The Independent London Newspaper
22nd October 2018

Camden kids are kings of capital

    Victorious: Camden’s Year 6 District team with the trophy

    Victorious: Camden’s Year 6 District team with the trophy

    Published: 23 July, 2015
    by STEVE BARNETT

    IT was a victory so sweet, that one of the coaching staff took the trophy home and tucked it into bed. 

    There are even tongue-in-cheek calls for an open-top bus parade around the borough to celebrate the latest triumphant chapter in Camden’s footballing history. 

    The Camden Year 6 District team defied the odds on Thursday when they came from a goal down to beat Lewisham 3-1 at the Douglas Eyre Sports Centre in Walthamstow to capture the Lester Finch Trophy. 

    Hotshot striker Aaron Keto, who goes to St Aloysius Primary School in Somers Town, had a game he will never forget as he scored a hat-trick to fire his team to glory. 


    The tucked-up cup!

    But manager Abul Koyar, who runs the team with Shaun Taylor, was quick to point out that the historic cup success wasn’t about one player, and that “it took a whole squad of superstars” to get their hands on a much-coveted prize. 

    “The cup dates back to 1966 and has a list of champions engraved on it, but, until now, that didn’t include Camden,” he said. 

    “Every single player was hungry for success and focused, and that aptitude was rewarded with a historic victory. 

    “We had already lost twice to Lewisham this season and they were going for a cup treble so weren’t about to take the game lightly. 

    “But even when we went a goal down, you could see the boys had the belief that if they kept playing their game, picking the right passes and creating good chances, they would turn things around.” 

    It might have been Aaron’s talismanic treble that turned the tide but it was midfielder Alfie Johnson who changed the game. 

    The Rosary Primary School pupil put in a man-of-the-match display as he dominated the middle of the park and pushed Camden forward. 

    Captain Luc Achermann-Stanfield, who goes to Eleanor Palmer Primary School in Tufnell Park, also caught the eye as he set up two of Aaron’s goals. 

    Camden’s cup heroics cap a magnificent year for the borough. 

    In May a team from Haverstock Secondary School in Chalk Farm became immortalised when they won the Under-14s English Schools’ FA PlayStation Cup. 

    Koyar pointed out that such successes were as important for the coaches as they were for the players – perhaps even more so. 

    “Managing the Year 6 District team can be a lot like managing England,” he said. 

    “You pick the best players you can from every primary school and hope that over seven or eight months you can bring them together and bring the best out of them as a team. 

    “Each team you build gets one shot at winning the Lester Finch Trophy and, if they don’t win it, the boys just move on to other things. 

    “I’ve been trying to win this since 2005. I’m absolutely ecstatic to finally get my hands on the prize. The boys have done me – and everyone in Camden – extremely proud.” 

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