Fellow Dragons

With the last couple of matches played the 2013/4 season is finally over. We have battled our way through storms, floods and then heat waves to some remarkable successes:

The U11’s won EVERY League game and only conceded  4  league goals all season in a record never before equalled in the Dragons history for a new U11 team. A quite remarkable achievement.

The newly promoted Adults First team almost won the Premiership title, being Runners Up 3 points behind  – they won 19, drew 8 and only lost 3 games all season. An extraordinary feat for a new Premiership entrant.

The Adults Reserves came equal first in the league and then cruelly just lost on goal difference to finish runners up – they won 12, drew 2 and only lost 2 all season. A team to be reckoned with.

The U18’s grew in stature and beat some of the best sides in their Premiership division. The graduating Dragons developed into the most pleasant, talented group of 17/18 year olds one could hope to meet on the football field. We wish them the very best as they go on to work, College and University whilst encouraging them to progress to the Dragons Adult teams.

The U16’s survived the shock of their collective footballing life as the realities of being promoted hit them early on in the season. Some were even heard to query whether they would be able to cope – well cope they did beating the league leaders on the way and only missing out on silverware by not always playing to their potential.

The U15 Nighthawks had their best season so far and came really close to getting promoted. In all they played 18 matches: 9 wins, 4 draws, 3 lost with 45 goals scored and 25 conceded.

The U15 Eagles lost 2-5 to top of division Hayes and Yeading. As the Dragons Manager mused: “Well, at half time we were playing like champions. 2-2 yes, but only thanks to their lucky strike and soft penalty – for this top-of-the-division outfit had been chasing the game from the off. Unable to cope with our quick feet and sense of adventure, well-drilled Hayes were being taught a lesson in open, imaginative football. And then the break and a lesson of our own. They know how play at this level and swift balls to their excellent slippery striker meant the game was won well before the final whistle.  But our hearts aren’t down. These Eagles play a bigger game, with eyes on the world beyond the weekly win or lose. We play a way that not only pleases the eye but also fills the heart and ensures that despite the bruises, the head-dropping moments, the last-gasps and clenched teeth, the biting sense of injustices visited or loud shouts of right restored, the struggle for form, the loss of players, the broken arms and shaken faith, the relegation, that crack of the post, that mighty volley, the promotion, the offside seen and luck ridden and impossible pass and impossible pitch and brilliant twist and stunning dribble through the heart of a still-stunned team, that not despite but because of all this, we know we play with grace and pride and that will outlive all your Mitoo stats.  Because this summer and beyond each of our players will be able to hold their fine heads high and say, when West Londoners speak, as now they do, of the mighty Dragons, “why yes, that’s me, that’s the team I play for”. So here’s to all you boys, you men, who played and fought and entertained and brightened Sundays from September through to May. Happy World Cup Summer!”

The U14’s walloped Old Actionians 6-3 to wrap up their season with a typical performance. They were 3-0 up at half time without really playing their best. The OA’s came fast out the blocks at the start of the second half and pulled a goal back through a penalty before the Dragons restored their three goal cushion from a corner. The ref at this point started making some strange decisions as the sun began to have an effect and he failed to give a foul on the Dragons centre half before then in the same move overruling the linesman’s offside decision. The Dragons scored again to go 5-3 up and then another long distance strike made it 6 for the Dragons.

The U14B’s had a challenging season as they joined the Dragons from the Regents’ Park League where the ferocity of competition is rather more gentlemanly. The Dragons pulled through recording some magnificent victories along the way.

The U12’s started off slowly but ended up probably the most improved of the Dragons sides. Teams that had beaten them at the beginning of the season were shocked to be soundly thrashed by the Dragons later on in the return match. Onlookers who have witnessed the precision planning that goes into each training session were not surprised at the tremendous improvement.

The U11’s won the League as reported above.

The U10’s played South Ealing Saints in three 20 minute matches and won the first two 2-1 each time before, as a gesture  of hospitality, allowing SES to win the final game.  The Dragons will carry on training and playing matches in preparation for joining the League next September.  The team is now recruiting players who will be over 10 but under 11 on September 1st this year. We train at St Marks from 10-11.30 every Saturday until further notice.

The U9’s will stop training with the U10’s soon and start to build up their own team for entering the League in September 2015.

The Girls trained all season whilst playing the occasional match. The plan is that next season there will be one or two separate teams playing matches.

Yours Dragonally

Chris

Chris Shirley

Kensington Dragons FC

London