Croydon Eagles Season Review 2013/14

Another season has just finished for the Croydon Eagles. It is now our fourth year together and things have gone from strength to strength. We now have a group of players who know each other pretty well. This has given us a sense of togetherness whenever we get together for matches and training sessions.

The season has been competitive but very enjoyable. It saw the Eagles pick up their first trophy, in which we beat the Brixton Pumas in the final of the Surrey County FA South London tournament at our home ground by two goals to nil, Dan B bagging both goals.

We also played in a national tournament in Lewes and the Street Revolution Inclusion cup at Elmers End. The Eagles gave a good account of ourselves in both and were unlucky to come away empty handed although both were immensely enjoyable.

The Talk Easy Trust invited us to play in an exhibition match at Carshalton’s ground to highlight Mental Health Stigma where youth just edged out experience but again showed how mental health football is growing

It was our last season in the South London Grassroots League before moving into the Surrey FA MH League. We finished fifth, winning nine and losing seven. This included some fiercely fought games (well, not too fierce) played at a pretty high standard.  There could be some guys and girls who could have played at a decent level if things had turned out different. That’s why it’s crucial that people who have been through mental health illness are given the chance to play the game they love.

Our association with the Crystal Palace FC Foundation has also grown. We have received a new kit, been in the match day programme, and lest I forget, appeared on a little football show on TV you may have heard of, Match of the Day, which was arranged by the team at the CPFC Foundation.  It is a great feeling for all of us to be teamed up with a premier league club. More and more league and non-league clubs are now supporting mental health football projects. Hopefully it will grow and grow.

We gave out a number of awards, star man and top scorer Abu receiving player of the year, and Joseph Tchembe getting most improved player. Gel Clifford received the manager’s award.

So here’s to another successful season in the new Surrey League. 

With thanks to Peter Rogers and Alex Rolfe-Sanders (Mind in Croydon), Paul Richards (team captain and volunteer), Michael Harrington (CPFC Foundation) and all of the players.

Croydon Eagles are supported by Mind in Croydon and the Crystal Palace Foundation.

Goal Scorers season 2013/14: Abu 27, Paul 23, Dan B 21, Calvin 18, Dan M 14, Tony 12, Marlon 10, Tim, Kelvin, Ajay 6 each, James and Cem 1 each.

by Tim Matthias

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