Cougars RoundUp


Buntingford Cougars Under9 Blues played exceptionally well at home to Stotfold with goalkeeper Lucca Hedge coming out from goal to score a penalty and open the scoring. Lal Wennington netted four and Austin Cook also got on the scoresheet. Manager Wesley Cook was delighted with the performance and awarded Man of the Match to defender Aden Nash. Cougars Under9’s Blues followed with a game against Stotfold and also came out on top in a much closer encounter. On target for Cougars were Jake Garner and Oliver McKinley with the man of the match accolade going to Dylan Hayes.

Also in the mini soccer section Buntingford Cougars Whites did well in a goal fest which saw TJ Curtis, Beau Quinn, William Brown, Ben Lewis and Alfie Vottariello get on the score sheet.

Buntingford’s U11’s Blues travelled to Arlsey on a crisp Sunny autumnal morning and continued their unbeaten start to the season with an emphatic victory. Dexter Cumberland bagged a brace to add to Stan Wennington’s hat trick and strikes from Ben Maley and Freddie Bentley. A fine defensive display from Jack Hedge, Rocco Douglas and Samuel Miles and Ethan Vater kept the opposition at bay. Cougars man of the match was Dexter Cumberland.

It was a contest of the big cats at Knebworth as Cougars Under12’s Blues secured their first point of the season away to Knebworth Tigers. The match started off lively with both sides having chances but it was Buntingford who struck first as Jack Gurney sprung through the centre halves to dispatch a shot high into the net. Knebworth then scored either side of half time to equalise and then go one up. As Buntingford reclaimed the midfield battle Nathan Anderson and man of the match George Godfrey then changed the game as they combined twice to score either side of a Knebworth goal. It was a nail-biting climax in a game that finished with the same three – all score line the last time these two sides met. Manager Richard Daly was pleased saying “It’s good to get our first point because we have been playing really well but just not getting the results. Well done to everybody today, all the players did really well.”

Cougars Under12’s Whites played a thrilling match as they entertained Wymondley Park but came away with a 5-3 defeat. Max Young with a brace and Kameron Weston were on target for Dean Howard’s side who awarded man of the match to Freddy Lee.

Elsewhere for Cougars the Under13’s secured a 6-1 win away at Bishop Stortford Swifts to climb the second division table whilst Martin Stevens Under14s Blues dispatched Bushey & Oxhey out of the second round of the Herts County Cup with a 4-1 home victory. In the Under15 section Kev Ridgewells side lost to Bedwell Rangers.

Cougars Under16s lost at home to Harlow Town by two without reply and the Under 18’s Whites went down to Bishop Stortford Swifts whereas the Under18’s Blues secured a home point with a one-one draw against Letchworth.




Buntingford Cougars Under12s had a good day as the Whites dispatched Bassingbourn with six goals to no reply at London Road. The goal glut started midway through the first half as Josh Ridings (pictured) carved an opening when he cut in from the right and sent a shot high towards the far corner which found the net despite the keeper getting a hand to it, Ridings doubled his tally before half time when he wreaked havoc again down the right to fire in a low shot from a tight angle. The second half started in similar fashion with Kameron Weston firing in low following some good work from Luke Goodchild and Ben Garratt. Weston doubled his tally after he smashed a great volley into the roof of the net from 10 yards. Lily Hall then got on the score sheet before Ridings rounded off a great performance with his hat-trick, his first for the club. Manager Dean Howard was really pleased telling BT Sports Ian Wright that “Josh Ridings did really well today, but hats off to everyone who really dug in for a great result.”

Cougars Under12’s Blues also found their scoring shoes as they saw off a spirited Watford Town in the first round of the Herts County Cup. Brogan Fakhfakh bossed the middle of the park and helped to create chances early in the game. In the first half Jack Gurney with two, Nathan Anderson and Yann Boulter scored with the visitors getting two and in the second half it was the Gurney show again as the Cougars striker scored another four times with Watford also scoring twice again to make it eight – four to Cougars, who face St Albans in the next round. Manager Richard Daly in his post match interview told ITV’s Dickie Davis “After a difficult start to the season in a really tough division it was good to see the team do well in this cup game. Lots of great performances all over the park but Brogan Fakhfakh’s display was awesome.”

Buntingford Cougars U11’s Whites played at home against Ashwell and found themselves two down by half time. An inspirational half time team talk from Ross Craddock and Scott Piggott got the players firing again and the hosts were soon level courtesy of goals scored by Freddie Bentley and Thomas Norris. Some great team work by Jake Craddock, Jammiu Adajsi, Tom Trinder, Gabrielle Barbria and Noah Gibson aided by a brave performance by goalkeeper Tom Betley saw the team hold on until man of the match Ethan Vater scored in the last few minutes to secure a famous victory. Boss Scott Piggott was pleased telling BBC’s five live “Great commitment today from the lads delivered a tight but well deserved scoreline.”

Buntingford Cougars U11s Blues welcomed Stotfold and a great game saw Buntingford’s man of the match and prodigal son Stan Wennington get a hat trick and hit the cross bar. There was some fantastic passing and tackling from Stan Gurney, Sam Maley, Freddie Bentley and Samuel Miles. Just before half time Olly Baker scored to make it 4-0. In the second half the performance levels were maintained with Ben Maley making some great runs and it was deserved when Cougars added a fifth via Dexter Cumberland before Rocco Douglas ran up from defence to make it six. Great defending from Jack Hedge kept the visitors goalless. After the game Coach Richard Bentley told Sky Sports News “The side were pretty much unstoppable today and ran out comfortable winners.”

Cougars Under16’s enjoyed their first victory of the season, the win came against Enfield based Omonia as Sid Arnold and Archie Rhodes wrapped up a two nil win. Sean Curran’s Under18’s progressed in the Herts County with an emphatic 9-4 win over St Albans.

Elsewhere for Cougars the under 7s continue to impress with their attitude and style of football. The Under 13’s after going up a division continue to find their feet, going down 7-2 to Stevenage whilst in the Under14’s section Martin Stevens Blues side sit top of the league with two wins from two games. In the third division Cougars Under14’s Whites and Stripes played out a high scoring game with Bobby White’s side coming out victors to also enjoy six points from two games. Kevin Ridgewell’s under 16’s are still seeking their first points after going down at Symonds Green


Cougars RoundUp

Dale Brett was happy with Cougars U8s Stripes start to the season which saw a great performance against Hitchin Hornets. It didn’t take long for the Stripes to score via Henry Turner before some great defending from William Barr and Aiden Broci and a great save from Ronan McGuire in goal kept the Hornets at bay. Beau Lampard and Henry Dowsett were solid in Midfield and helped Turner break through to score again. Oliver Curran then added to the scoreline before Turner completed his hat trick. After another interval Curran completed his double before Turner scored fourth. After the game rookie Coach Dale Brett told Sky Sports “It was a great performance from the team throughout and a good start to the season, I was very happy with everyone’s performance. Henry Turner was given man of the match trophy but well done to all the players”


Meanwhile Cougars Under8’s Whites also started the season well as TJ Curtis opened the scoring against Hithin Hornets before Tyler Jordan made some decisive saves in goal with some great diving. Curtis soon doubled the lead and bagged his brace before Williams added a third.


Alfie Vottariello was solid at the back and gave the support to allow Ben Lewis to come on and net the fourth with a cracker of a shot. Hornets pull a deserved goal back before Beau Lampard finds the net after a great pass from Curtis and the Hitchin score again before Jamie Coote scores a great goal for Cougars> Jordan continues to keep Hornets at bay with a great performance between the sticks. Manager Tom Curtis was delighted after the game telling BT Sports Ian Wright that the team did so well in every department and he was particularly pleased with William Brown who scooped the man of the match award.


Cougars Under11’s Blues had a great start to the season as they dominated their match against visitors St Neots.  Man of the match Freddie Bentley broke through early on to give Cougars a one-nil lead.  When St Neots did manage to make a break, Cougars defenders Sam Miles, Sam Maley and Jack Hedge held strong with Goalkeeper Ethan Vater between the sticks.  Cougars kept up a great attacking play through the midfield of Dexter Cumberland, Ben Maley, Stan Gurney and Stan Wennington with Olly Baker having several shots at goal.  Against the run of play one of St Neots few shots on goal found its way in and despite a late rally from Cougars the game finished one apiece. Boss Danny Miles was philosophical saying that the team played well but could have won with some better finishing.

Presentation Weekend – What a Blast

Cougars Under10's

We would like to thank all of our players, parents, families, coaches and staff for a great presentation weekend. Here’s a few pics in case you missed it.

Cougars Cubs

Cougars Cubs

Cougars Under6's

Cougars Under6’s

Cougars Under7's

Cougars Under7’s

Cougars Under8's

Cougars Under8’s

Cougars Under9's

Cougars Under9’s

Cougars Under10's

Cougars Under10’s

Cougars Under11's

Cougars Under11’s

Cougars Under13's Blues

Cougars Under13’s Blues

Cougars Under13's Whites

Cougars Under13’s Whites

Cougars Under13's Whites

Cougars Under14’s


Current school year8? WE WANT YOU NOW

Cougars U13s Winners in 2015




Buntingford Cougars are adding a third team to next seasons U14s section so we are looking for new players who are current school year8 (Sept school year9).

We intend to have teams playing in Royston Crow League Divisions one, two and three so are looking for players of all abilities and experience.

If you are interested please contact a Coach for this age group:

Martin Stevens 07834 318518

Bobby White 07557 400762

Or Cougars via Richard Daly 07496 550144

Cougars U13s Winners in 2015

Cougars U13s Winners in 2015



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 soccer school is Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th July 9.30am to 2.30pm

 At The Bury, London Rd, Buntingford SG9 9HZ

 Cougars members booked in advance pay only £12

Non Cougars booked in advance pay £15

All bookings after 7pm the day before – pay £20 (sorry no exceptions)

 Children must wear suitable footwear – football boots if wet, trainers if dry & (ideally) shin pads.

Children must bring a packed lunch & drink.

Any qestions call Richard 07496 550144

2015 AGM Chairman’s Report


Chairman’s AGM Report – 22nd June 2015

Welcome to this year’s AGM. It has been yet another positive year with more children, families and teams involved with Buntingford Cougars than ever. Before I was Chairman our membership stood at 187 members. We did not have teams at every age group and we often struggled to get our under7s up and running properly.

It’s quite different today; we have squads every age group, which achieves our aim of offering football to every child. Our Cougars Cubs and Under6’s are flourishing, so we have easily enough to get our first age group going and as we close out this season our Under16s intend to take two squads into the Under18’s section next year. Our membership now stands at 300 members, a 60% growth in just two years.

So what’s happened on the pitch in the last twelve months?

Cougars Cubs started again in September run by Luke Fone who was later joined by Alex Doncaster. We have given about 40 three to five year olds their first taste of fun football sessions. I have seen and indeed delivered a couple of sessions and I must say it’s good fun. I would like to thank the people who established Cougars Cubs this season, namely Martin Stevens, his son Josh and of course Luke and Alex. From September Alex will take about half of the group onto the under6’s section whilst Luke will remain as Cougars Cubs Coach and they will both be looking for some additional support.

Our Under6’s have been coached by Phil Allen, Craig Ivison, Emma Hawthorne and latterly Scott Nash and are starting to form a good management structure with Niall Tallis taking on some of the admin and communication tasks. They played a few friendlies in the last few months and attended tournaments and the feedback from within the squad and from other clubs is really positive. They finished this season with about 18 players and are hoping to put in three teams into the Under7’s section in September. Thanks to all of the coaching staff in the Under6’s.

The Under7’s had a great season on the pitch and confirmed that we have some very talented footballers at that age group and some great committed coaches in Luke Fone and Ricci Crace. It has been good to see that some of the players have been identified by academy clubs with Tottenham, Cambridge and Stevenage looking at several players in the last year. What we didn’t know last year was that we also have a fine Coach in Tom Curtis, who stepped forward in January to take on the Stripes and Royals squad and I must say has done a fantastic job. At the same time Jo Vottariello stepped up to support the communication and organisation of that squad and again has done a remarkable job. The squad has also benefited from the contribution and experience of Sean Curran and I am very grateful to Sean for his help as well as Matty Adams who has helped coach the boys. Their season was topped off with both the Blues team and the development team winning their respective cups at the Royston Crow tournament, it was well deserved.  I would like to thank Luke, Ricci, Tom, Jo, Matty and Sean for their support for our Under7’s.

Our Under8’s under the stewardship of Wes Cook did well with a very polarised squad; meaning that they have a pretty strong Blues team and a true development team with the Whites who suffer when clubs just bring their A team to play two matches. It has been pleasing to see Wes develop a team around him with Spencer Pugh continuing to support him and the introduction of Ken Hayes, Jason Salmon and Greg Garner to support the development team. A highlight for me was to see the side win a penalty shoot – out at our tournament against Ware Lions, In Wes’s words – “that was our cup final and we will remember it for a long time”. I am pleased to say that Wes is confident that the squad will continue to be able to field two under9’s teams next season as they move up a format to 7 a-side football.

The Under9’s grew again led by Danny Skipp. Dan now has a network of coaches around him to facilitate the squad growth with Damien Kennedy, Steve Arnold and Ollie Townsend all becoming part of the team. Our Under9s is also a very polarised squad but it was good to see the management team identify a couple of clubs who had similarly aligned teams and arrange fixtures with them. I saw a few occasions where the Under9’s Whites were celebrating some great performances. Our Under9’s also have some talented players; we have had Orran Taylor at Cambridge now for over a year and I was delighted to hear that Finlay Walker and Freddie Arnold have also been invited to Cambridge United.

Our Under10’s enjoyed probably their most stable year so far with Danny Miles doing a sterling job. Danny has is now supported by Richard Bentley, and more recently Scott Piggott and Charley Barker. It was pleasing last week to hear that our Under10’s lad Olly Baker was retained as a Stevenage academy shadow squad player – so congratulations to Olly. Even more pleasing is that as this squad goes up to 9v9 next season Danny is confident that he will have at least twenty players to maintain the two team structure, so good news.

Our Under11’s ended last season with two teams going into 9v9 but started the season with three as we enabled ex Hormead players to play after their side folded. With an A team and two development teams plus a load of new players it was tough for me trying to oversee everything but we ended up having a reasonable season with our Blues competing in division three and our Whites and Stripes in division five enduring some heavy defeats early on but ending the season strongly. I am also delighted to say that Lily Hall has attended an open session with Spurs Ladies and feedback was positive, she is going again this week. I would like to thank Dean Howard, Darryl Dean and Ian Jenkins for their support along with a few dads who chipped in too.

Our Under12’s are a large single team, they finished sixth in a fourteen strong third division which was a good result. Manager Paul Skinner was joined by Ross Craddock who has had a positive impact both on and off the pitch. If you saw our Under12’s at the tournament you would have seen togetherness and a squad ethic that was impressive. I would also like to thank Nathalie Skinner who I believe does much of the paperwork.

Our Under13’s continued to grow and had about 36 players registered last season. Richard Thorpe’s Blues battled admirably to complete in the top division and Bobby White’s Whites team finished third in division three. The highlight for me was to see an Under13’s side win our tournament. I would like to thank Richard, Dave Walker and Charlie Owen for their support with the Blues and for the Whites my gratitude goes to Bobby White, Dave Johnson and Rob Hawthorne. I believe that Richard Thorpe is standing down from his role and will be replaced by Martin Stevens, I would like to thank Richard on behalf of the club, who has managed our Under13’s, coached last year’s Under16’s Whites with Mark Watrson and was a valued ex committee member.

Our Under14’s last season struggled for results but I admire the commitment and determination of Kev Ridgewell. I have been worried for this squad because of numbers but we seem to be in a better position than before with new players starting to train at the end of the season and Kev confident about next season.

The Under15’s in the Mid Herts league had a fantastic season and I want to congratulate the players on reaching the premier league play off and for winning the Cougars tournament. Following their presentation evening on Friday I also want to thank the staff and parents for their support and the team spirit that clearly exists in this squad amongst everyone. Well done to Chris Adams, Bruce Knapp and Andy Share.

Our Under16’s Whites had a difficult year with some management changes but it was good to see their last home match played at The Bury end in an emphatic victory. I would like to thank the outgoing Jason Rowley for his support to the squad over many years and Pete Briffet and Andy MacMeachin who took over from him.

Our Under16’s Blues enjoyed another strong season finishing as league and cup runners up. It should not be taken away from Sean Curran and the lads that they are a strong and well respected team. Thanks go to John Smith, Brad Hill and of course Sean for leading the side. I must say that seeing Sean’s congratulatory email to the league winners Hitchin proves for me that he is without doubt a real credit to Buntingford Cougars. I am delighted to see both Under16’s teams go into the Under18’s section next season and I wish them both well.

So what about off the pitch?

The soccer schools have seen 425 bookings over eleven days in the last year and netted the club about £1,260. Thanks to the Soccer School Coaches; Lewis Endacott, Matt Campany, Danny Skipp and Charley Barker. Thanks also go to Emma Vater who usually does the registrations.

The schools tournament was a fantastic success thanks to Barry, Sara, Emma and Sharon for what you do.

Fundraising was a bit hit and miss this year. The quiz night was not as successful as the two previous years, the Halloween party didn’t seem to excite people and the Celebrity Spurs and Arsenal night had to be cancelled. However there were some individual squad successes with the Under11’s raising over £600 bag packing at The Co-Op and the Under9’s having a quiz night and race night, both of which were profitable and went straight into club funds. Fund-raising is clearly something that we need to develop a proper strategy on and decide what we should do as a club.

Grant awards were better than ever thanks to Susan Lankester. This is a crucial part of how the club operates as it ensures that we can obtain funds to improve finances, facilities, coaching and equipment whilst keeping member fees affordable. We have had (I think) grant awards of around £3,000 plus two MacDonalds kits.

Our biggest fundraising event of course was successful as we hosted our biggest ever tournament with lots of positive feedback. I would like to thank everyone involved with the tournament, particularly Martin, Helen, Emma, Sarah, Pete, and the Calverts, who like me, spend many an hour as unpaid volunteers to deliver a fantastic tournament that is loved by so many.

Our referee scheme continues to offer youngsters the support and opportunity to get into refereeing and I was impressed with Under16’s player Paul Briffet and Under15’s boys Matt Adams, Luke Garratt, Reece Knapp, Liam Smith and Matthew Share for their refereeing performances either in regular matches or at our tournament. I am also impressed and grateful to young volunteers from within the club or recent leavers who help coach; Matty Adams, Josh Stevens, Reece Voller and Ben Walker spring to mind.

We use many facilities around the town including schools and town council facilities and I would like to thank Buntingford Town Council, Buntingford Cricket Club, Edwinstree School and Freman College. Of course The Bury is our home and I would like to thank Barry and the team for a facility that many clubs envy.

I would also like to thank our many team and event sponsors. It was good to see this year that we had both the tournament sponsored – by WKH Developments – and the presentations supported – by SJ Tokely Repairs. Thank you to those businesses and all of our team sponsors.

My efforts in trying to improve the structure of mini soccer in the Crow league and squad sizes of A and B teams is gaining some traction with several clubs voicing their support to my proposal. I will be making the proposal to the league and fellow club Chairmen at this week’s AGM so I hope I will be able to report some good news following that.

What does the Future hold?

So, what are our key challenges going forward? I would like to see the committee for the next year recognise that these are probably the key issues:

  1. Facilitating and managing membership growth; We are the biggest volunteer organisation in the area and our popularity is growing along with the local population, resulting in more children joining. Whilst this is a positive position, it will put pressure on our resources and facilities so we must structure better.
  2. Staff qualifications, particularly CRC’s (criminal record checks) must be valid.
  3. Establishing a pitch plan that is understood and supported by all teams as well as the facility owners is key. That is going to take time; focus and courage form the committee as well as some faith from teams, parents and managers who must be encouraged to understand the issue from a wider club perspective.
  4. By far my biggest concern remains floodlit winter facilities. This is an area that if I am elected as Chairman I would like to prioritise immediately.

In order to address the crucial issues and the big stuff we undoubtedly need a strong committee that I hope will be elected tonight. A committee with people who will take ownership and responsibility for some aspects of the club such as soccer schools, kits, facilities, school liaison and day to day issues.

This will enable me to focus on the major issues and opportunities that exist and will mean me personally relinquishing some activities that I feel now have a solid platform to operate smoothly e.g. soccer schools.

Finally, on the subject of our committee. I would like to thank the committee for their hard work and support over the last year. VP’s Barry, Fitzy and Mark Ganellin have always been available when I have needed them. Pete our Vice Chair is always there with his shell like ear to listen to me banging on, thanks Pete. Irene and Steve’s help with registrations and helping me create a great club email database is much appreciated. Although we don’t see them at committee meetings, Sadie and Karen’s help with fixtures and Susan’s grant schemes are much appreciated. Emma, Helen, Sara, Dave I appreciate your support with admin, finances and club welfare duties in addition to the other stuff that you do – it doesn’t go unrecognised or unappreciated by me. Phil, Danny and Martin, love your football brains and your ideas are usually good. Stevie T, Sharon and Sean, as always I appreciate your support and your help in making things happen.

That ends my Chairman’s report and I am happy to take any questions on it now or after the meeting.

Richard Daly

Cougars Players Presentations


Buntingford Cougars player presentations are where and when we celebrate and reward the children and players for their achievements. This year we would like to thank S.J. Tokely Repairs & MOT Centre for sponsoring the presentations.


The presentations will all be at The Bury where of course the bar will be open and there will be a BBQ. If another age group follows yours please be respectful whilst their presentation takes place.


Age groups are welcome to stay after their presentation, feel free to set up a fun parents V kids rounder’s or cricket match (weather & ground conditions permitting).


Each age group will enjoy their presentation together so if there are multiple teams at an age group their presentation is still all together e.g. Under 11’s Stripes, Whites and Blues will all be together.


Every registered member player gets a member trophy. If you / your child cannot attend please ask a friend in your age group to collect your  child’s trophy.


Each team (e.g. Blues team, Whites, Stripes, Royals) within an age group (with the exception of Cougars Cubs) will also have special awards; Players Player of the Year, Managers Player of the Year and Most Improved Player of the Year. Your manager or squad coordinator will be in touch to collect votes etc.


The schedule is as follows:

Cougars Cubs     Saturday 11th July at        11am

Under6’s             Saturday 11th July at        12.30pm

Under7’s              Saturday 11th  July at       2.30pm

Under8’s              Saturday 11th  July at       5.30pm

Under9’s              Sunday 12th  July at          11am

Under10’s           Sunday 12th  July at          12.30pm

Under11’s           Sunday 12th  July at          2.30pm

Under12’s           Sunday 12th  July at          5pm

Under13’s           Sunday 12th  July at          7pm

Under14’s           Saturday 11th  July at       7pm

Under15’s           Friday 19th June at            7.30pm

Under16s            Friday 10th July at              7pm


Cougars U13s Winners in 2015

The WKH Developments Buntingford Cougars five a side tournament last week was the  biggest ever for the North Hertfordshire based charter standard club as 180 teams descended on The Bury for four days of football over two weekends.

The tournament was started in the mid 70’s and is looking forward to its fortieth anniversary next year. Some teams competed this year who have been loyal visitors to Cougars tournament although some were debutants at Buntingford’s tournament after hearing of it’s success in previous years.

Cougars U7's dazzle in day one sunshine

Cougars U7’s dazzle in day one sunshine


Buntingord Cougars Chairman and Tournament Organiser Richard Daly said “It was great to welcome back the familiar clubs like Fairlands, Knebworth and Hormead but equally exciting to see new clubs like Wixam Wanderers from Bedfordshire, Newhall Rangers from Harlow and Over Sports from Cambridgeshire.

The victorious Under15's end a great campaign with a home tournament win

The victorious Under15’s end a great campaign with a home tournament win

The Cougars tournament is considered to be one of the biggest and well organised tournament in the county and that is down to a successful model that has worked in recent years. Teams can enter via an online booking process, the whole tournament is online with league tables and results updated within minutes of each match finishing and supporters are able to see exactly where they stand on their smartphones and tablets or even from home on their laptops and PCs. That online element is unique to the Buntingford tournament and something that gives it a real tournament feel.


Cougars U9s suffered penalty shootout heart break

Cougars U9s suffered penalty shootout heart break

Daly went onto say “we try to create a competitive but friendly atmosphere for our tournament and I feel we have got the balance just right. Despite welcoming somewhere between three and four thousand people over the four days the issues are few and far between.” The Cougars Chairman puts much of that down to the quality of referees. Cougars use qualified referees for all matches; many of them are younger than eighteen and still playing for Cougars having taken advantage of the club’s scheme to help fund their referee courses with Herts FA. Daly said “We use the less experienced guys in our youngest age groups and always put a newly qualified referee with a more experienced one which gives them the opportunity to mentor and advise the younger Officials.


Buntingford's U13's Battling

Buntingford’s U13’s Battling

Each day also saw lots going on off the pitch as there was The Bury licensed bar, a BBQ, a football shot speedometer, face painting, a sweet and ice cream stall and a new piece of training equipment was on show called quick feet. For the second year running local photography company PicturePerferctPhotography4U was the official tournament photographers and got some great shots which parents could buy on the day or online afterwards.


Cougars U13s Winners in 2015

Cougars U13s Winners in 2015

The tournament is the biggest fundraising event in the Cougars calendar as well as being costly to run. The Cougars Chairman estimates that the tournament costs over £3,000 to stage with ambulance attendance, referees, trophies and programme printing being the biggest costs. He went onto say “It is a costly event which is why it is crucial that the club come together to minimise further costs. We are lucky to have some great volunteers who’s help keep costs down, we had a main sponsor with WKH Developments, advertisers in the programme and the various activities, all of that contributes to keeping the costs manageable.

Cougars U10's celebrate a stunning strike

Cougars U10’s celebrate a stunning strike

As the reputation of the tournament grows it becomes more popular and this year was no different with most age groups being full up before the end of March. Richard Daly suggests this is because of the organisation “the feedback we get from clubs is that they like the focus we put on organisation and timings. I have been to tournaments myself where matches get behind time and it can be frustrating, we focus a lot on keeping to time and teams like that, that swhy they come back year after year. It’s also why we now attract some of the best clubs and scouts from professional clubs and this year was no different with scouts from Tottenham, Stevenage FC, Cambridge United and Norwich City all talent spotting.”

Cougars U7s set the standard on day1 by reaching the final

Cougars U7s set the standard on day1 by reaching the final

Many youngsters got their first taste of a match as they played in the fun Under6’s festival where there were no scores or tables and every player received a medal. Twenty four teams played from Bedwell Rangers, Buntingford Cougars, Comets FC, Elsenham, Frontiers, Newhall Rangers, Wixams Wanderers, Bishop Stortford, Crawley Green, Fairlands, Hatfield Youth, Morden Magpies, St Joseph’s, Ware Lions, Ware Youth.

Under6's - they're lovin' it

Under6’s – they’re lovin’ it

In the Under7’s groups Cougars entertained eighteen teams from Buntingford Cougars, Crawley Green, Elsenham, Frontiers, Knebworth, Lea Sports, Ware Lions, Stevenage Boro, Wheathampstead Wanderers, Wixams Wanderers and in close fought final Stevenage Boro Juniors beat Buntingford Cougars two – one.

Under6's enjoying their first festival

Under6’s enjoying their first festival

The Under8’s section saw eighteen teams arrive from Bengeo Tigers, Broadhall, Buntingford Cougars, Chipperfield Corinthians, Elsenham, Hatfield Youth, Hormead Hares, Knebworth, Hertford Town, Ware Lions and Ware Youth and the final which went to extra time saw Chipperfield Corinthians triumph one nil over Knebworth.

Cougars U6's entertain Bedwell

Cougars U6’s entertain Bedwell

The Under9’s attracted eighteen teams from Biggleswade Utd, Buntingford Cougars, Elsenham, Hormead Hares, Manuden, Royston Town, Ware Lions and Wheathampstead Wanderers and the final was a close affair in which local club Hormead Hares were crowned winners after narrowly beating Wheathampstead Wanderers.

Cougars U12's in the sunshine on Day4

Cougars U12’s in the sunshine on Day4

In the Under10’s groups eighteen teams competed from Ashwell Academicals, Baldock Town, Buntingford Cougars, ESS, Flitwick Eagles, Hatfield Youth, Knebworth, Melbourn Dynamos, Waltham Abbey, Ware Lions, Whitethorn Wanderers and Wormley Rovers. Whitethorn managed to get both teams in teh final, their Reds overcoming their Blacks by two goals to one.

Twenty four Under11’s teams arrived at The Bury from Baldock Town, Buntingford Cougars, Fairlands, Harlow, Ware Youth, Hertford Town, Knebworth, Pin Green Juniors, Ware Lions, Ware Youth, Wheathampstead Wanderers and Wormley Rovers. It was an all Whheathampstead final as the Tigers took on the Sharks, the latter winning two nil to take back the cup title that they had won two years earlier.

The under12’s section also had twenty four teams competing from Bishop Stortford, BSFC, Buntingford Cougars, Crawley Green, Elsenham, Hormead Hares, Over Sports Colts, Parsloe Athletic, Royston Town, Sawbridgeworth, Wodson Park and Wormley Rovers. In what was the most thrilling final Royston Swifts took on Wormley Rovers and each traded goals throughout the match and through extra time to finish four all. The nail biting penalty shootout was won by Wormley Rovers.

The under13’s section saw a home victory for Cougars for the first time in two years as Richard Thorpe’s side won out over twelve teams from Ampthill Town, Ashwell Academicals, Buntingford Cougars, Crawley Green, ESS and Shenley. In a tense final the hosts beat Ampthill by a single goal.

The Under14s section was enjoyed by teams from Buntingford Cougars, Elsenham, Fairlands, FC Comets, Ware Lions and Wormley Youth and saw Elsenham dominate Wormley in the final and win the cup with a five-one victory.

The Under15’s is the oldest age group for the Cougars tournament so it was fitting to see Buntingford win the Under15’s Cup with the players competing in their last tournament. Chris Adams’ Cougars side was joined in the twelve strong Under15’s section by teams from Arseley Town, Bishop Stortford, Broxbourne Borough, Elsenham and FC Comets.


From Dean – Stevenage Boro U7s . . . .

I wanted to say a huge thank you to you & your club for hosting a fine tournament on Saturday & for inviting us in at the last minute. I can honestly say I can’t remember attending a better organised & well run tournament in my duties as a coach & scout! I have been involved in mini soccer for 13 years now & have attended well over 100 festivals/tournaments. I attended over 20 tournaments last summer alone in my roles as a coach & scout. None were as fun & well run as yours Saturday….

As well as the organisation, as mentioned above, everything about the day was superb the refereeing, the food, the opposition players/coaches behaviour & much more…… It had a great atmosphere & of course the trophies & cup were the icing on the cake. They too were brilliant, really nice looking awards.

Thanks again Richard & best of of luck for the coming weekends football.

From Jim – Broxbourne Borough U15s . . . .

Sorry I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye and thank you for today but I had to shoot off to the FA cup final with my boy. I just want to say thanks for a great day and to commend you on a well organised day. I’m over the moon we got knocked out by yourselves and know it will be a bit of comfort for Chris grrr! Many thanks

From Neil – Bedwell Rangers U6s . . . .

Just a quick email to thanks for today. This was our first Tournament as a team and I know all our boys really enjoyed it. Thanks again.

From Bruce – Baldock U10s . . . .

Just thought i would drop you a line on behalf of the Baldock U10 team to thank you for organizing a great event yesterday. You must have put in many hours of hard work – and as a result our players and parents had a great time, despite the weather. Excellent tournament played in a good spirit. A final word about your referees – i thought they did a great job. We’ll be back next year I hope!

From Kevin – Ware Youth U6s . . . .

Just wanted to say thanks for a well run tournament for the under 6s yesterday afternoon, all of our parents and players had a great time. It was the first time I’ve attended but I know for a lot of the coaches at Ware Youth it’s the one tournament they don’t want to miss. Will definitely try to get back next year with my u7s and u13s.

From Elliott – Wixam Wanderers U6s

Thank you for a fantastic tournament! My lads had a great time yesterday despite the weather!! Really enjoyed the day. Excellent tournament. The other teams which I entered really enjoyed it too. Look forward to entering next year when competitive.

From Eshmale – Bedwell Rangers

Thanks. The best well run tournament I have been to in a long while, credit to the club organisers for a polished and flawless event.

From Michael Taylor – Wixam Wanderers U7s Girls

Brilliant tournament day out and the girls team (my team) wixams wanderers really enjoyed it. Thanks to all at Buntingford Cougars. Will definitely see us next year.

From Cheryl Geary – Fairlands U6’s

Thank u for a great tournament from under 6s Fairlands xx

From Kevin McGlynn – Royston Under12’s

I would like to pass on thanks to everyone connected to the tournament, what a great day, well organized, very friendly, great football, youth football as it should be a credit to your club, many thanks.

Neil Sullivan @NeilSullivan7 – Fairlands Youth

@BuntCougars great day out at tournament yesterday, well run & friendly people & staff, cheers from everyone at Fairlands Youth

Luke Shipp @LukeShipp2

Fantastic tournament here at buntingford today! Well done to all at @BuntCougars

ESSFA @elite_skill

Great tournament today @BuntCougars all age groups really enjoyed it ! Thank you for being so well organised. #ess

Darren @ww_darren – Whitethorn Wanderers

@BuntCougars @Whitethorn_Wdrs its always a pleasure to play at your tournament its the best in Herts great standard and well organised

Ken Headington @Kenmh58 – Bedwell Rangers

@BuntCougars u6s had a great time this morning


Press Release Contact Richard Daly 07944 237400