club colours and including all the teams they run. MyClubPro are now working on more sites which will be launched soon.
For further details and MyClubPro news and updates click here
ANDREASCARTERSPORTS OPEN IN KENT!
Andreas Carter Sports the official Teamwear supplier of the Kent County Football League have now opened a branch in Welling. ACS supply Errea, Stanno and Joma Kits, footballs and all match accessories, plus Leisurewear and other Sporting Apparel.
Contact Paul White at ACS Welling:
1 Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1SY (adjacent to Welling United FC)
The Kent County League Supports SWEARING – Let’s Tackle It
The Kent County League is proud to support the Kent FA Youth Council’s ‘SWEARING – Let’s Tackle It’ campaign. Supported by members of Kent FA staff, the Youth Council collaborated with Fixers UK, a charity which supports young people across the UK to take action and change things for the better, to orchestrate a campaign tackling foul and abusive language in the game. From initial concept development to the execution of filming a promotional video, the Kent FA Youth Council has directed the campaign to help eliminate and raise awareness of the negative impact of bad language in football. The Kent County League looks forward to offering our support for this initiative to combat foul and abusive language in the game, as we believe for football in the county to continue to grow in a positive way, such behaviour needs to be tackled. The Kent County League are committed to creating safe and inclusive football environments for everyone and as a result fully support the Kent FA Youth Council for bringing this issue to the forefront of grass roots football in Kent. You can watch the Youth Council’s video below.
League Clubs Meeting
Tuesday, 11th August 2015 – UK Paper Leisure Club, Avenue of Remembrance, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 4DE
Annual Presentation Dinner
Saturday, 4th June 2016 – Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, ME17 1RE