This is a short story of ‘grassroots football’ and how D&G has allowed 13 young kids to live their football dreams. It starts with the three J’s; Jon, Josh and Johan. Jon (that’s me), an ageing ‘competitive dad’ and Josh is my 12-year-old football mad boy. And Johan? We will come to him later in the story…
At the start of 2019, as Josh was in his last year of primary school, I started to explore the idea of a new kid’s football club that was founded on the twin ideas of ‘excellence’ and ‘family’. Josh's new state secondary school didn’t prioritise football and other Battersea clubs did not offer the style of football we were hoping for. As it turned out there were plenty of others within our community that shared the same dream, including coaches, players, parents and local Estate Agents Douglas & Gordon!
This is where the other ‘J’ comes in – Johan Cruyff, one of the greatest players and coaches of all time. Talking to two Chelsea FC Foundation coaches I knew, we all wanted a club that aspired to play Cruyff’s TOTAL FOOTBALL of 1974.
Today, we play in the ORANGE of Cruyff’s famous 1974 Dutch team to remind us of how we aspire to play the ‘beautiful game’. A game that combines athleticism, ballet and chess (and keeps kids off the PlayStation).
And so, back to the summer of 2019, the two Chelsea FC Foundation coaches and I planned a new club, held trials, found a bunch of talented local boys and joined a Sunday League, winning our 1st game in September, 5-0.
The current pandemic has curtailed our first season, but to date we have played 24 games and scored 120 goals, reaching a cup final that may not get played.
Global pandemic aside, it’s been a brilliant journey. A journey that would not have been possible without the support of D&G. They have been with us from our very 1st steps. And have never been anything other than generous and super friendly to work with. As club sponsor, their financial support allows us to plan for the future. A future aimed at becoming a semi-pro club playing at the highest level we can – including one day, a BBC Friday night FA Cup game (we hope!).
Dream big, stay humble, love football.
Want to know more about FC Battersea? Click here for a short video.