A great weekend for Cougars children and their families as they received their awards for the season at The Bury,
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 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.
Chairman - Buntingford Cougars Youth Football Club
Buntingford Cougars hosted their annual five a side youth tournament welcoming 164 teams from Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, London, Middlesex, Bedfordshire and Essex and for the first time entertained an overseas team as German club FC Grossalmerode entered two teams.
The tournament is a festival format for the Under 6’s who enjoy playing matches although no results or league table is recorded. The other age groups is a tournament format where leading teams in their groups qualified for a knockout stage leading to a final. It was the first year ever that the FA allow a tournament format for Under 7s and 8s and the children enjoyed it.
The tournament is over four days and two weekends and staged at The Bury in Buntingford. It is one of Hertfordshire’s most respected tournaments and one that is well established. It started originally in 1975 and has stood the test of time despite many tournaments now being staged by dozens of clubs throughout the county.
Cougars Chairman and Organiser Richard Daly said “Our tournament is very popular because the 5 a side format is one that people like to play and when you combine that with the fact that we are lucky enough to have a facility that lends itself to a tournament layout and we have a great team behind the scenes running it then it all makes for a great day out for the children coming to play, their parents and supporters as well as the Coaches and Managers leading the teams.”
This year the tournament was the biggest ever with 164 teams and an estimated 4,000 people arriving over the four days. There are 416 matches that take place involving about 1,300 players and over 70 hours of football in which 1,081 goals were scored.
The tournament is a regular jaunt for many clubs including Wormley Rovers who won both the Under 11’s and Under 13’s sections. Wormley’s Gary Merson (brother of ex Arsenal and Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson) said “I Manage the Wormley Under 11′s Reds. We Won the Tournament and all had a fantastic day. We have played in about 10 Tournaments in the last 3 years and this has been the best one we have played in. The Organisation was spot on and everything went very smoothly.”
The tournament is recognised on being one of the biggest and well organised football events in the county, due to it’s size it now attracts some Scouts from leading clubs and this year was no different with scouts from Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City taking a look at the players.
The event though is not all about elite players and teams. Buntingford Cougars recognise sportsmanship and effort too with the Carl Couzens Shield awarded to the Cougars team that demonstrates high levels of sportsmanship in memory of a tournament referee that died just before the tournament in 2008 and the Cookie Shield in memory of lifelong Cougars supporter John Cook that rewards hard work and effort.
This year the tournament’s results, fixtures and tables were all managed online enabling supporters, players and Coaches to see results and tables immediately online and cutting down on the need for printing and paper. This was a real success with Cheshunt Youth FC’s Kevin Bell commenting “The live score update was absolutely fantastic and created a real tournament feel.”
The well attended event also enables Cougars to support local organisations and people and this year was no exception as new Buntingford photographers Picture Perfect Photography 4U were used as the tournament photographers, The Art of Sport displayed their sport art drawn by local artist Paul Vater and Emma Calder a 6th Form student at Freman College in Buntingford contributed to the press release.
On day one the Under 7’s, 8’s and 9’s competed with the U7’s Cup being won by Elsenham, the U8’s section won by Letchworth Whites and Cheshunt Yellows running out winners of the Under9’s trophy.
Day two saw the Under6’s play short ten minute matches in what was the first taste of organised football for some of the children. All of the Under6’s were awarded medals. Also on day two the Under 10’s competition was won by Whathampstead Wanderers and the U11’s cup was held aloft by Wormley Rovers.
On the third day Whitewebbs Eagles overcame hosts Buntingford in the final in the Under12’s Cup whilst Wormley Rovers secured their second cup win up the A 10 in the Under 13’s section.
On the final day in the Under 14’s competition Whitethorn Wanderers were victors and Langford Reds won out in the Under 15s (a full list of qualifiers, finalists and winners per age group is listed below):
Under6’s was a festival format with no results and medals for all players from these teams; Buntingford Cougars Blues, NC Football, Cheshunt Blacks, Buntingford Cougars Whites, Panshanger, Cheshunt Yellows, Buntingford Cougars Stripes, Morden Magpies, Bengeo Tigers, Buntingford Cougars Royals, Elsenham Youth, Bengeo Sabres.
Under 7’s; Cheshunt Yellows, Elsenham, Cheshunt Blacks, Morden Magpies Reds, Royston Town Crows, Melbourn Dynamos, Ware Youth, East Herts. The cup final was a 1-1 draw (aet) before Ware Youth beat Elsenham on penalties.
Under 8’s; Letchworth GCE Whites, Royston Town Crows, Morden Magpies, Melbourn Dynamos, Wheathampstead Wanderers Tigers, Buntingford Cougars Blues, Wheathampstead Wanderers Sharks. Letchworth GCE Blacks. In the cup final Letchworth GCE Whites beat Wheathamstead Wanderers Sharks 5-1.
Under 9’s; Symonds Green, Wormley Rovers, Stotfold Ambers, LAFA FC, Cheshunt Yellows, Stotfold Blacks, Hormead Hares Oranges and Hormead Hares Blacks. In the cup final Cheshunt Yellows beat LAFA FC 3-1.
Under 10’s; Cuffley Blues, Wodson Park, Morden Magpies reds, Broadhall, Wheathampstead Wanderers, Ware Youth Clarets, Alconbury Colts, Wormley Rovers. In the cup final Wheathampstead Wanderers beat Cuffley Blues 1-0.
Under 11’s; Hormead Hares Oranges, Bushmead Rovers Reds, Bishop Stortford Blues, Sawbridgeworth Town Reds, Bushmead Rovers Blues, Wormley Rovers, Alconbury Colts, Hormead Hares Blacks. In the cup final Wormley Rovers beat Alconbury Colts 3 -1.
Under 12’s; Ashwell Storms. Hertford Town, Bishop Stortford Town, St Margaretsbury Reds, Whitewebbs Eagles, Buntingford Royals, Buntingford Blues. Southbury. In the cup final Whitewebbs Eagles beat Buntingford Cougars Blues 3-2.
Under 13’s Wormley Rovers, Broadhall Blacks, Elsenham Greens, Fairlands Yellows, Royston Town Reds, Royston Town Whites, Melbourn Dynamoes, Elsenham Oranges. In the final Wormley Rovers beat Royston Town Reds 3-1.
Under 14’s; Buntingford Cougars Blues, Whitethorn Wanderers Reds, Baldock Town Whites, FC Comets Sharks, Arseley Town Yellows, Arseley Town Blues, Bishop Stortford Blues, FC Comets Stingrays. In the cup final Whitethorn Wanderers Reds beat Bishop Stortford Blues 4-3.
Under 15’s; Potton Colts, FC Comets Reds, Baldock Town Crusaders, Baldock Town Lancers, Langford Reds, Hitchin Town Yellows, Bishop Stortford Swift Reds, Langford Blues. In the cup final Langford Reds beat FC Comets Reds 2-0.
BUNTINGFORD COUGARS 2014 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 23RD JUNE
The Buntingford Cougars 2014 Annual General Meeting will be on Monday 23rd June 7.30pm at The Bury. All members are welcome to attend the AGM.
The agenda will be:
- Minutes of the preceding A.G.M.
- Presentation and adoption of Statement of Accounts.
- Chairman’s Report.
- Election of Officers and General Committee Members.
- Appointment of Auditor.
- Alterations of rules (if any) of which due notice has been given.
- A.O.B. of which due notice has been given.
Due notice for A.O.B. shall be considered as being in writing to the Club Secretary ( email@example.com ) no less than fourteen days before the A.G.M. so must be received by 9th June.
We are particularly keen to recruit new committee members for roles that focus on coordinating the club’s local facility use and commercial development (eg sponsorship and advertising).
Chairman – Buntingford Cougars Youth Football Club
Buntingford Cougars Spring Soccer School
Cougars’ soccer schools welcome boys & girls 4-12 years old regardless of ability or experience to have fun in a safe environment at our soccer schools
All coaches are FA qualified with 1st aid training and are CRB checked
The Spring Soccer School is Tuesday 27th May 9.30am to 2.30pm
At The Bury (former Sainsburys Depot)
Buntingford Cougars Under 15’s Blues secured the Royston Crow League title on Sunday with one game to play as their only contenders Sawbridgeworth Town dropped points going down 3-1 at home to Baldock Town Templars. Sean Curran’s team did their job with a sound four nil victory away at Hitchin based FC Comets. To claim the accolade of champions before their final home game on Wednesday at The Bury is a fitting tribute to the team that lost their league final just one week before against their title contenders. The picture shows Cougars Under15’s.
Buntingford’s Under 14’s traveled down to play Enfield Youth and despite conceding three goals early on put in a shift for the rest of the match and netted twice but Chris Adam’s side could not find the equaliser. Cougar’s Under 11’s shared the spoils with Bishop Stortford Wanderers with one goal apiece to secure a third place finish with Wanderers finishing fourth. Buntingford’s Under 12’s Blues ended the season losing at home to Langford three goals to two. Cougars Under 16’s ended their Cougars career with a third placed finish to cap off a good season for Mark Watson’s team.
In the mini soccer section Cougars Under 8’s (pictured) played their festival at Melbourn and both the Blues and Whites teams did the club proud with some great performances. Cougars Under 10’s again to Ashwell with the Blues winning three two courtesy of an own goal and strikes from George Godfrey and Charlie Fountain. Ashwell reversed the scoreline against Cougars Whites in a nailbiting match that saw Cougars come back from three nil down and nearly eqialise. Shane Coyne was man of the match.
Before last weekend Cougars were playing games as most teams neared the end of the season as Cougars Under 13’s kept up their winning ways by beating Bedwell Irons 4-2 with a brace each for Nate Ridgewell and Harrison Knowles. Ryam Lewthwaite enjoyed one of his best performances of the season and man of the match went to Jake Cooley.
Cougars Under 11’s enjoyed a five two home win over Bishop Stortford Rangers whilst the Under12’s Blues saw honours evened at Letchworth.
Buntingford’s Under 14’s had to endure the journey back from Enfield with a four nil defeat ringing in their ears. Cougars Under 16s played out their last match as a three nil defeat at home to Bassingbourn.
Cougars Under 10’s played out a fantastic nine a side match at Ashwell going ahead after five minutes from Hayden Walley penalty that was struck firmly into the bottom corner. Before the half way mark Robin Harpin added a second with a determined effort from close range. Well into the second half Walley added his second of the game with a sweetly struck shot into the top corner from the edge of the area. In the final twenty minutes the hosts scored twice and were on top so it was with some relief to Cougars that the final whistle came.
Buntingford Cougars have confirmed a few dates for your diary . . .
Our 5 a side tournament will be at The Bury on these dates:
Under 7s, 8s, 9s on Saturday 31st May
Under 6s, 10s and 11s Sunday 1st June
Under 12s and 13s Saturday 7th June
Under 14s and 15s Sunday 8th June
AGM will be Monday 23rd July 7.30pm at The Bury
Registration Day will be Sunday 6th July at The Bury
Presentation weekend is 12th and 13th July for times and the full schedule . . . . . Presentation Schedule 14
Buntingford Cougars Under 15’s are in the Royston Crow League Cup Final on Sunday at The Bury playing Sawbridgeworth Town. The Under 15’s Blues team managed and coached by Sean Curran, John Smith and Brad Hill are hoping a win in the final will be their first step in rounding off a great season because if they followed a cup win with two victories in their last two league matches the hard working team would win the well deserved league and cup double. Sawbridgeworth are their rivals for the league title too.
Manager Sean Curran says “We are immensely proud of the boys. To get to the final we have seen off some big town clubs including Bishop Stortford, Letchworth, Saffron Walden and in the semi final we beat Potton 5-3 in extra time. We are looking forward to the final and I know the lads will do their best for Cougars and for Buntingford.”
Buntingford Cougars are hoping for a big crowd to cheer on the boys on Sunday. Kick off is 2pm at The Bury. The Crow League entry fee is £2 per adult, £1 for children 10-16 with under 10’s free. Would be great to see you there.