Following information received today, Ashford now know they will be playing three different clubs in league matches next season although we have met up with all of them in the past.

We knew about Redhill and Chessington & Hook coming into the CCL but the FA have sprung something of a surprise today, switching AFC Hayes from their original destination of the Spartan S. Midlands League into the CCL.  We have met with both Chessington and AFC Hayes quite recently but it will be 23 years since we have played Redhill, the last meeting being in October 1992, when we managed a 3-2 win after extra time in a 2nd Round Qualifying match in the Surrey Senior Cup.

The other new clubs into the CCL next season are Abbey Rangers, promoted from the Surrey Elite League and South Park Reserves, who have switched from the Suburban League, the CCL having voted in favour of bolstering Division One with a maximum of 2 reserve sides, whose 1st Team play at Step 4 or above.  There will only be the one this season though.

Leaving the League are Molesey, promoted to Step 4, along with AFC Croydon Athletic, who have been promoted from Division One but switched into the Southern Counites East League for next season.  The other "departee" is Alton Town who are returning to the Wessex League.

The Board of Directors will determine the final constitution for next season over the next few days.

Work started on the main pitch last week the plan being to have it in tip top condition prior to the first home league match of the season.  The CCL season starts on Saturday 8 August and the fixtures are due to be released on or around 26 July.  There will undoubtedly be a midweek league match, probably on Tuesday 11 August and then, the following Saturday, 15 August, we are straight into the Extra-Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, the draw for which is generally released on or around 1 July.

In the meantime, Football Secretary Geoff Knock and manager Ben Murray have been working upon the pre-season programme.  Ben is not looking to play too many matches and is hoping to build matters up gradually so that the squad is in peak condition for the first league match of the season.  As things currently stand, this is what has been arranged:

Sat 11 July, H. Ash United (back pitch)

Tue 14 July, a. CB Hounslow United

Sat 18 July, H. Loxwood (back pitch)

Tue 21 July, H. Frimley Green (back pitch)

Sat 25 July, H. Ascot United (probably back pitch)

Tue 28 July, H. Cockfosters (main pitch, Middx Charity Cup – sf)

Sat 1 August, TBA depending upon Charity Cup result

Tue 4 August, (POSSIBLE), H. Brentford Development Squad

Although the above situation is correct at the time of writing, pre-season matches by their very nature must be regarded as subject to change.  Any such changes will be notified nearer the time.

 

Playing in the Ryman Youth League certainly doesn’t get any easier!

The Ryman League has announced the constitution for next season and whilst we remain in the Western Section, there have been some changes.  Neither Chertsey nor Hampton & Richmond  remain but in their places come Hendon and Wealdstone, which certainly makes the travelling more difficult.  The full constitution is:

Aldershot
Ashford Town
Bedfont Sports
Camberley

Frimley Green
Hayes & Yeading
Northwood
Hendon
Staines Town
Wealdstone

Ashford’s U18 manager next season will be Nick Bailey, with the bulk of the team likely to be selected from local lads, many of whom will have played for the successful Sunday U16 side this last season.

There is still no definite news concerning the 1st Team CCL constitution.  We know that Molesey, have left, to be replaced by Redhill, whilst both AFC Croydon Athletic and Chessington & Hook United have been promoted.  Abbey Rangers and South Park Reserves definitely come into Division One but whether there will be any sideways movements remains to be determined.

Confirmation has come from Middlesex County FA today that Ashford have been reinstated into the Middlesex Charity Cup, following the disclosure that Enfield Town unwittingly fielded a suspended player against us back in January.  We would again reiterate that our sympathies are with Enfield Town, who lost a far more important prize than this competition, in being denied the right to compete in the play-offs for promotion to the Conference South.

We said that we would abide by any decision taken by the County as far as the Charity Cup was concerned and having been reinstated, we will now entertain defeated semi-finalists Cockfosters FC in a hastily re-arranged semi-final at Short Lane on Tuesday 28 July, kick-off 7.45 p.m.  This will be the first match on the main pitch next season.

The County has ordained that the Final will then take place against Harrow Borough, at their ground, on Saturday 1 August.

The County’s decision is subject to appeal by Enfield to the FA but such an appeal one would think, would be unlikely.

Ashford are amongst the county winners of the 2015 FA Community Awards by The FA and its Community Partner, McDonald’s  There are seven winners who have all been selected by a panel of Middlesex FA and McDonald’s representatives following a seven week public nomination period.

They will now be shortlisted for the 2015 Regional FA Community Awards, where they will be judged alongside other county winners to represent Middlesex in the National Awards shortlist.

The seven 2015 Middlesex FA award winners are:

People’s Choice Award (Outstanding Contribution to Community Football): Alan Kelsey (Whetstone Wanderers Youth FC)

The FA Charter Standard Community Club Award: Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC

The FA Charter Standard Development Club Award: Explorers FC

The FA Charter Standard Club Award:  St Josephs’ Youth 88 FC

The FA Charter Standard League Award:  Harrow Soccer Sevens Combination

Volunteer of the Year Award:  Danny Sharma (Middlesex County League / Harmondsworth FC)

Young Volunteer of the Year Award:  William Blithing (Pinner United FC)

To find out more about the awards, read about last year’s winners and follow the progress of Middlesex’s 2015 County Winners, visit: TheFA.com/YourGame.

National Award winners will be announced at The FA Community Awards Ceremony, presented by McDonald’s and will be held at Wembley Stadium , sponsored by McDonald’s, in August.

Peter Clayton, Chief Executive of Middlesex FA said “The grassroots awards are a chance for us to recognise those volunteers, coaches and clubs that sacrifice so much throughout the year and say thank you to them. Without them we wouldn’t have safe and structured environments where youngsters can develop their footballing talent. We are delighted that The FA and McDonald’s have provided us the opportunity to recognise them through The FA Community Awards and we wish them all the best at regional and hopefully national stages of the Awards.”

An Ashford spokesman said, “this is a tremendous honour for the Club especially everyone associated with the Junior Section.  We are these days a truly integrated club, with teams from Under-7 upwards, a Sunday social side, a younger girls’ team and hopefully a new adult ladies side next season.  The whole club follows a development programme, the brainchild of 1st Team manager Ben Murray, who has received great help from Vice-Chairman and Junior Section Chairman Nick Bailey.”

On Sunday, our Under 14s Juniors side visited Imber Court to be presented with their League Championship and then brought it back to the RPS, where captain Matt Surmon presented the Championship Trophy to President Bob Parker.

The team is managed by our First Team Manager Ben Murray, whose youngster’s only lost one league game all season and even that was the final game, when they were already declared ‘Champions’.  They were top of the table from the very first game of the season and racked up 124 goals in their 25 game season, conceding just 32 league goals in that time.

The team are well on course to be exactly where Murray expects them to be for his long-term vision of the club.  He said  “these lads work by the same philosophy and style of play as the first team, which is exactly where we need to be in terms of developing the club and its players for the future. They are a very intelligent group of footballers who can all play in a variety of positions, they understand the way in which I coach, they are always enjoyable to watch play football and it can only be beneficial for the club long-term if its own junior players are on course to play for the senior teams of the club".

The team was injected with quite a few new players at the start of the season, to ensure that the quality of the squad is progressing and the whole squad have worked extremely hard in training and matches to ensure their own personal development and the team development has been at a high standard all season. The lads now look forward to the Junior Presentation day on Saturday 30th May.

The squad -  Dougie Trotter, Charlie Gaish, Aaron Petch, Mason Herring, Cameron Richardson, Ben Awuah, Hamzah Gazi, Jamie Guttridge, Tyler Robinson, Jake Young, Alex Brett, Harry Salmon and Matt Surmon (Captain).

This Sunday, 17th May, Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC will play host to three Greater London Women’s Football League Cup Finals.

For just £5.00, you can enjoy a feast of Women’s Football which starts at 11.00am with the Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy, which will be contested between Alexandra Park WFC and Victoire Ladies.

Following that match, the Russell Cup will take place with Clapham United Reserves taking on Hampton & Richmond Borough at 1.30pm. The action-packed day will conclude at 4.00pm with AFC Wimbledon Development Ladies and Camden Town battling it out for the coveted John Greenacre Memorial Trophy.

Come down to the Robert Palker Stadium, Short Lane, Stanwell, Middlesex, TW19 7BH to witness the action and cheer on the teams.

For more information please contact the League Secretary on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more at http://www.middlesexfa.com/news/2015/may/greater-london-womens-league-cup-finals#sHTqpvOQkphr5dJw.99

The Club’s Annual Presentation Evening duly took place on Saturday 9 May at the Moon in Moon Chinese Restaurant, in Sunbury, where everyone tucked into an excellent meal.  The restaurant, taken over by the Club for the evening, was bursting and Sunday manager Gary Tomany  got the Presentations off to a lively start with a beautiful albeit prolonged song which, against all odds, had everyone clapping along by the end.

The Sunday team had done well, eventually finishing in 2nd place in Division Two of the West Middlesex Sunday League.  It was appropriate that leading scorer Levi Jefford received the “Players’ Player of the Year” award, having scored 19 goals in WMSL matches over the season.  The “Player of the Year” as chosen by Gary went to Dave Jones.

Up stepped outgoing U18 manager Sean Caldwell, who gave his “U18 Player of the Year” award to Ilia Petrovic, who had done well enough to make the 1st Team squad towards the end of the season, and had twice been in the starting line-up.  Ilia had clearly made a big impression upon his team mates, who also voted him the “Under-18 Players’ Player of the Year”.  The Under-18’s had not enjoyed a successful season in terms of results but it was vital that the work of grooming the boys for the 1st Team went on and this would continue next season under incoming manager Nick Bailey.

It was next the turn of the supporters:  although he wasn’t able to be present Alan Hill had organised the poll as he has for several seasons now, and it was young Freddie Burse, who did not miss an away match all season, who was given the honour of presenting the trophy and it went to the very popular Jack Beadle, who apart from everything else, had weighed in with 17 goals over the season from midfield.

It was finally the time for manager Ben Murray to step up and he gave an informative speech, including the information that just about all the squad from last season have committed themselves to next season, which is great news.  Ben carefully explained his reasons for his decision and once again it was another popular choice with Dan Fleming receiving the “Player of the Year” award, not only for his goal scoring exploits but more specifically for his excellent hold-up play.  Ben then went on to present the “Players’ Player of the Season” award and this time the recipient was supporters’ favourite, Max Webb, another well deserved accolade.  Ben also confirmed that recently recruited David Gully would continue in the role of 1st Team coach.

It only remained for arguably the most important trophy to be presented, which is the “Jack Constable Clubman of the Year” award, which goes to the person who is voted by the committee as being the individual who has done most, on and or the field, to enhance the Club over the season.  Last season’s winner Simon Munns was again in the reckoning but this time the award went jointly to father and son combination, Keith and Liam Balmer.  Keith, of course, had the difficult task of taking over the General Secretary role from Gareth Coates, which he has done brilliantly, whilst an added bonus was the dedication of son Liam, whose work on the pitch, in conjunction with groundsman Steve Honey and his team, has been vital.

In advance of the Club AGM on 14 May, two positions have emerged that need to be filled.  They are:

1. Programme Editor

2. Under-18 Secretary

Phil Marshall has done a sterling job in compiling the Club’s match day programme but wishes to stand down from that particular task to concentrate upon his anticipated role as Financial Director and we need a replacement.  He or she will be given every assistance, with regular articles and statistics provided by the likes of the manager and chairman, etc, and we welcome applications from within or outside the club.  It might suit a younger person who is looking to improve his/her journalistic skills but anyone who can both spell and write in reasonable English is welcome.  Anyone interested can get in touch with the Club’s General Secretary, Keith Balmer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We also need someone to take on the secretarial role for the midweek Under-18 side playing in the Ryman Youth League.  The person will need to write out the team sheet on match nights (usually Wednesday evening), submit the result sheet including scorers, cautions, etc., maintain a list of registered players, confirm matches with opposing clubs, etc.  Our main Football Secretary, Geoff Knock, has done the job in recent seasons but senior demands are such that we need to relieve Geoff of this particular function.  Once again, there will be plenty of help available and the job may suit someone wishing to take their first steps in football administration.  Again, anyone interested should contact Keith, as above.

As you may have read, it would appear that Enfield Town inadvertently played a suspended player against us in the Middlesex Charity Cup back in January, as a result of which Middlesex County FA has postponed the Charity Cup Final which was to have been between Enfield Town and Harrow Borough.  The County will doubtless wait until the appeal procedure has been exhausted before making any decision on the matter but the latest is that the Ryman League has found Enfield guilty of playing the player in their two league games either side of our match against them, and have deducted three points, which is of huge significance as it means that Enfield have now finished outside the play-off positions in the Premier Division of the Ryman League.  Enfield have stated on their web site that they intend to exercise their right of appeal to the Football Association.

Until the appeal is heard, the Ryman League play-offs at the top of their Premier Division cannot go ahead. Reading other web sites, this appears to be taking place on 8 May, and presumably could be extended even further should Enfield look to take the matter to arbitration.

That is obviously the more pressing matter but the Charity Cup will now inevitably be delayed until pre-season.  Should the County decide to remove Enfield, one outcome might be that we would entertain Cockfosters FC in a re-arranged semi-final with the winners to play at a neutral venue against Harrow Borough all in pre-season. 

Ashford’s stance on this is that we will leave the matter entirely in the hands of the County, although we fully accept that playing the suspended player against us was not a deliberate action.  The full story can be read on both the Enfield Town web site and the Ryman and FA web sites from which it would appear that Enfield have been victims of their own honesty in bringing the matter to the attention of the FA in the first place.  There was then a long delay it would seem before the FA dealt with the matter, leading to the current play-off impasse which must be hugely frustrating for all involved.