Archives for December 2014

Local Youngsters Awarded Coaching Badge Alongside Sir Geoff Hurst


Crystal Palace Foundation coaches amongst local group celebrating their first Coaching Badges alongside Sir Geoff Hurst at Selhurst Park

A group of twenty budding coaches from Bromley were presented with their Level 1 Coaching Badges at a celebratory event with England legend Sir Geoff Hurst championing the importance of football at a grassroots level.

The local group included McDonald’s employees, Crystal Palace fans, Crystal Palace academy players and young people who are involved with the club’s community project, Crystal Palace FC Foundation.

The badges were awarded on the pitch at half time in Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace took on Aston Villa and recognised the fantastic work the young group have put in to earning their first coaching badge. The coaching programme held at Bishop Justus School in Bromley, was funded by Local McDonald’s Franchisee, Tonina Hoang and aimed to encourage young people to get involved in the grassroots game.

The Surrey FA and the Crystal Palace Foundation will now work closely with the aspiring coaches to secure work placements at grassroots clubs to gain experience and secure full-time employment.

The partnership is part of the ‘Youth Entrepreneur Project’, initiated by Tonina Hoang, Franchisee of McDonald’s and Chair of Bromley’s Town Team. The project sees businesses across Bromley North work with Crystal Palace FC Foundation, Bromley Council and JusB to help harness and develop entrepreneurial skills of young people and provide much needed employment opportunities.

Tonina, whose own employees were amongst those earning their first coaching badges, said: “It’s great to see this group’s hard work being rewarded. Their first step on the coaching ladder is an exciting one and I look forward to seeing their future development. Our football programme allows us to help in a practical way, like this coaching initiative, as well as providing kit for kids to be proud of and to support the dedicated volunteers, who give up many hours of their free time.”

McDonald’s Director for Football, Sir Geoff Hurst who was also on hand during the event added: “The McDonald’s Community Football Programme equips clubs with the right training tools and kit to enable them to offer a great standard of grassroots football to the young people in their community. It is the help of franchisees like Tonina Hoang and partnerships of McDonald’s with Premier League Clubs such as Crystal Palace that allows grassroots football clubs to flourish.’

Coloma Girls School Under 14 football team Premier League Schools Cup


Coloma Girls School, Under 14 football team were presented onto the pitch at half time against Stoke City. Coloma Girls School were regional champions in last seasons Premier League Schools Cup and went on to represent Crystal Palace, at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. A huge congratulations on this fantastic achievement, the tournament was a great success and the girls were a credit to the Crystal Palace badge.

This years competition will see our representatives travel to White Hart Lane in the Spring, lets hope we can repeat the successes of last year. Good luck to those involved from all the Palace family.’


Teenager Wins His Dream Trip To Palace Academy


A 15-year-old Indian boy has won the trip of a lifetime to train at the Crystal Palace Academy.

Dhruvmil Pandya, from Mumbai, triumphed despite being the youngest among more than 100 teenagers who competed for the chance to rub shoulders with the next generation of Palace stars.

The Play for Palace event was organised in partnership with Indian Super League club, Mumbai FC, and more than 350 young hopefuls took part in preliminary trials. Dhruvmil was one of eight boys who made it from last Thursday’s trial evening to the final, held at Sunday’s Barclays Premier League Live event in Mumbai.

Dhruvmil has dreamed of playing professional football since he was a small boy and his family has supported him in his ambitions. He has recently been selected to represent the Indian National team at under-17 level.

The judging panel made up of Crystal Palace ambassador Mark Bright, Mumbai City FC chief executive Indranl Blah and first-team player Abhishek Yadav, with input from former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler, felt he had the most promise of the eight finalists.

“There were so many good players, but once it got down to the final eight I knew I was in with a chance,” said the delighted teenager. “This is a dream come true for me to travel to England and train with the Crystal Palace Academy”.

His diet will be monitored over the coming months and he will follow a fitness plan created by experts at Crystal Palace and Mumbai City FC to help with his conditioning before he arrives at the Academy.

Dhrumvil will not only train at the Academy for a week next spring, but will also meet manager Neil Warnock and first-team players, as well as attending a home match as guest of honour.

When he returns to Mumbai, he will become an ambassador for Crystal Palace, developing his own skills and helping other youngsters follow their dreams.

The Crystal Palace Academy has a long tradition of developing young talent – former Academy members include Premier League stars Victor Moses, Wilfred Zaha, Nathaniel Clyne and Wayne Routledge.

Palace’s initiative is part of a long-term plan to build a long-term partnership in Mumbai, improving footballing standards and to raise the club’s profile in Indi where the Barclays Premier League is becoming increasingly popular.

Crystal Palace ambassador Mark Bright said: “This is a unique initiative. Everyone has a favourite local team and favourite overseas team – we want football fans in India to follow us.

Working with the Magic Bus charity, the CPFC Foundation team also held coaching sessions for local youngsters and an evening workshop for coaches and volunteers at local clubs.




Crystal Palace midfielder Johnny Williams and youth goalkeeper Chris Kettings visit Darrick Wood Girls Football Session


Crystal Palace midfielder Johnny Williams and youth goalkeeper Chris Kettings were both on hand yesterday to lend their support to the delivery of the Female Football Development Programme at Darrick Wood School.

Johnny and Chris both discussed at length their engagement with football at youth grassroots level through to professional development and international experience. The girls got the chance to ask both Johnny and Chris about advice for progressing within the game, with the boys putting an emphasis on commitment, dedication and hard work.

The target is that by August 2015, 40,000 females will have participated in football following £2.4 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England invested into The FA for the development of the female game.

The Crystal Palace FC Foundation was keen to be involved in the project from its inception. Last year we engaged 320 young females across our South London boroughs from 12 secondary schools and one special needs school. We are on course to mirror those stats this year, having linked up with new colleges and secondary schools, and are on target to deliver the programme to over 350 young girls. The Foundation has also recruited a number of new female coaches to work with us on the delivery of this project.

The programme is offered to girl’s aged 14+, with an emphasis on fun, friends and fitness. The Foundation have established a wide network of links with local grassroots clubs and our sister club – Crystal Palace Ladies – to provide exit routes to participants beyond the 10-week programme.

Our involvement is part of the FA’s wider strategy to grow participation figures for women’s football and the overall vision of boosting the game to become the second largest team sport, behind men’s football, by 2018.

The Football League Trust in partnership with the FA and Premier League clubs such as Crystal Palace has increased participation in Female Football by over 20,000 in the past year.

The Darrick Wood Girls scheme is unique in that the team contains a young u17 England international, who also represents Chelsea Ladies FC. We are hoping that young girls like these, with the right nourishment and development, will go on to compete in the highest domestic leagues and represent England at senior level.

The Crystal Palace Foundation think it is extremely important to offer the same level of opportunities and expertise of coaching to female participants as male and have therefore actively supported the nationwide push to advance women’s participation.

This has corresponded with the Crystal Palace Ladies recent promotion to the FA South East Division one, where they currently sit third in the table. The Palace Ladies also have a very successful youth setup with teams from under 9s through to under 18s. We hope to use these links to affiliate our participants with a thriving club, providing opportunities to further their engagement with football and go on to play at a competitive level.

Steve Browett co-owner, Crystal Palace Football Club, said: “It’s fantastic and forward thinking that national Football Authorities recognise the need to provide equal opportunities in the game. Crystal Palace FC, as a Premier League club, is very well placed to deliver programmes that support the nationwide push to establish the women’s game and increase it’s profile. We are passionate about all aspects of the game and are proud that the Palace badge can inspire all ages and all genders.”

Zee Williams, Crystal Palace Foundation Female Coach, said: “It is great to have journeyed ‘full circle’ with the Foundation. To have began as a programme participant and to now deliver on behalf of Crystal Palace as an FA accredited coach is especially rewarding. The girl’s programme is essential for proving young females with pathways into football, opportunities to participate and routes to the competitive game.”

For any further information please contact:

Croydon Soccer 5’s Tournament


The Croydon Soccer 5’s end of year tournament took place last Saturday at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre from 12-3pm.

The aim of the tournament was to bring together all the participants from the four venues the CPFC Foundation works within alongside the Croydon Council Sustainable Communities team.

Each team experienced a theory-based workshop prior to competition, which gave advice and information on nutrition, balanced diets and healthy eating in order to maximize performance rates. This component, delivered by Nadia from Alive ‘N’ Kicking’, is essential to giving our participants a rounded and realistic experience of the intensity of the world of football.

A total of 6 teams competed in the tournament from 4 venues around Croydon: Croydon Grove, Wilford Rec, Regina Road and Shrublands. It was Shrublands and Croydon Grove A, who emerged as finalists with Shrublands taking the title in a thrilling 2-1 win.

Participants received a medal as reward for their commitment to the team and to showcase how much progress has been made at each Soccer 5’s venue.

The CPFC Foundation were very fortunate on the day to have a visit from Dave Sutherland, MD of Croydon Landlord Services; Ken Constantine, Croydon Council Sustainable Communities Manager, and Councilor Pat Ryan (their “football champion”) who were able to witness firsthand the work we deliver behind the scenes in the community.

A big thank you to the seven CPFC Foundation coaches and two volunteers who were on hand to assist the smooth running of the tournament and make the day a success.

The CPFC Foundation are proud to continue building pathways to facilitate the young people in our local communities and hope to deliver many more projects in the future.

Ben White, Youth Solutions Officer

CPFC Foundation would like to say thank you

The CPFC Foundation would like to thank a member of the loyal Palace fan base, Peter Scott, for his kind donation and contribution to our Wheelchair Football Programme.

Peter said: “Having seen the appeal for support, being a life-long Palace supporter, I thought that what the club was attempting to create in the community was a brilliant idea.”

Without contributions such as this one it would be impossible for schemes to continue running beyond their infancy. The Foundation takes great pride in reaching out to the community and enriching the lives and life chances of our local people, leaving a lasting legacy of charity and goodwill among all our communities.

We would like to express great appreciation for all the continued support of the CPFC fans and local people in the communities we work in.

Over 320 girls take part in the FA Girls’ Football Festival at Wembley

Over 320 girls from 33 clubs across the country attended the FA Girls’ Football Festival at Wembley Powerleague on Sunday, before heading inside the stadium to cheer on the Lionesses against Germany.

The players have all started playing football in the past year through the FA’s Women’s and Girls’ Programme, which is run in partnership with Sport England, the Premier League and the Football League Trust.

The festival was the last in the 2014 series of FA Girls’ Football Festivals, run in partnership with Continental Tyres to encourage more girls to try out football. More than 8,000 girls, aged between 5 and 16, have taken part in the festivals in 2014.

All of the participating U16 teams were specially invited by the Premier League and Football League Trust to take part in a special 5-a-side tournament. Each of the clubs invited to the festival have all delivered sessions as part of the scheme, which has welcomed almost 21,000 young women into football since October 2013.

The tournament culminated in two finals, with Crawley Town running out 3-2 winners against Hull City in the Championship Final. Elsewhere, Peterborough beat Man City 3-1 in the Plate Competition.

The players were also joined by the injured England and Notts County Ladies player, Sophie Bradley, who took part in all of the activities on offer, including a question and answer session, giving the girls an insight into what it’s like to play for England and Notts County in the FA WSL.

The format of the day combined football, lifestyle and music. FA approved coaches led the festival, and there were a host of activities on offer inbetween matches. These ranged from skills and drills to interactive games (target shoot, speed cage, batak boards)

Gary Mulcahey – Sport development director CPFC Foundation

“Its fantastic that through the partnership of Darrick Wood School and CPFC Foundation we are able to offer girls football coaching free of charge to the school. This programme is all about engaging teenage girls in sport and encouraging them to take up football outside of the school environment. There is a distinct drop off in participation rates when girls reach the age of 14-16 years and its important programmes like this try to keep the momentum of sport going so these girls can maintain a healthy lifestyle”

The FA Girls' Football Festival at Wembley