As we hope everyone knows by now, E. B. Lions AFC is a children's football club for the boys and girls....
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EB Lions AFC

Posted on November 3, 2009

This article was published in November 2009. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray Lions AFCAs we hope everyone knows by now, E. B. Lions AFC is a children's football club for the boys and girls living in and around the villages of Edlesborough, Eaton Bray, Dagnall and Northall. Formed in 1994, the Club has grown enormously in the last 7 years and now has 16 teams this season 2009-10, with 200 children, predominantly living in the village, playing competitive and active team sport. We have boys and girls teams ranging from Under 5's up to U15's and have almost 40 brilliant coaches, most of whom are FA qualified and CRB checked and all devoted to creating fun, improving fitness, technique, team spirit and above all else confidence and memories.

We are working hard to develop our players and teams to continue the successful, happy and thriving Club we have been building. Our 5 year plan is to grow to 20-25 teams maximum with 275 children, which we feel is the optimum size of Club that our Geographical Parish player base/demand can 'and will support. Please look us up on our website - www.eblions.co.uk

Additional Players

There is a real and strong demand for village based football now, where the skill levels, coaching and development of players and teams is one of the best in the County. This also allows the boys and girls to play with their classmates and friends. Whilst we have been hugely successful in stimulating demand and our teams are all of a good size and standard, we do have a small number of opportunities still available in certain age groups/teams and these are detailed in our advert in this months Focus.

Moreover, we are now actively forming 3 new teams - boys and girls year 1 (next seasons Under 7's) and also a new Girls team for girls in school year 3 and 4 (next seasons Under 10 Girls), so would particularly like to hear from you if you fall into these age bands - [email protected]

There are 1 or 2 places available at Boys year 4, 5 and 6 so please get in touch if you are keen. Finally there is just 1 or maximum 2 additional places in both the boys and separately girls U14's (year 9) teams and we would love to hear from you too! Our player registration fee is amongst the lowest in the area, made possible by not having the cost and liability of our own ground and is great value as it includes all subs and playing kit too. More importantly, the huge support of our team sponsors, who make such a huge contribution, helps keep fees low. Please see our website for our current sponsors details and we thank them again for helping us so much.

Charter Standard Community Award

We are delighted to announce that EB Lions AFC, after much focused work by our committee along with our dedicated coaches, has secured the coveted Charter Standard Community status from the FA this September. There are only 6 Charter Standard Development Youth Football Clubs in Bedfordshire who hold this highest level CS status.

This scheme is a core component of the FA Football Development programme. The scheme established minimum standards for football development and acts as a quality assurance mechanism recognising well run schools and clubs. As a benchmark for quality it will improve the playing experience for all. Community Clubs, the pinnacle of the club development pathway, will be those that have a high quality, multi-team (minimum of 10 teams) set up with excellent social, training and playing opportunities for all. As such, the number of Community Clubs is one of the truest measures of success for The FA Football Development strategy.

Youth Football Clubs are the heartbeat of football in this country. That is why The FA Charter Standard club programme, which raises standards and recognises and rewards quality, is so important and is a big priority for the FA nationally. It demands strong governance (CRB, codes of conduct etc) and beliefs, including the FA's Respect campaign which we fully endorse.

Parish Councils

We enjoy huge and very appreciative support from the Parish Councils in Eaton Bray and Edlesborough, plus the Dagnall Village Council, who allow us to play all our matches in the centre of our community and on pitches and village Greens, where anyone can come along and watch.

Eaton Bray Parish Council have very kindly just confirmed agreement for us to use the Rye (previously Eaton Bray FC) pitch for our younger 11 a side teams and this is gratefully appreciated in supporting our growth and provision of local, quality sport.

Schools

The three local Primary schools are hugely supportive of the Club and we enjoy the use of Edlesborough Schools facilities for training and development (many thanks to the new head, Jane Foster). Moreover all 3 schools actively promote us within school and we have recently seen a surge in the number of children from Eaton Bray joining the Club, which is fantastic news.

Projects

We have had significant support from the Football Foundation, who have provided substantial funding over a 3 year period to allow us to develop new teams and enhance coach development, with a substantial number of our coaches undertaking their FA Level 1 and increasingly Level 2 FA coaching badge. Last month (October 2009) we are proud to advise that we have 6 coaches starting their six month Level 2 badge, all funded by the Club through FF support.

We also have a project well advanced, which will substantially increase the equipment we provide for our teams and players and with the added involvement of a number of young potential coaches. The FA is concerned about the high drop out rates of teenagers at 16-18 age group from football and we have a number of players whose teams have finished, but who would like to stay in football. With the help of the following grant and funding partners we are looking to offer them intensive coaching and training and to become role models to the younger players/teams.

The project cost including equipment and coaching support/badges will be over £3,500 and would not be possible without the following;-

  • BovisLendLease - via our U10 Coach Jason Reynolds (whose employer has kindly provided community grant through his involvement),
  • St Marys Carnival - who have supported us over the last few years,
  • Bucks Playing Field Association - The AVDC PAYP scheme to support 13-19 year olds.
  • ......and of course the fruits of our own fund raising. There is the further possibility of additional grant funding which will increase the project and equipment purchased even further.

Other Club News

Other noteworthy news in the active and busy world of E B Lions is:-

  • Our fitness coach, Nick Bramston, who has gained his first module of the FA Level 3 coaching badge is working with many of our teams to improve fitness and agility at all levels.
  • We have appointed Richard Potton to the Committee and specifically to be our Girls Football Development Officer. We have 4 girls teams already and are at the forefront of this fast growing and exciting area of football.
  • Rob Gadsden won the first Janet Hatfield annual trophy for his contribution to the Club. Rob is only 18 and is our first young sports person to develop his coaching skills. He is starting his Level 2 as we speak and has done wonders with our U13 boys team, alongside Adrian and Ian. He is a wonderful advert for the youngsters living in our villages. Rob also won a County FA Development Workforce Award for Young Volunteer of the Year.
  • Adrian Bush also won a County FA Development Workforce Award which recognises the huge contribution of volunteers within the game.

And Finally!!

We work alongside the Eaton Bray and Edlesborough Scouts as well and you will know from last month's Focus how well they are doing, with demand for places at an unprecedented level and with dynamic, keen and committed leaders.

We are both providing high quality, structured and organised fun and learning for the children in the villages and are leading the way in the Counties in our chosen subjects.

The children are fortunate to enjoy such wonderful opportunities and in turn do us all proud with their commitment, effort and behaviour which doesn't always get as much noise as it should. So we have, in case you didn't know !!

Source: Focus, November 2009

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