Under 15s News, 2012/2013

Monday 29 April - London APSA 6 Hendon 0

Hendon Under-15s suffered another big defeat against London APSA on Sunday morning. The Greens came up against a strong and well organised APSA team who raced into a 2-0 half-time lead.

Hendon were not without chances, but a shortage of midfield players gave the opposition all the possession they wanted and two superb strikes helped the London APSA cause and they added four more goals after the break.

Goalkeeper George Knights had an outstanding game and was blameless for the six goals.

Posted at 20:20

Sunday 28 April - Ryan 4 Hendon 1

Hendon Under-15s' preparations for their Eastern Junior Alliance game against Ryan FC were thrown into chaos by an illness bug that left the squad with just nine players - none of them goalkeepers. Luke Yates volunteered to go in goal and did a fine job in the circumstances.

Unsurprisingly, Hendon struggled to overcome the personnel disadvantage, though they did give as good as they got in the opening quarter and nearly took the lead when Michael Clark drilled a free-kick inches over the Ryan crossbar. However, after conceding the opening goal, Hendon succumbed to two more.

It was more of the same in the second half as Hendon worked manfully to hold Ryan and they succeeded in drawing the second 40 minutes, Richard Tabi powering home a header to make the final score 4-1.

There was nothing but praise for the players who battled hard for the full 80 minutes in very difficult circumstances.

Posted at 15:48

Tuesday 16 April - Chelmsford City 6 Hendon 0

Hendon Under-15s had a difficult time when they visited Chelmsford City for an Eastern Junior Alliance fixture on Sunday and the favourites for the League championship were far too strong, running out 6-0 winners.

The Greens had the misfortune to be kicking into the very strong wind in the first half and they found themselves 3-0 down at the break.

Proof of just how difficult the conditions came when Chelmsford scored direct from a corner, the ball swirling into the net. In the second half, the performance improved but a couple of individual errors helped the Clarets to double their tally.

Posted at 20:13

Monday 08 April - Hendon 1 Cheshunt 1

Hendon Under-15s came within a few moments of another - highly deserved - victory in the Eastern Junior Alliance, but a last-gasp equaliser meant that they shared the spoils with neighbours Cheshunt on Sunday afternoon.

Hendon dominated the game and created a number of chances, but they had to wait until the final 12 minutes before they took the lead, Domenico Contino scoring another crucial goal, this time with a brilliant volley at the end of a flowing four-man move started by goalkeeper Alfie Boal.

Hopes of victory were denied in the last few moments of the match, when Cheshunt snatched an equaliser. No player stood out on the afternoon, as the team adapted well to playing in a new formation, but special mention should go to second-choice goalkeeper George Knights, who did well pressed into service as an outfield player.

Posted at 20:54

Thursday 07 March - Park View Rangers 2 Hendon 0

Hendon under-15s lost 2-0 to Park View Rangers in their Middlesex County Cup semi-final on Sunday morning. The very poor surface of the pitch prevented Hendon from playing their normal passing game, and although the conditions were the same for both teams, Park View's experience of the surface was a big help to them. Another factor was that the hosts were a far bigger and more physical side and if not so much of an issue in adult football, it frequently is the difference in youth football.

The opening minutes looked very promising for Hendon particularly as a long range and well struck free kick by Michael Clark came extremely close to giving Hendon the lead, but the ball didn't drop in time to go under the crossbar.

Park View Rangers began to take the initiative by taking control of the midfield, though Hendon's defence was not put under much pressure, until midway through the first half when Park View were awarded a penalty. The spot-kick was powerfully struck and on target, but Alfie Boal was equal to it, as he pulled off a tremendous flying save, pushing the ball over the bar. Five minutes later, however, a well-struck shot beat Boal's desperate dive and gave Park View the lead.

That's the way it stayed until half time. The second half was reasonably even with both teams having their share of possession but Hendon had to leave gaps in midfield and defence as they searched for an equaliser. An they were made to pay when Park View Rangers added a second goal to go 2-0 up. Hendon tried hard to get back into the game, but Park View held on for the victory.

The disappointment of defeat must be tempered by the fact that the overall effort was there, with notable and determined performances from Jack Jarvis, Luke Yates and Stephen Garr on a surface not conducive to Hendon's passing style. Alfie Boal was the Man of the Match not only for his penalty save but also for his positioning and very secure handling throughout the game.

Posted at 22:46

Monday 25 February - East Bergholt 2 Hendon 4

Hendon Under-15s went out of the Eastern Junior Alliance Presidents Cup with a 4-2 defeat against East Bergholt in the tie delayed more than two months by cup commitments and bad weather.

Hendon were forced to field a makeshift line-up, especially in defence, for this very long trip, with seven players unavailable, due to injury and half-term. Such was the shortage of players that first-choice goalkeeper Alfie Boal was one of only two substitutes named, and he played a large part of the match at left-back.

It was a disappointing result for the Greens, who led at half-time, but were guilty of not taking the numerous goalscoring opportunities that came their way. The only goal of the first half came from Middlesex Youth Cup hero Domeninco Contino, following a Rico Giovanelli corner. However, there was a feeling that Hendon's failure to convert other chances – and a 3–0 interval lead would have been entirely deserved – might prove costly.

And so it proved as Hendon made a sluggish start to the second half and conceded two goals early in the period. Giovanelli's dead-ball expertise was again the source of Hendon's second goal, Josh Smith getting on the end of a free-kick.

East Bergholt did not take long to restore their lead, a goalmouth scramble ending with the ball bundled home from close range. As Hendon chased an equaliser they left holes at the back and, on a break, conceded a free-kick on the edge of their own penalty area. The ball was not cleared and was again forced home from close range to compete East Bergholt's 4-2 win. Goalkeeper George KNIGHTS was named man of the match.

Posted at 15:44

Monday 11 February - LPOSSA 2 Hendon 4

Hendon Under-15s produced a stirring second half comeback to overcome LPOSSA 'B' at Vale Farm and reach the semi-final of the Middlesex County Youth Cup.

They made a slow start to the much-postponed quarter-final tie, but finally got into their rhythm and ran out deserved winners, 4-2, in a hard-fought match. LPOSSA 'B' started the more brightly of the two teams putting Hendon under constant pressure and giving them no time on the ball. After a long lay-off (their last game was 9th December) Hendon looked a little rusty and lethargic.

It was no surprise when LPOSSA took an early lead early in the game. Slowly, Hendon started to get more into the game and a good exchange of passes saw Rico Giovanelli race free an unleash an unstoppable shot into the top right corner. It's a footballing truth that one of the most dangerous times is just after you've scored - and so it proved with LPOSSA taking advantage of hesitancy between the central defenders and the goalkeeper to restore their lead. When the players went off at half time, it was 2-1 to LPOSSA.

The second half started with Hendon looking more determined, knowing their semi-final place was in serious jeopardy - and they started to control the game, although LPOSSA were always dangerous on the break. Midway through the second half, Hendon were awarded a free-kick about 25 yards out. Jack Jarvis put in a fierce shot which the goalkeeper could only parry and half-time substitute Domenico Contino smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

At 2-2, the Hendon boys suddenly looked vulnerable again, and appeared not to have learnt their lesson from the first half. Sensing their opportunity, LPOSSA swept forward in wave after wave. A desperate saving tackle from Michael Clark when LPOSSA's big centre forward was clean through on goal and then, in the next attack, a brilliant, diving fingertip save from Alfie Boal kept the sides level.

It was just the wake-up call that Hendon needed, and the boys again started to put LPOSSA under sustained pressure, which paid off when Luke Yates was brought down in the box after a fine run. Domenico Contino stepped up to make no mistake from the spot. With the minutes ticking away, LPOSSA surged forward, desperately seeking an equaliser. But the Hendon defence stood resolute. Playing the ball quickly out of defence, Hendon mounted a swift counter attack freeing Luke Yates on the right wing. A strong run by Yates left the defender in his wake and a perfect cross enabled Contino to side foot the ball into the net for his hat-trick.

Man of the match: There were a number of strong candidates, but the Manager's final decision was hat-trick hero Domenico Contino.

Posted at 20:38

Tuesday 11 December - Clapton 1 Hendon 4

Hendon Under-15s produced a strong second half performance to see off Clapton in the Eastern Junior Alliance at the Old Spotted Dog on Sunday.

The first half was rather scrappy, but Hendon took the lead just before the midway point when good work from Stephen Garr set up Dane Peterson, who scored with a good shot. Clapton drew level with around 15 minutes of the first half remaining when a deflection from a free-kick crept into the net despite the best endeavours of Alfie Boal in the Hendon goal.

After the break, Hendon increased the tempo, but could not regain their advantage until the final few minutes. A Greens corner was not properly cleared and Luke Yates drilled the ball in the Clapton goal off a post to restore Hendon's advantage. The Clapton defence was asked numerous questions and on two occasions, the answer was to make illegal interventions in their own penalty area. The first penalty was taken Markus Parkins and he made no mistake. Domenico Contino had the responsibility for the second spot-kick and he made it 4-1. Michael Clark also came close to getting his name on the scoresheet in the dying moments but the Clapton goalkeeper produced a superb save to deny him.

Posted at 01:33

Monday 03 December - Hendon 4 Hillingdon Borough 2

Hendon reached the last eight of the Middlesex Under-15s Youth Cup with a superb 4-2 defeat of Harrow Youth League Premier Division Hillingdon Borough at Cheshunt on Sunday afternoon.

The Greens took the lead after 25 minutes when Richard Tabi scored, and the advantage was doubled just five minutes later when Luke Yates netted.

Hillingdon hit back after the break and reduced the arrears after 55 minutes, only for Yates to get his second of the game six minutes later. Within five minutes, however, Hillingdon were back to a one-goal deficit and a grandstand finish was on the cards. However, substitute Rico Giovanelli, in just his second appearance since breaking his leg last season, added a fourth goal for Hendon with eight minutes remaining, and the Greens were able to coast home.

Youth Development Officer Alan Rolnick said, "We played very well today and it was an excellent team performance. The defence was absolutely magnificent with Michael Clark, Ryan Hammond, Harry Kruger and Stephen Garr all deserving special mention. But my man of the match was one of our recent arrivals, Jack Jarvis, who was outstanding everywhere in the midfield. Overall, things are looking much better for the team now and I am sure we will go forward."

Posted at 17:44

Monday 19 November - Hendon 0 Chelmsford City 2

Hendon Under-15s made undefeated leaders Chelmsford City work very hard for the three points at Theobalds Lane on Sunday afternoon.

The Clarets youngsters took the lead midway through the first half when they awarded a goal after the referee overruled his assistant, who had flagged for offside. Ten or so minutes later, the lead was doubled, this time on the back of some sloppy defensive play from Hendon.

In the second half, there was not much to choose between the teams and the Greens came very close to reducing the arrears - and setting up a grandstand finish - when a low left-wing cross needed only a side-foot into the almost unguarded net, but none was forthcoming.

"Chelmsford are a good footballing side," said youth development officer Alan Rolnick, "but we gave them a very good game. If we had taken our great chance, who knows, we might have got something from the match. My man of the match was Connor Worrell. He was outstanding, attacking down the left wing."

Posted at 17:05

Sunday 11 November - Hendon 2 Junior Bees 1

The under 15s continued their improving run of results with a 2-1 win over Junior Bees in the Middlesex County Cup this afternoon.

However, it was Junior Bees who scored first, and held on to the lead until half-time, but the Greens hit back with goals from Marcus Perkins and Louis Butler to win the game.

Their reward for the victory is another home tie in the 4th round (last 16), this time against Hillingdon Borough, with the game due to be played on 2nd December.

Posted at 20:43

Monday 05 November - Hendon 2 Ryan 0

Hendon Under-15s long wait for their first points in the Eastern Junior Alliance came to an end as they defeated Ryan FC 2-0 at Cheshunt on Sunday lunchtime.

It was an excellent team performance, with the squad bolstered by the arrival of two new players, both defenders, and the added solidity at the back led to an increase in confidence across the pitch. Ten minutes before half-time, Hendon took the lead with a goal from Domenico Contino and it meant that the young Greens were able to take oranges with the lead.

In the second half, the game continued in similar vein and it was no surprise when Hendon doubled their advantage after 65 minutes, Runako Connell getting the second goal. Hendon were able to see out the final 15 minutes without too many alarms and celebrated their first League win of the season.

"This was a most encouraging performance," said happy youth development officer Alan Rolnick. "We were much better defensively and our passion and commitment levels were much better. I don't want to give any player the man of the match, because it was a real team effort, especially the defence, which was outstanding."

Posted at 15:35

Tuesday 23 October - Headstone Manor 0 Hendon 9

Hendon Under-15s moved into the third round of the Middlesex Youth Cup with a huge victory over Headstone Manor on Sunday morning.

The Harrow Youth League team were trailing 4-0 at half-time, thanks to goals from Dominco Contino, Luke Yates (2) and Marcus Perkins.

In the second half Hendon continued to be in control and they added a further five goals. Dane Peterson got things started soon after the resumption and his effort was followed by goals from Louis Butler, Reiss Chapman, Contino and Perkins, the latter two completing doubles. Such was the domination of Hendon there was just a little disappointment that none of Yates, Contino or Perkins completed personal hat-tricks, though all had opportunities to do so.

It was an excellent team performance from everyone, but the unanimous man of the match was Louis Butler.

Posted at 08:42

Monday 15 October - Hendon 0 Snaresbrook 1

Hendon Under-15s are still looking for their first win of the season, but they very nearly upset Snaresbrook in their Eastern Junior Alliance league match at Cheshunt on Sunday lunchtime. Playing against a much bigger team - more than half of the Snaresbrook squad were over 6ft 1in tall - Hendon were not over-awed at the physical mismatch and gave as good as they got. Hopes of earning a point were dashed ten minutes from the end when Snaresbrook scored following a corner and Hendon could not find an equaliser.

"This was a significant improvement," said Youth Development Officer Alan Rolnick. "Yes, we still have lots to learn, but they were a physically imposing team - not rugged - and battled them well. There were two absolutely outstanding performances for us today, goalkeeper Alfie Boal was magnificent and central defender Stephen Garr was almost invincible."

Posted at 23:11

Tuesday 02 October - Cheshunt 5 Hendon 3

Hendon Under-15s put in a much better performance in their second consecutive fixture against Cheshunt, this one in the Eastern Junior Alliance League, at Theobalds Lane on Sunday.

They made a great start, taking the lead after just two minutes courtesy of Josh Smith. Stung into action, the Ambers responded with three goals in 15 minutes midway through the half. It was disappointing for the Greens, whose defending was not as good as it might have been. But Hendon showed great resolve and were level before half-time. Domenico Contino halved the deficit after 31 minutes and, four minutes later, Smith grabbed his second of the morning.

The new Hendon team, still learning to play together as a unit in their first season with the Greens, had it all to play for in the second half, but it wasn't to be. Cheshunt regained their lead 15 minutes into the second half and completed the scoring ten minutes later.

"We played much better today," said youth development officer Alan Rolnick. "Our defending wasn't good when we conceded those three first half goals, but we hit back very well. It must be remembered that the team is still coming together and we are learning all the time. My man of the match was Luke Yates, who didn't stop running and working in midfield. But special mention should also go to goalkeeper Alfie BOAL, who was very good and didn't have a chance with any of the five Cheshunt goals."

Posted at 14:28

Monday 24 September - Hendon 1-4 Cheshunt

Hendon Under-15s' interest in the Eastern Junior Alliance Challenge Cup ended with their first match as they slipped to a 4-1 defeat against Cheshunt at the Cheshunt Country Club.

Things looked very good for Mark Chapman and Daniel Berman's boys as they scored in the first half, courtesy of Luke Yates.

It was, unfortunately, a different story in the second half as Cheshunt took control. After they grabbed an equaliser, they added three more goals without reply to book their place in the next round.

"It was very disappointing," admitted Youth Development Officer Alan Rolnick. "We tried to give all of the boys in the squad as minutes of playing time as possible and, as a result, we probably made too many changes. This meant we became rather unbalanced and paid a heavy price for it."

Posted at 15:45

Monday 17 September - Barking 7 Hendon 1

Hendon Under-15s made a hugely disappointing start to their season, going down 7-1 at Barking in the Eastern Junior Alliance.

Their problems began in the opening quarter of an hour as two central midfielders, including skipper Thomas Light went off with injuries. Trailing 2-0, they did get a lifeline in the 36th minute when Harry Kruger scored, and a 2-1 half-time deficit was far from insurmountable.

But Barking scored early in the second half and as Hendon confidence disappeared so the Blues' own belief grew and they added four more goals before the final whistle.

Assistant manager Daniel Berman admitted, "We were well beaten today. Losing the two players so early was difficult. My man of the match was Stephen Garr."

Posted at 14:30

Wednesday 05 September - A welcome message from the chairman

"As we approach the start of a new season I would just like, on behalf of everyone at Hendon Football Club, to wish the players and coaching staff of our new Under-15s all the best for a successful and enjoyable season.

"We are delighted to welcome players, coaches and parents alike into the Hendon fold and hope that you will come to enjoy being a part of this great football club as much as we do.

"I hope to be at a couple of games this season and will encourage all other supporters to do the same.

"After all, we could all be watching future Hendon first teamers out there.

"Likewise, it would be great if under-15 players and parents could come along and support the first team from time to time.

"As Gary McCann says in his programme notes - 'we're all in this together'.

Simon Lawrence - Chairman of Hendon Football Club"

Posted at 10:38

Wednesday 29 August - Under 15s ready for new season

Our under 15 side have been busy preparing for the new season, and played their final friendly yesterday evening.

They ran out 4-0 winners against Enfield Rangers, with the game being played at the Cheshunt Country Club where our youth team will be playing their home games this coming season. The scorers last night were Luke Yates, Markus Parkins and Josh White, with the other goal being an own goal.

There are 18 players in the squad, all of whom are now registered to play in the Eastern Junior Alliance this season. They are Thomas Berman, Louis Butler, Reiss Chapman, Michael Clark, Runako Connell, Domenico Contino, Stephen Garr, Rico Giovanelli, George Knights, Harry Kruger, Thomas Light (captain), Markus Parkins, Dane Petersen, Hairo Shehaj, Joshua Smith, Jordan Telles, Connor Worrell and Luke Yates.

The team open their league campaign a week on Sunday with a home game against Clapton.

Posted at 18:26

Sunday 19 August - U15s to play in Eastern Junior Allance

We are pleased to announce that we will be running an Under 15 side in the Eastern Junior Alliance this season. However, the under 15 side that represented the club last season has been disbanded. The following article explains the background to the decision making.

Getting youth teams set up from scratch is a far cry from how it used to be. The FA directs that even at the grass roots level its required disciplines and protocols, where youth teams are now concerned, have their bars positioned at a high starting point. As a result and taking what I believe to be an increasingly more professional approach, not to mention the high status of Hendon FC, youth development officer Alan Rolnick looked into what was missing last season and subsequently what was needed to move our youth programme forward in a more dynamic way.

Last season's U15s was comprised of a high proportion of players who were coming from many parts of London, and were reliant on public transport to get to training and games. This caused a number of problems during the season, and it was for this reason that it was decided that it wouldn't be practical to advance last season's U15 squad to U16 level.

Tony Payne, who took over as manager mid-season from Andrew Reith who had to return to Scotland for personal reasons, did a tremendous job and we are very grateful to him for taking the bull by the horns and getting on with the job.

It was decided that we would work on the firm establishment of just one age group, and the first step was to bring in players where a squad could be created and would progress through the age groups season by season. That being the case, Alan Rolnick has chosen to run another U15 squad and the new crop of players are all coming from one main catchment area. This means that prompt attendance for matches and training will be achieved, and also there is lots of support from the parents, something that was lacking last season, and is extremely important for a successful youth side. Running a youth squad and providing it with proper and appropriate facilities which such a scheme demands does not come cheaply.

Ever since the club launched the youth teams in 1995, the vast majority of teams have been affiliated to the Harrow Youth League, an association that has always been a rewarding one. However, we have been attracted to the Eastern Junior Alliance (EJA) as they insist that every member club has to be linked to a senior non-league club playing at least at Step 6 in the non-league pyramid (Hendon play at Step 3). The standards that the EJA lay down, even though it is for youth football, have to be as much as is reasonably possible in line with which a senior club team has to confirm. Home venues are inspected for quality, and pitches must be roped off, with spectators remaining behind the rope. Pre-match, half-time and post-match facilities have to be laid on for the officials of opponents and the referee. A parents' committee is already firmly in place to arrange the many things which will surround each and every match day outside the actual game.

The manager of the new U15 side is Mark Chapman and his assistant is Daniel Berman. Terry Light, who is a fully qualified paramedic, will officiate at matches to take care of any injured players, and the team coach is John Thurlock who has worked with a number of major professional clubs.

For the coming season the squad will have a new playing strip, the cost of which has been donated by Salvatore Contino of Sapori D'Italia. Home games will be played at the Cheshunt Country Club very close to Junction 25 of the M25. It is a privately run concern offering excellent facilities in its surroundings both on and off the pitch. Midweek training sessions, once the dark evenings draw in, will take place at London Maccabi's G3 surfaced and modern floodlit facility in Rowley Lane, Arkley (near Barnet).

The team will be playing in the EJA's London Division, and their opponents will be Barking, Cheshunt, Chelmsford City, Clapton. London APSA, Manford Way, Ryan, Redbridge and Snaresbrook & Interwood.

The team are well into their pre-season training programme, and Alan Rolnick believes that we have a very promising team on our hands. All the players are extremely committed and looking forward to their opening fixture in September. In keeping with our knowledge of playing level of our opponents we are expecting stiff competition for this season.

The club are very grateful to Alan for all the hard work that he puts in for our youth team, and we are hoping that this will be the beginning of Hendon being a force to be reckoned with in youth football again in the years to come.

Posted at 09:20

Thursday 09 August - Fixtures released for under 15s

Our Under 15 side will open their Eastern Junior Alliance campaign with a home game against Clapton on Sunday 9th September. The following week will see our youngsters travel to Barking, and then the following two weeks see a double header against Cheshunt, at home first in the league cup before the away fixture. Meanwhile, in the Middlesex County Cup, the Under 15s have been given a bye to the second round, when they will travel to Headstone Manor.

Posted at 18:00

Friday 08 October - Hendon 0 London APSA 5

Hendon Under-15s, on paper, suffered another big defeat in the Eastern Junior Alliance at Cheshunt on Sunday afternoon.

The final 5-0 scoreline was emphatic, but the Hendon performance, especially in the first 35 minutes of the first half, suggested that a win against previously unbeaten opponents was a distinct possibility. After dominating almost all of the first half, Hendon conceded the opening goal five minutes before the interval.

Unfortunately, a couple of injuries resulted in the team being reshuffled in the second half and the old failing reappeared, with defensive lapses gifting APSA some easy goals.

"There is plenty to build on from the first half," said Youth Development Officer Alan Rolnick. "We played our best football of the season in the first half, but then when we had to make changes, made some bad defensive errors. My man of the match was Michael Clark."

Posted at 19:17

- Opening game postponed

Tomorrow's opening game against Clapton has been postponed as our opponents hadn't registered their players in time.

Posted at