Come and play for Buntingford Cougars

Have fun - Keep fit - Make new friends - Be part of a team

Buntingford Cougars is a youth football club in Hertfordshire where children of all abilities can have fun.

It’s a safe environment where everyone is valued, respected and encouraged. We’re proud of our FA Charter Standard Club Award. And we’re committed to the FA’s Respect Initiative. Since 1971, we’ve worked with local businesses, schools and parents to build a club we can be proud of. See the Club Rules & Club Handbook. All our volunteers, managers, coaches and referees are CRB checked. We’re a trusted part of the local community. So whether you want to volunteer or are looking for a team that’s right for your child, you’ll find Cougars has a lot to offer.

In 2011, Cougars celebrated their 40 Year Anniversary, and in 2012 a Cougars team won the Hertfordshire County Cup Final, a first for the Club. And the following year, they did it again and won the 2013 County Cup Final. Well done from everyone at the Club.

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Cougars U11s Royals vs Royston Town Falcons, Sunday 20th October, Home

Baker, Bliss, Durr, Gower, Heath, Kantas, Leonard-Batten, Malyon, Parker, Robinson, Sampson, Woolhead

For many years I worked with a man who was at Wembley on that memorable afternoon in 1966. "I was there..." he'd often ruminate with a wistful, faraway look in his eye as he recalled Geoff Hurst bursting through the German defence to claim the Jules Rimet Trophy. I've always wanted to be able to say "I was there", to witness a seismic sporting event first hand, to be a part of footballing history. And now I can, because I was there when the Royals scored their first goal of the season in the A10 derby in a game that had everything! Here then, is how this fantastic feat was achieved...

On a bright, crisp morning at Edwinstree, coach Bliss gave a stirring pre-match speech to players and parents alike. It was time for a Royals footballing revolution, time to get the ball down and play out from the back, time to abandon the long hoof... and time for a goal!

It was clear the team had been listening as they knocked the ball around with confidence in the opening skirmishes. Cougars are not faint-hearted creatures and this particular Buntingford species reacted by staying true to their footballing principles and passing their way impressively up the pitch with Bliss coming close.

As might be expected in a local derby there were committed challenges aplenty with Leonard-Batten shaking off the effects of some feisty studs on his ankle. Gower was the very definition of composure throughout the game at right back, feeding Baker with some calm passing. Baker then set off on a number of Ginola-esque runs down the right, beating his opponent repeatedly and fashioning a few half chances. Then, it happened...

Picking up the ball outside the area, Leonard-Batten shifted the ball onto his favoured left peg and let fly with a thunderbolt. For a second it looked like he wouldn't be rewarded as the keeper got a hand to it but such was the power of the strike, it simply deflected off the outstretched glove and hit the back of the net. Cue scenes of carnage on the terraces! And it was game on!

End-to-end stuff followed until half time with Royston hitting a post and Parker limping off injured after an authoritative performance at centre back. It was all to play for in the second half.

Royston came out meaning business after the break and Durr made 3 fine saves as the Falcons forced corner after corner. The pattern was set as the Royals battled for everything but it was truly a backs to the wall display as the minutes ticked by. Royston hit the bar, then the post, then the post again as the Buntingford goal led a charmed life. Surely, they wouldn't be able to make it to the final whistle without conceding again?

But with player of the match Sampson putting in one of the finest defensive displays I have ever seen, Cougars were holding out. She was first to everything; blocking, tackling, heading and regularly taking some hefty knocks as a result. There were magnificent performances all over the pitch with several individuals putting in their best displays of the season. Malyon was tiger-ish in the tackle and Heath made some valuable last ditch clearances. Kantas and Woolhead battled hard, feeding on scraps up front. Robinson made an excellent debut, getting stuck into some meaty challenges and leading a few breakaways into Royston territory.

With the ref poised to blow for full-time, Leonard-Batten burst through the middle, shrugging off challenges and looking poised to strike a winner before being scythed down outside the area. Dusting himself off to take the resulting free-kick, it sailed narrowly wide. "How long ref?" demanded coach Bliss from the touchline. Not long as it turned out. The whistle blew and the fans streamed onto the pitch in celebration of a hard-earned result.

Massive congratulations to all players and coaches. I have a suspicion that we might even be celebrating more before too much longer. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
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Cougars Blues U10s vs Barnet Azzurri Blues U10s, Saturday 19th October, away

Matthew, Hadley, Sebastian, Henry, Ollie, Ryan, Blake, Zac & Man of the Match Callum
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