Honours 2018-19

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Runners-Up – Asianos

After a tremedous fight that went to the last day of the season, Global emerged victorious and regained the title from Asianos. It’s all about commitment, never knowing when to give up while making changes to effect a different outcome on the game. This was a dominant season for Global who ticked every box. Despite the above, teams know they were very close and the challenge for 2019-20 will be very different. Teams like Belfry & AC Milano from D1 ran them close and could have won so will be there be a change this season? You can stay, match the effort and know you have achieved something…..or you can run!

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Runners-Up – JK Silvertown

There was no doubt as to who had such a dominant season and hats off to their efforts which actually started during the off-season. Let it be for the record that Belfry were in very bad shape due to poor health and lots of personal changes from 2017. But a stellar recruitment process and a management restructure brought some much-needed success for all the efforts. And this occured in a division where there were several sides capable of landing the top award. In such company we have to take our hats off to JK Silvertown also, as a promoted side who maintained their cohesion and exploited their strengths to great effect saw them hoisted into the silver medal position. Both teams enjoyed successful runs in Cup competitions and both will know there is room for more in 2019. The Senior Division awaits and these will be a credit indeed.

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Runners-Up – Loughton Town

Debden Sports enjoyed the kind of run most managers can only dream of. 15 successive wins in all competitions meant that not only did they capewalk the division but also landed them two cups also. It’s a footballing “family” that draws a lot from their collectiveness and drive to be the best. A lot can be learned from the template that the management have in place. On the last day, Loughton Town secured the win that elevated them to the runners-up spot and a thoroughly merited it was too. In fact what a way to finish from their inspirational leader Tony Leach who has transformed this side into one capable of so many things. The league would like to place on record their thanks to Tony for his contribution to the ESFC and to leaving a good legacy for his team to follow.

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Runners-Up – Loxford Lions

(Also promoted – South Ilford Catholics)

What a turnaround season for D3. South Ilford were so fast out of the blocks that it looked like the title was a done deal as we turned the year. But the wheels came off to a certain extent and Sher Force launched their assault on the title with an explosive run. Congratulations to all at Sher Force for winning in style and earning the praise from other teams and match officials for their approach. Loxford Lions also matched the effort required to get promoted via second place, achieved on the back of some tremendous performances inspired by Clement whose passion is up there with the best in local football.

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Walthamstow Red Star 1, Global 2

An all Senior Division final that was decided with the last kick of the game. Global completed the treble but Walthamstow will be kicking themselves as they failed to match the output that their young developing side had displayed in getting to Dagenham & Redbridge.

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Global 3, Belfry 3 (Global won 3-1 on pens)

A tremendously exciting final that had a bit of controversy added into the mix. Belfry lost their keeper and their CF twisted an ankle in the warm up. Many factors indeed but for the second week running found themselves with a lead to defend, playing the better football but didn’t counter the changes Global made, and didn’t get the run of the ball when needed. All in all, it was a gut wrenching finish to the season.

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Global 2, Shqipet 2 (Shqipet won 3-1 on pens)

Probably the most enthralling of Cup Finals with several hundred in attendance plus one on the roof of the far side stand waving a flag! Shqipet led early, only for Global to plow away and reap a last minute equaliser. After a an uneventful extra time, the resulting penalty shootout ended in crazy scenes as the victors celebrated willdly with their fans late into the night. Well done Shqipet, your efforts were finally rewarded!

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Debden Sports 2, South Ilford Catholics 0

The favourites saw out this game after heading into the break with a two goal cushion. The Catholics made a great fight of it in the second half to give their supporters something to be proud of but Debden clung on to land the last part of a dazzling treble.

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Barking Hounds 0, Debden Sports 1

A great final, well contested by both on a hot day but ultimately decided by a great penalty save and then a set-piece header by a defender that led to the only goal. The quality on display that day was admirable and both teams were a credit to the league and themselves.

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One Twenty 1, South Ilford Catholics 2

An emotionally charged day ended with South Ilford proudly displaying the cup on a day they were paying tribute to “family” who sadly lost their life prior to the final.

It was a fine end to a great day but One Twenty will be sore to lose a game they were never really out of, making it a close contest and contributing to a day to remember for all who were there.

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Golden Boot

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Michael Clarke (Global)

A dominant season for the men in red who had something to prove after yielding a cup and the league in 2018. Time and again Michael stepped forward with some crucial goals alongside Danny Cox, each finished in the top two. You can’t win anything without scoring and hats off for 20+ in the Senior Division.

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Jamie Redington (Belfry)

It came down to the last game of a very difficult & busy season for Belfry that Jamie Redington nailed the two he needed to take the title away from Chris Wright of JK Silvertown. All the more amazing that I think he played in goal for some of that match and came up for a free-kick……but that would just be a script….wouldn’t it?

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Alfie Barber (Barking Hounds)

James Bransgrove (Debden Sports)

What a remarkable season for these two impressionable lads. First of all the impassioned Alfie knocked in the goals to help the Hounds up the table and get them to a cup final. Those that know him tell me he lives and breathes football and knows his craft well. James had a superb year both for Walthamstow (Saturday) and also for his Sunday love, Debden. More reknowed as a keeper (he also managed one clean sheet for Martin & Callum) his dominant displays in the middle of defence and pushing forward showed how much of an all-round team that Debden are.

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Jamie McMeekin (One Twenty)

Highest scorer in all divisions, netting 31 times in 20 games. A great record and a cup final appearance made it a good personal season for Jamie.

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Golden Gloves

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Stuart Brons-Smith (Barkingside)

It’s not easy to grab a clean sheet at the highest level, but the enigmatic Stuart managed a few before his season was cut short and he parted ways with the team. We still recognise his achievement here in exhalted company.

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Gareth Edwards (Belfry)

What a great season this was for Belfry and for Gareth. A spectacular performance by the whole team but, without the confidence in your keeper, nothing could have been achieved. In a very tough, competitive division, Gareth captured the golden gloves trophy. Unfortunately an injury sustained in the warm up for the Ernie George Trophy Final potentially cost them the cup and another the following week.

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Sam Gooding (Debden Sports)

The all conquering Debden team swept all before them in 2018-19 and underpinning it on the field was a pivotal performance by Sam, the custodian of the Debden net. A league high number of clean sheets across all divisions is another feather for the cap in a remarkable season, and this was also topped off with a penalty save in the J Lizzimore Final which helped the team to the second part of their treble.

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Daniel Wheeler (South Ilford Catholics)

The icing on the cake of a great season saw the accolades pour in for a great team, but also recognition of their tremendous keeper Daniel. A brilliant year in which the team ended thrid and reached two cup finals, lifting the Beitler Cup, the keeper performing wonderfully at Aveley to help the team over the line.

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Specialist Awards

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Barking Colts (John Rice)

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Barking & Dagenham Referee’s Society

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Ron Levis (South Ilford Catholics)

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George Barker

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1. Craig Pullen (Havering)

2. Billy Taylor

3. Kevin Nicholson

4. Dave Sargent

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This award is given in special recognition of a group of people who regularly support their colleagues at Cup Finals, turning up in big numbers. They also mentor, tutor and support each other, passing on their knowledge and developing the newest members. Their support of the ESFC by supplying officials & ad hoc help is exactly what the league requires and we recognise this with the 2018-19 Award.

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A rather shocked John Rice steps up to receive the Terry Haden Cup for the second year running. This trophy is awarded to the team that earns the most marks during the season by way of the points given by their opponents. It’s no surprise to any of us, especially the referees who often report back at the pleasure in officiating their games. To receove am award recognised by your peers is as good as it gets.

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This award is a personal choice from the Referee’s Secretary to the match official he feels has already proven himself (or herself), improved immeasurably, shown total commitment or dedicated themselves to the ideals and requirements of the ESFC. Jim Brown feels that Geirge has ticked every box since he joined this season and has pushed on, making the grade and has earned the respect and admiration of the league and teams in equal measure.

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South Ilford Catholics had cause to celebrate another trophy on June 20th as their long-serving Manager/Coach/Guru was rewarded with the prized Secretary of the Year Award. Capping a 40 year career, Ron has earned his stripes through his dedication to grassroots football and the special community they have developed at his club. Add that to retaining the Beitler Cup and an appearance in the Bellamy Final and it really was a reason to pop the corks and pour a Guiness or two.

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Another immense season, the clubs voted with their marks and Craig beat off some close competition from Billy Taylor, Dave Sargent & Kevin Nicholson to retain the trophy. Capping off yet another successful season, Craig was actually the Referee who took charge of the first official game at the New White Hart Lane in front of 30,000 people. He is also the Treasurer of the B&D Ref’s Society, passing off his experiences and knowledge in order to assist his colleagues in making sure each has a better understanding of the game. It is also testament to his craft and ability that he is often setting the standards by which the rest of us try to follow.

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