Wesley Cook’s Cougars Under8s put in a great away performance to win 4-1 at Hitchin Town in what Cook described as “a great game of passing, teamwork and finishing”


Cougars Under 15’s travelled to play at fantastic facilities at Barnet Azzuri looking to avenge last season’s two defeats. Chris Adam’s boys playing with the wind behind them in the first half had the vast majority of possession but found the hosts defensively strong and well organised. The best opportunity in the first twenty minutes was when Alex Hewer let fly from 20 yards forcing a full length save from the home keeper. On half hour the deadlock was broken as Matt Adams made space for himself on the left edge of the box cut inside and curled the ball from 15yrds round the keeper into the bottom corner, a lead that was taken into the break.


The second half started with real purpose for Buntingford as Dan Curtis took a quick throw in before Adams and Liam Smith exchanged a neat one two into the box allowing Smith to drop his shoulder beat the defender and finished in style to double the away side’s lead. Soon after a third was added when Smith was fouled in the box and he dusted himself off to dispatch the spot kick. Ten minutes later Matt Inman beat two men to cross to the back post where Smith headed home for a well deserved hat trick. Cougars pressed on and made it five when Matt Adams volleyed into the roof of the net following a free kick.


With ten minutes to go Azzuri got one back with a fabulous strike before Matt Inman forced a penalty that Sid Arnold coolly dispatched to make it six.

Being interviewed by the BBCs Gary Linekar Cougars Undwer15’s boss Chris Adams said “We played some super football today and took our chances well. Special mentions to my full backs Danny Curtis and Reece Knapp who both got the balance between attack and defence spot on, they were always looking to get on the ball and get us playing.”


Buntingford’s Under11’s Blues were knocked off top spot in division two after a defeat at Biggleswade United despite going ahead in the eighth minute courtesy of a thunderbolt 20 yard strike from George Godfrey. The full time result of five one was probably a little harsh on Cougars who dominated periods of play at the start of the first and second halves.


Meanwhile Cougars Under11’s Whites won 3-2 with Brogan Fakhfakh, Tom Carter and Casey Heenan netting in a game that Jimmy Brown put in a man of the match performance.


Cougars Under11’s Stripes went down by the odd goal in five despite being two goals up. Scoeres for Ian Jenkins side were Freddy Cocks and Yann Boulter with Man of the Match going to Ben Hancox.


Cougars Under13’s Whites were dumped out of the league cup by Stevenage Boro Juniors Bluesox whilst Cougars UnderU14’s took on a strong Melbourn side in the league and succumbed to defeat despite some great defending from Callum Andrews and Ryan Jackson.


In the Under16s section Buntingford’s Blues dropped to mid table following a narrow one nil defeat at Stevenage Vikings and the Whites exited the league cup following a 4-2 loss at Stotfold.


Buntingford Under 9’s Whites travelled to Manuden and enjoyed their first win with a convincing three-nil victory. Paul Eveleigh’s tenacious troops played their hearts out and demonstrated how much they have progressed and improved as a team and individuals and did their club proud. Two goals from Jake Lemay and one from Ben Hume (both pictured) along with a superb performance from at the other end from goalkeeper Oscar Kennedy did the trick but Eveleigh made clear that it was a team performance that won it as he told Sky Sports Headquarters “They were brilliant, all gave man of the match performances and they all did cougars proud”. Meanwhile Cougars Under9’s Blues played out a close encounter with Manuden which ended in a three one defeat with Billy Pullen getting Buntingford’s goal.


Paul Skinner was pleased to get back to winning ways with an emphatic victory for Buntingford’s Under 12s over Letchworth Golds with man of the match Jack Piggott netting along with Ryan Skinner. Patrick Cahill scored with a fine solo effort and the game saw a first goal for Ryan Hicks.

Chris Adams’ Under15’s travelled to Enfield Youth who started the brightest and were awarded a penalty on 5 minutes which they converted well. It took Cougars twenty minutes to create chances and Matt Adams timed his run to perfection to head home for a deserved equalizer before half time. The game finished one apiece which was a good result for the Arnold family with cousins playing for each team.

In other games Cougars Under7’s played enjoyed a high scoring victory over Stotfold. The Under 13’s Blues ran out three one winners over Clifton Colts whilst the Under14’s lost out away to Sawbridgeworth. In the Under 16 section Cougars Blues suffered an unusual home defeat as they went down three one to Stortford Athletic whilst the Under16s Whites lost to Austen Arrowheads. Cougars Under11’s teams had a tough day as the Blues were dumped out of the County cup by Berkhamsptead five – two; Charlie Fountain and George Godfrey scoring, the Whites also exited the cup with Tom Carter scoring a consolation. Ian Jenkins Under11’s Stripes put in their best performance of the campaign as they played out an even encounter with Bassingbourn which saw Yann Boulter net twice and Freddy Cocks earn the Man of the Match accolade.

October Soccer School

Buntingford Cougars October Half Term Soccer School

 Cougars’ soccer schools welcome boys & girls 4-12 years old regardless

of ability or experience to have fun in a safe environment.

All coaches are FA qualified with 1st aid training and are CRB checked


The soccer school is Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th October 9.30am to 2.30pm at

Freman Sports Hall, Freman College, Bowling Green Lane Buntingford SG9 9BT.


Cougars members booked in advance pay only £12 / day

Non Cougars booked in advance pay £15 / day

All bookings on the day are £20 per day (no exceptions)


Children must wear trainers & shin pads (if you have them) and bring a packed lunch & drink. Any questions call Richard on 07944 237400

To book online follow click link

Jack the Lads Score at Baldock

Buntingford Cougars Under11’s Blues enjoyed another rewarding away day with lots of different scorers again as they hit Baldock Crusaders for five. The first few minutes were even with Crusaders having the best chance that was tipped over by Sam Daly but in the ninth minutes Jack Gurney galloped down the right to deliver an inch perfect cross that was converted by the impressive Lily Hall with a close range volley. After twenty minutes Cougars doubled their lead with Nathan Anderson smashing in from close range after Baldock could not clear a corner.

After the interval Buntingford added a third with Gurney scoring courtesy of a great run and an unstoppable strike before the hosts pulled one back and were then unlucky not to get a penalty. After the scare Cougars regained their three goal cushion as George Godfrey’s determination saw him score from just within the box and then the move of the game saw Jack Lally combine with Charlie Fountain and Gurney with a couple of one-two combinations before a classy finish from the diminutive striker who has now scored in all four matches this season. In the Sky Sports Newsroom a delighted Darryl Dean said “It was a good team performance today, everyone did well”

Meanwhile Cougars Under11s Whites and Stripes both put in great performances at Ashwell in the development league. Cougars Under12’s endured a rare league defeat as they went down heavily to Bedwell Rangers.

Cougars Under13s Blues enjoyed their first victory of this campaign as Richard Thorpe’s troops comfortably beat Austen Arrowheads three goals to one and Buntingford’s Under13’s Whites continued their 100% start to the season with a 3-2 away win at Barmond to keep them atop of division three. Not such good news for Kev Ridgewell’s Under14s as they suffered a heavy home defeat to Bedwell Irons.

Chris Adams’ Under15’s endured their first defeat as they lost to Welwyn Pegasus 3-2 and surrendered top spot in the demanding Mid Herts Premier League. Jason Rowley’s Under16’s Whites came out on top in a tight affair winning by the odd goal in seven against Pin Green whilst Sean Curran’s Under16’s Blues got back to winning ways in the top division as they eased to a 4-1 win away at Bishop Stortford Swifts.


Cougars Under 10’s “Miles” Ahead

Buntingford Cougars U7s Stripes and Royals were always going to up against it on Saturday as Phil Allen’s squad was hit by illness but the players put in another fine performance playing their first home game of the season against a well organised Bedwell team. It was an entertaining game with both teams trying to play football the way it should be from the back, the score swapped hands several times with Bedwell coming out on top by the odd goal. Allen was interviewed after the match and said “I want to say well done to both sides for a great game played in the right spirit.” The Under7’s Blues and Whites had an early start and long journey to St Neots and despite having a depleted side due to illness Luke Fone and Ricci Crace’s team were rewarded with a comfortable victory.

Buntingford’s Under10’s entertained Letchworth garden City Eagles and the relatively new managerial partnership of Danny Miles and Gerry Meehan were pleased with a 3-2 win.

Cougars Under11’s Blues recorded their first victory of the season as Darryl Dean’s troops beat Stevenage Boro Hurricanes four goals to two. There were four different scorers for the hosts with Jack Lally, Archie Vass-Smart, Charlie Fountain and Jack Gurney all on target as Cougars went four nil up before the visitors scored two in the last ten minutes.

Buntingford’s  Under11’s Whites enjoyed a great game hosting Stotfold Greys with the visitors running out as narrow two-one winners in a thrilling encounter. Josh Lucas was the scorer for the home side in a match which Casey Heenan, Jimmy Brown and Tom Carter were outstanding. Cougars Under11’s Stripes travelled to Ashwell and did well but were unable to overcome the hosts who scored to no reply.

Cougar’s Under 12’s played Sawbridgeworth Sliders with Buntingford winning three – nil courtesy of a brace from Jack Piggott and one from Jack Littleford who scored with a spectacular over head kick. Man of the Match went to Jack Piggott but Manager Paul skinner told the BBC’s match of the day “I am really pleased because we won today with a great all round team effort”.

Buntingford’s Under13’s Blues suffered their second league defeat in division one going down by the odd goal in five at Shefford Saints whilst Cougars Under13’s Whites now head the third division as they won their second match in as many weeks by the same five nil score line. Buntingford’s Under14’s battled hard against a strong Baldock team with some good play from Miles Blamforth, Ben Clark and Jacob Dear.

Cougars Under15’s went to Hemel to play one of last season’s top half sides. The first half was a tight physical affair with the best chance falling to Buntingford’s Matt Adams who hit the bar from 20 yards. The second was quite different as Buntingford grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and five minutes in Adams crossed for Archie Rhodes to side foot home for the opener. Ten minutes later Alex Hewer doubled the lead with a powerful header and soon after Hewer doubled his tally and added Cougar’s third with a 30 yard effort. Liam Smith notched a fourth with a sweet left foot shot before Hewer achieved his hat-trick from inside the box. Hemel then scored to make the game score five one. Cougars Under15’s Boss Chris Adams in the press office after the game said; “Today we worked incredibly hard in a tight physical first half and that built a platform for the second half where we were clinical in front of goal. A special well done to Alex Hewer for a super hat-trick.”

Jason Rowley’s Cougars Under 16’s Whites travelled to suffer a five two defeat at the hands of Letchworth’s Whites whilst Sean Curran’s Under 16’s Blues went to third in the first division as they were held to a one all draw at home to Baldock Town.

Veteran Coach Allen Sets The Standard

Buntingford Cougars youngest squad – the Under7’s Stripes and Royals more than held their own in last Saturdays festival, the youngsters led by Phil Allen won four, drew one and lost and entertained everyone as they played football from the back and through the whole pitch. In his post match interview veteran coach Phil Allen said “I was pleased with the whole squad, it was a great days football.”

Cougars Under11’s Blues enjoyed a second eight goal thriller in as many weeks as they travelled to Sawbridgeworth. As in last week’s game Buntingford scored early when Jack Gurney forced a first minute goal following a goal mouth scramble, the striker doubled the lead on 10 minutes after a cross from Tom Carter. Sawbo then stepped up a gear and came back to lead 3-2 at the break and then scored early after the interval to make it 4-2. With ten minutes remaining man of the match Nathan Anderson score before an enthralling finish when Jack Lally equalised to give Cougars a share of the spoils. After the match Darryl Dean said “We were happy overall with the performance but need to work out how we can hold onto a lead better.”

Buntingford’s Under16s Blues came safely through the first round of the county cup with a solid two-nil away win against Cuffley. Cougars dominated possession and should have made lighter work of their opponents. The visitors scored one in each half, the first scrambled in from a corner by Archie Huskinson and the second a great run and finish from Sam Curran, following a pin point pass from Jack McMeechan.

Buntingford’s Under15’s travelled to a strong Harlow side where Cougars started well with Luke Garratt having the best of the chances with a well saved shot. Harlow soon found their feet but Sid Arnold and Min Lankester were solid at the back.  With the away side playing good passing football Cougars won a free kick 40 yards out from which Liam Smith delivered a beautiful deep free kick that Matt Share half volleyed home to put Buntingford one up before half time.

The second half started poorly for Adam’s team and Harlow deservedly equalised five minutes into the second half before continuing to put Cougars under pressure forcing the visitor’s keeper Jay Caine into action including a brave stop at the feet of the host’s striker. The guardians efforts galvanized Cougars who found another gear and with time running out Matt Adams and Owen Groves combined to feed Archie Rhodes who chipped the keeper for the game’s winner.

Cougars Under15’s Boss Chris Adams being interviewed by Gary Linekar after the match said “A really tough test today but I was pleased with the way the whole team upped our effort to combat their threat. Special mentions to our number one Jay Caine and Archie Rhodes with the winner. Sadly our Matt Inman broke his collar bone today a on behalf of all the boys and parents we wish him a speedy recovery.”


August Soccer School

Buntingford Cougars August Soccer School is Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th August 9.30am to 2.30pm at The Bury

Cougars’ soccer schools welcome boys & girls 4-12 years old regardless of ability or experience to have fun in a safe environment. All coaches are FA qualified with 1st aid training and are CRB checked.

Cougars members booked in advance pay only £12 per day

Non Cougars booked in advance pay £15 per day

All bookings after 5pm on Monday 26th August pay £20 per day

Children must wear weather suitable footwear, clothing & shin pads. Children must bring a packed lunch & still drink.


Book online here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/buntingford-cougars-august-soccer-school-tickets-12577825615

Or if you prefer to print a form please click below


Cougars July Soccer School

Buntingford Cougars July Soccer School

Cougars’ soccer schools welcome boys & girls 4-12 years old regardless of ability or experience to have fun in a safe environment.
All coaches are FA qualified with 1st aid training and are CRB checked

The July soccer school is Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th July 9.30am to 2.30pm at The Bury, Buntingford (former Sainsburys Depot).

Cougars members booked in advance pay only £12 / day
Non Cougars booked in advance pay £15 / day
All bookings after 3pm Mon 28th July – pay £20/day (no exceptions)

To book online Click Here; https://www.eventbrite.com/e/buntingford-cougars-july-soccer-school-registration-12237646129

Or for a paper booking form just click here; SoccerSchoolJul14

Chairman’s Report for 2014 AGM

Chairman’s Report for AGM 23rd June 2014

This chairman’s report is the first for me. As we are a grassroots football club I will start my report by talking about our achievements on the pitch and I will start with the eldest age group down to the youngest.

Our Under16’s finished their youth football careers a few weeks ago and we will say goodbye to some of our most loyal players, coaches and supporters. It looked like they might go out with a real bang as they were topping their division and unbeaten before Christmas but alas they slipped back to finish a credible 3rdplace. I would like to say thank you and well done to Mark Watson, Richard Sprosson, Richard Thorpe and all of the players and families in our departing Under16’s, I am pleased to see a few of the boys training with Buntingford Town, but whatever path they choose – I wish them well in their football careers and their adult lives.

Our Under15’s had a great season. The Whites kept us on the edge of our seats by trying to achieve fourth place; they certainly punched above their weight and were a real credit to Jason Rowley and the club. Meanwhile our U15’s Blues led by Sean Curran reached the league cup final and a week later won the league title, they also won the Knebworth tournament yesterday. At the cup final it was good to see all of the Whites players there supporting their team mates. I would like to say well done to all of the U15s players in both under15s teams for a great season and congratulations to Sean and Jason for creating a team ethic in the Under15’s that every age group should aspire to.

Our Under 14’s were pioneers for us as they competed in the Mid Herts Rural League. Chris Adams, Bruce Knapp, Andy Share and the boys certainly held their own in the top division of that league and claimed a couple of notable scalps along the way including some County Cup winners.

It was pleasing to see our Under13’s playing as a year ago they nearly folded. Fortunately we found a way to offer Under13’s football in Buntingford and they enjoyed a good season with Kev Ridgewell and Glenn Atkins.

A year ago our Under12’s were facing some challenges but I am pleased to say that they are now well positioned with enough players to seamlessly progress from 9v9 to to 11 a side football. They enjoyed a good season with the Blues finishing fifth in division 2 and the Whites topping division 3B. It’s fair to say that our Under12’s section is an environment where the children really enjoy developing and improving – we have even had a few boys selected for Norwich City trials so well done to Richard Thorpe, Bobby White and Dave Johnson.

Another age group struggling structurally last year was our Under 11’s but under the stewardship of Paul Skinner they had a good season finishing third in division four and growing the squad well.

Our Under10’s (that’s the age group I Coach) changed from playing with mixed ability teams to structuring teams based on coach’s assessments of the players performance against the FA’s four corners. My personal view is that it was proven to be the right thing to do for the players as it enabled the children to develop alongside and against players of similar ability to their own. Our Under 10’s now look forward to 9v9 football with enough players for two teams which will enable us to provide football for everyone and align players again to their own individual levels which I firmly believe best supports player development.

The Under9’s squad has grown under the stewardship of Barry Tokely and now Danny Miles too. I have seen a few of their matches where some great football has been played. I am also impressed at how well supported they are too which suggests that someone is doing something right. I know of at least one of our Under9’s is at Stevenage too.

Our Under8’s with Danny, Fitzy and Paul has experienced the issue of having two very polarised teams playing against the same opposition, usually resulting in the Whites being heavily beaten but I am delighted with the way that squad continues to grow and flourish and I know we have Cambridge looking at one of the boys there too.

It was the first season of matches for our Under 7’s as well as being the first year of the new 5v5 format. I watched a few of their games and was always impressed with what I saw both on and off the pitch so well done to Wes Cook and Spencer Pugh. Last September Wes was concerned with player numbers but I am pleased to report that he is now looking to field two teams next season which is great news.

With our Under6’s with Luke and Ricci are coaching about 25 players, more than ever at this age group. Undoubtedly this is no fluke – it’s down to raising the clubs profile and initiatives such as soccer schools and Cougars Cubs, we have proven now that when we combine those activities with committed Coaches we have a formula to really grow our club from the bottom up.

Our youngest children aged four to five are in Cougars Cubs. This was the first full year of Cougars Cubs and my Thanks go to Phil Allen, Emma Hawthorne and Craig Ivison for welcoming over twenty children to Cougars Cubs. Next season they will become our Under 6’s and a new group of Cubs will come through, developing a pipeline of children and coaches from Cubs to Under 7’s, which was always the plan.

So that covers things on the pitch – I am now going to spend a few minutes talking about the year off the pitch . . . . . .

At last year’s presentation weekend some special awards were made for “Outstanding Dedication and Commitment to Buntingford Cougars” to a few people that I think deserve a mention at our AGM so congratulations to Sharon Hyland, Jason Rowley, Darren Fitzgerald, Frank Pyke and Mark Ganellin for their much deserved awards. At last year’s AGM we also made Jason, Barry, Mark and Fitzy Vice Presidents of the club – again congratulations to you.

Our media efforts have seen the club’s profile and awareness increase significantly. We are now in the Buntingford Journal every month and The Mercury every week. Online our website is up to date and social media with Facebook and Twitter have been invaluable for communicating the clubs successes and initiatives and in turn growing our membership. I would like to thank Helen and Pete for driving our media efforts as well as the Managers who write match reports because when children and parents see their names mentioned they love it. Other initiatives such as the Callum Eveleigh Schools Tournament also promote Cougars in the community and it was good to see this return after missing a year or two thanks to Barry, Sharon and the team who delivered that.

Next onto our soccer schools; they are now really well established with people asking about the next one all the time. In the last year we have staged a soccer school during every school holiday except Christmas, a total of ten days have seen over 300 individual bookings. I expect our nett profit is over £1,000 and as a bonus we have had players join Cougars at Cubs, U6s, 7s, 8s, 9s and 10s after they have enjoyed one of our soccer schools. I would like to thank our partners First4Football for making our soccer schools so successful – particularly Lewis Endacott. I would also like to thank Emma Vater who manages the soccer school bookings and registrations for us.

On the subject of club welfare; We should all have a high regard for our club welfare policies and qualification requirements because they are important and a legal requirement. If I am concerned that any Coach ignores a request to do something in a reasonable time frame then I consider it to be unacceptable and I now simply ask them to stop coaching at Cougars. I think right now we have every Coach properly qualified or qualifying and for that I want to thank Charlotte Garratt because her tenacity has ensured our club is a safe place for children to enjoy.

Fundraising is important for us because it supplements our income and enables us to keep membership costs down. It also enables Cougars to show compassion and support for our loyal members and partners. Indeed we decided to help some families who were touched by misfortune in the last year and also support The Bury and Freman College facilities. Getting last year’s presentation weekend sponsored was a good start, soccer schools will have helped and then who can forget the Halloween party arranged by Helen, Sara, Emma and friends which added to the coffers as well as being a fun family event. There were also two quiz nights and a BBQ at The Sailors. Another aspect of fundraising is grants and we have done well with grant funding from East Herts to secure a defibrillator, making The Bury a safer place, and again from East Herts a grant to pay for soccer school venues into 2017. From Buntingford Town Council we received money to support coaching courses. I would like to thank everyone who has supported our applications including Pete, Helen and Dave plus Susan Lankaster who I hope will be joining our committee tonight. Our biggest fundraising event is of course our 5 a side tournament which I will come to a bit later.

Before that though a few words about our committee. In my experience grassroots football club committees are often dominated by arrogant people who rant on about outdated views and are more interested in their own voices and egos. I believe these people simply sap the energy of youth football clubs so I have worked hard to ensure that that does not happen at Cougars and I believe recent events show what can be achieved when we have a really strong committee focusing on the right things. I want to thank the committee members who are stepping down; Elaine, Sarah and Charlotte for your contribution over the years and the ones who are standing for re-election tonight thank you so much for your efforts and support – as Jason said at last years AGM “a strong Chairman does not make a strong club, a strong committee does” and although it’s quite rare I will say these words “I agree with Jason”. Rest assured though if I am your Chairman after this AGM I will continue to focus the committee on club, facility and player development initiatives and together we will make this club even stronger.

I have left to last a few words about our 5 a side tournament. We had 164 teams and well over 3,000 people here. Feedback has been nothing but positive. I targeted £3,000 profit this year; I suspect that we might have made a bit more over the four days but I don’t know for certain yet. What I do know for certain is that on each one of those four days we saw hundreds of children enjoying football, hundreds of supporters enjoying our hospitality, dozens of coaches, managers and referees – many of them young local lads – doing a great job. We felt pride in supporting a local new photography and art business. I would like to thank everyone who helped at the tournament, some of you were part of the organising team for months, some were here all day every day, some just chipped in with an hour in the car park, on the gate or on the sweet stall – it doesn’t really matter how much you did – if you contributed in any way then you helped and you should feel good. For me such an important aspect of our 5 a side tournament is the fact that a group of people, many in this room, can voluntarily work together to deliver such a fantastic event that showcases our community and Buntingford Cougars in such a positive light and we should all feel good about that.

On that note I will sign off the Chairman’s report for this AGM by saying thank you to all the managers, players and committee members for your efforts, your commitment and your passion and whatever role, if any, I might be elected for tonight I look forward to another successful year for Buntingford Cougars. Thank You.

Richard Daly

Chairman – Buntingford Cougars Youth Football Club

AGM Election 2014