Premier League Mid-Season Review

At the time of writing, we are one game away from the mid-season point of this year’s Premier League, and what exciting fun we have already had! Here is the mid-season round up, also compared against our Kick London, pre-season predictions!

 

Man City running away with it!

 

Zero losses and the longest winning run in English top-flight history? Do we dare trigger the Arsenal fans by uttering the word “Invincibles”?! It would very much seem that Manchester City are on the war path to a convincing league win, and considering they are eleven points clear at this stage, having dismantled Manchester United, Arsenal and Spurs in recent weeks, it would appear that they are unstoppable.

 

This goes quite handily along with the prediction made by eight out of ten of our Kick London pundits, who claimed Manchester City would be the team holding aloft the trophy come May.

 

 

 

Managerial Merry-go-Round

Have we ever seen a group of people play musical chairs so cannily as the Premier League managers?! In any other industry, were you to not be good enough for your job, you’d have to start from the bottom and try again, but apparently in the Premier League, being a failure is the perfect pre-requisite for getting a brand new job!

 

The first Premier League casualty was Crystal Palace’s Frank De Boer, having only been in the job for 77 days (although that makes it feel longer than it was), he only stood in the technical area for three games. In comes Roy Hodgson, ready to sit back on the throne of “making below average teams seem quite decent” after former stints at Fulham and West Brom.

 

The next two to fall were Craig Shakespeare and Ronald Koeman, within a week of each other, as their respective Leicester and Everton sides languished near the foot of the table, severely underachieving. Let us not forget that Leicester are ex-Champions, I’ll have you know! In at Leicester, Claude Puel, fresh from a three month sabbatical having been dumped by Southampton, and ex-Blackburn, Newcastle, West Ham and Crystal Palace (and England, Ha!) manager, Sam Allardyce. Anybody seeing the theme here?!

 

Slaven Bilic was finally mercifully chopped from the West Ham dugout having had two games to save his job for what felt like a year, and underwhelmingly replaced by serial failure (three jobs in a row is serial, right?!), David Moyes.

 

The latest sackee was Tony Pulis, his West Brom side dropping through the league like a stone. Alan Pardew was feeling a little left out that everyone else had got a new job, so he threw himself into a new Premier League challenge.

 

With Mark Hughes under extreme pressure at Stoke, we can be sure that ex-Stoke (and now West Brom) manager Tony Pulis will be back at his old-now-new desk by Christmas Day.

 

Frank de Boer being first sacked was correctly predicted by Simon, Joe and Zuko, and surprisingly, none of the other sacked managers were predicted by our coaches! However, Andy and Matt both suggested Mark Hughes, who is currently gathering his belongings.

 

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Fighting for their lives!

The fear of falling out the Premier League seems to be the energy that the aforementioned merry-go-round runs off of. Each team to have sacked their boss (Crystal Palace, Leicester, Everton, West Ham and West Brom) have all spent proportions of this season in the bottom three, and since their respective managerial shake-ups, each team has managed to have a bit of a turn around in fortunes (except, at the time of writing, West Brom, who are currently giving Alan Pardew nothing to dance about).

 

In the pre-season predictions, our coaches made Brighton, Swansea and Newcastle heavy favourites to go down. At present, Brighton are faring well, in 13th, Swansea are looking cut adrift in 20th, and Newcastle have been falling in recent weeks, currently occupying the third relegation spot, one place and one point above West Brom (who only two of our coaches predicted to get relegated).

 

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The Champioooonnnnsss!

 

The race for the top four places (or next three places after Man City) has been hotly contested, but is starting to settle down. Manchester United’s strong and consistent form sees them 8 points clear of 5th, and Chelsea just three points behind them. Fourth spot is currently being contested by Liverpool, Arsenal and Burnley…wait…what?! Burnley?! No, that’s not a typo. Sean Dyche’s men have been the surprise of the season so far, and are just two points off of fourth spot. Spurs are also in the mix, currently sitting in 7th.

Our coaches so far are correct in their predictions, as they had suggested Arsenal, Manchester United to make the top four, and a Chelsea/Spurs flip of a coin to join them.

 

Surprise Packages

 

None of our coaches predicted Burnley to be the season’s surprise package, although Hans did suggest Huddersfield, who are currently sitting in 11th.

 

Pedro and Joe also suggested that Spurs would under-achieve, and compared to recent seasons, that could be seen to be true (although their Champions League form is something to behold), and Andy correctly suggested that Stoke would struggle this year, and on current form, they could well be headed out of the league.

 

The Golden Boot

At the time of writing, Liverpool’s Mo Salah tops the scoring charts with 14 goals, followed by Harry Kane on 12 and Raheem Sterling on 11. Other notable mentions are Lukaku (10), Rooney (10), Aguero (10). Our coaches predicted Lukaku to be top scorer, so he has some work to do still!

Meet the Coach: Andy Dutton

Who are you, where are you from, how long have you been involved with Kick London, and what is your role?

I am Andy Dutton, Croydon born and raised. I’ve been with Kick London since 2007, in various roles and capacities, but currently a Senior Coach, overseeing our social media outputs and internal coach education.

 

What are your favourite sports, teams, affiliations, and such like?

Favourite sport is easily and unashamedly football. I still dabble in golf in the warmer weathers, and in my past have been known to play rugby union and skateboard. I support West Ham, but often wonder what the point is!

 

How did you come to be a part of the Kick London family?

I was studying Sports Coaching at the University of East London when I became a Christian (through playing football for a church league team). Through our club administrator, an e-mail came through that Kick London were looking for Christian coaches. I called the number on the e-mail, and the rest is history!

 

What has been your best highlight while working for Kick London?

I think I have had possibly the widest range of experiences possible, from coaching out in France for a month with Spring Harvest, to being offered a Polo mint by Linvoy Primus in a hotel bar! But the highlight that sticks out for me was to share a Gospel centred talk at our annual tournament in 2016, and to see (roughly) 40 young people put their hands up to say that they were interested in knowing more about becoming a Christian!

 

What is the funniest thing a child has ever said to you while working for Kick London?

 

I have definitely heard some gems over the year! A reception child asked his Teaching Assisstant “Does Coach Andy live in the cupboard?” today, because he saw me come out after putting some equipment away! I’ll go for a seasonal one though: A child once asked me “Why doesn’t Father Christmas wear any pants? Because he’s Saint Knicker-less!” Well, it tickled me, anyway!

 

As a Christian, how does Kick London fit in with your personal missional heart? Why is Kick London important for the church?

 

I once heard it said that “Where your passion meets the thing that breaks your heart, you will find your calling”. My passion in life is sport, and a lost generation of young people breaks my heart. When I say a lost generation, I mean lost to neglect, to broken home, to gangs, to crime, to drugs, to knives. If Kick London can use sport to bring any level of self-worth and love to young people’s lives, whether they are socially deprived, or even just needing a “Well done!”, then it was all worth it. Jesus called us to reach out to the poor and lonely, and through sport, Kick London is taking the Gospel out of the church and into the community.

Do you think Jesus have engaged with sport? What would his favourite sport been? Who would he have supported?

Absolutely! Jesus hung out with “every-man”; the fishermen, the locals, the tax-collectors. Why wouldn’t Jesus have been in our pubs, enjoying Super Sunday? I imagine Jesus would have engaged in any sport where people would have been, and I imagine he would have been good at sport as well! He was a carpenter, and you have to be physically fit to do that! Who would he have supported; impossible to answer; Beitar Jerusalem maybe?!

 

What is your personal sporting highlight, either for you or the team/person you support?
As a player, winning the league and cup double for New Life FC, my home church. As a fan…eugh…not a lot to shout about really!

 

What is the most exciting thing that could happen in a regular working day that would be a highlight of your year?
I mentor a lot of secondary school aged pupils, and have had some really good chats around them turning their lives around or making better choices. I think a real highlight would be a young person actively seeking faith, and asking questions around that. However, I honestly think that being a step on a journey to faith is just as important as someone getting there, so I think just having that discussion would be cool. Equally though, a young person resolving to make a positive change in their life is always a massive thing for me!

 

Finally, can you provide a picture of you involved in your sport, either an action shot, you in your teams kit, at a game supporting your team, you holding a cup or trophy, etc.

 

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Meet the Coach: Tom Greenhill

1. Who are you, where are you from, how long have you been involved with Kick London, and what is your role?

My name in Tom Greenhill. I live in South East London. I’ve been involved in Kick for roughly a year and a half

2. What are your favourite sports, teams, affiliations, and such like?

Grown up I have followed and taken part in many sports including athletics, football, rugby, swimming and tennis. However my main to sports are football and athletics. The team I support are the mighty ARSENAL! I have affiliations with the club Blackheath and Bromley Harriers as it’s the athletics club I used to compete for.

3. How did you come to be a part of the Kick London family?

During my final year at university I was looking for jobs to do with me degree (BSc Coach Education) when one of my oldest friends (Ali Park) and a coach recommended I applied for a job. So, after a manic emailing and interviews here I am year and a half down the line part of an amazing family and amazing job.

4. What has been your best highlight while working for Kick London?

My highlight was when I got told I was going to be given a full-time contract in a local school. It felt amazing as it was a school I knew a lot about and I knew some of the staff there. It also gave me the opportunity to challenge myself and grow in many ways.

5. What is the funniest thing a child has ever said to you while working for Kick London?

Being a coach in a primary school there are many funny and silly things said to myself. There was one time a child had a biscuit in her hand and said Mr Greenhill you have hit. Despite me refusing I was sitting next to she decided to try and force it into my mouth. Needless to say I didn’t sit in the dining hall again after.

6. As a Christian, how does Kick London fit in with your personal missional heart? Why is Kick London important for the church?

Yes. I also said that when I started my degree my aim was to help at least one child make it in a sport that they loved. Working for kick didn’t just give me that opportunity it also gave me the chance to share my faith and how it’s helped me through the years. it allowed me to install this sense of faith and self-worth into them so they could go on and achieve anything they wanted to in life. Kick (academy) so far has also played a massive part in our youth at church, those that are able to go out on their own have started coming to church and finding out what God is about.

7. Do you think Jesus have engaged with sport? What would his favourite sport been? Who would he have supported?

I could imagine Jesus dabbled in sports, playing where he saw people needed help but also guided others. I would have to say athletics as its individual sport so he could have got to know you on a personal level, but more importantly you could have got to known him on a personal level. He would have supported those who need the most help so Arsenal?

8. What is your personal sporting highlight, either for you or the team/person you support?

My personal sporting highlight came when I had the chance to compete for my county in athletics. That same year my athletics team (Blackheath and Bromley Harriers) went on to win another (and a record number of) UK club title. More recently though after a hard-fought football season my football club Christ Central winning the league after just one league loss all season.

9. What is the most exciting thing that could happen in a regular working day that would be a highlight of your year?

For a child to come up to me and say they’ve got a trial at a professional football team or any other sport they want to go into.

10. Finally, can you provide a picture of you involved in your sport, either an action shot, you in your teams kit, at a game supporting your team, you holding a cup or trophy, etc.

A massive throw back from me completing a cross country relay for Blackheath and Bromley Harriers.

Greenhill

Meet the Coach: Simon James

1. Who are you, where are you from, how long have you been involved with Kick London, and what is your role?

I’m Simon and I live in the beautiful town of Croydon (Absolutely love living there). I only started working for Kick in September 2016 and am heading up our mentoring and doing some PE lessons as well.

2. What are your favourite sports, teams, affiliations, and such like?

I love to watch any sport really (including last summer when I had a lot of time on my hands and getting really into the Kabaddi premier league) and will give the majority a go as well! Football is my main sport purely because that was the main sport at my school. I tend to follow a team in most sports as well including most American sports but Arsenal is the one in football.

3. How do you come to be a part of the Kick London family?

I’ve known about Kick London for a long time as others from my church have worked there for years! I never thought I would end up working here but our CEO, Joe Lowther was my head of department at my old job and him as well as our Quality manager Hans who i also worked with in my old job just gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse at a time in my life where I really needed to move on. God really opened a door for me to come to Kick London perfectly!!

4. What has been your best highlight while working for Kick London?

It has to be the mentoring as I get to work with some amazing young people. Overall just meeting and talking to any of the students in my schools has been great. I have also been slightly surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed doing assemblies!!

5. What is the funniest thing a child has ever said to you while working for Kick London?

I was running an after school club for some year 1 and 2 students and one came up to me and said “are you in year 6 cos you’re really big”. It was the most serious look I have ever seen on his face and the first time in a long time I have been mistaken for being 11 years old. He also got really upset when he found out school didn’t finish at year 6…………

6. As a Christian, how does Kick London fit in with your personal missional heart? Why is Kick London important for the church?

I have a heart to serve young people and to support them in as many ways as I can (I have a particular passion for education and the education system) and Kick London allows me to working in schools doing mentoring and with an emphasis on faith as well, the perfect combo for me.

7. Do you think Jesus have engaged with sport?

YES! But not for a winner and a loser to be honest but as its amazing fellowship for Christians and a great way to witness to people (we all change whilst playing sport!).

8. What is your personal sporting highlight, either for you or the team/person you support?

I’ve been blessed to have so many great experiences ranging from going to the Olympics in London, going to Yankee Stadium, seeing Becks score from the half way line at Selhurst against Wimbledon but my biggest highlight was going to the Camp Nou to see Barca play. From a personal perspective just being able to play sport after so many injuries is a highlight enough for me!!!

9. What is the most exciting thing that could happen in a regular working day that would be a highlight of your year?

That I get to talk about Jesus to any young person I meet and them following him as their Lord and Saviour.

10. Finally, can you provide a picture of you involved in your sport, either an action shot, you in your team’s kit, at a game supporting your team, you holding a cup or trophy, etc.

Simon Golf

 

 

 

Chat with the Chairman

In this week’s feature, we took a moment to speak to Chairman of Kick London, Matt King.

How long have you been involved in Kick London, and what have your roles been?

I first got involved in Kick London when Tom Rutter and the founding Trustees presented on Kick London at a men’s breakfast at West Wickham and Shirley Baptist church about 13 years ago and I thought “what an amazing concept” – engaging with young people on their agenda – sport – and in doing sharing love and role modelling through the behaviours, messaging and attitudes of our coaches.

Around this time, there was a fatal stabbing of a young person in Shirley.  The breakfast presentation and this violence motivated a number of us at the breakfast to launch Kick London in Croydon to respond to the needs within the borough.  Shortly after that, a local trust provided us with 3 years of funding to employ Hans Sims, our first Kick London coach and development officer in Croydon.  From there Kick London started to grow in partnership with Tom in Richmond.

Initially we ran Kick London in Croydon, as a branch of Kick London, before I became a Trustee of Kick London.  Then in 2015 I become Chair following the sad and early passing of our previous Chair, Alan Latham.  I love working with Joe Lowther (CEO), the other Trustees and the wider staff team to develop and build Kick London.

2. On a personal level, what are your favourite sports?

Having recently turned 40 (well over 5 years ago now!), I “enjoy” trying to keep fit. I genuinely enjoy cycling and I lead a cycling group at my church – 7.30am every Sunday morning if you would like to join us for a 20 mile cycle around the Surrey country.  We have done a few special trips – cycling around the Isle of Wight, to Paris, to Brussels and regular trips down to Brighton.

Matt cycle

As I passed the 40 years mark, I trained and ran the London Marathon raising money for a Kick London academy coach who died from bowel cancer before the age of 40.   I watch most sports on TV and follow from a distance my local football team – Crystal Palace.

3. Why do you feel sport is important for the church?

Sport is loved by many young people and we know that it has holistic benefit for all us – physical, mental, emotional and social benefits.  We also believe that it can help  develop personal values and behaviours such as teamwork, putting each other first and forgiveness and therefore we have found it a great way to help young people consider and develop spiritually too.

Less than 15% of young people go to church once month but many more young people regularly engage in sport.  So if we want to help young people consider faith and the spiritual aspect of life, we need to engage on their agenda and on their territory and not expect them to come to us.  Therefore it is a great way to engage with young people and help them develop physically, socially, emotionally and as a Christian organisation, consider spiritual issues through the work of our coaches.

4. On a missional level, why do you feel Kick London have an important role to play in the church?

If 15% of young people come into our churches once a month to engage on the spiritual dimension of life – this means that 85% of young people do not.

Our passion at Kick London is to engage with the 85% of young people who may never have the opportunity to experience and understand the relevance of faith in their lives.  Through the work, role modelling, love and care of our coaches, young people have the an opportunity to explore in a sensitive and relevant way Christian values and the role of faith in the way they live.

5. Do you believe Jesus would have played football? Who would he have supported?

Throughout the New Testament part of the bible, we see Jesus engaging relevantly with people.  Wherever people were and in what ever they were doing, Jesus was there and engaging with them.  Whether it was at a meal, at a wedding, at a well collecting water or helping people to fish.  Jesus was there and involved.  So I believe if Jesus was physically here today, I believe he would have strolled up to a football pitch or a netball court and engaged with people as they played.  So yes, today he would have been at the sport’s fields/courts with people and I believe he would have got involved and joined in.

Who would he have supported?  Probably not “Crystal Palace” – as a King – he tended not to conform to what was expected and King’s are expected to be in Palaces – so I don’t expect he would have been at “the Palace”! 😉

6. How has your involvement with Kick London impacted you personally?

Kick London keeps me active and fresh on the agenda which I believe was left to us all in the Bible through the  Great Commandment “to love each other” and the Great Commission “to go and make disciples”.

That is at the heart of Kick London and it has kept me grappling with what that means today.   It keeps me learning and trying to improve the relevance and effectiveness of the Great Commission and Commandment for young people in 2017 – we need to keep learning and improving.

7. How is Kick London different now to when you were first involved?

When we started we engaged with young people in one academy and a couple of schools.  We now engage with over 7,000 young people every week, across many London Boroughs and Schools.

We see more young people’s lives being transformed – we saw that when we started too – but now we are able to do see it happen more often.

We have a team that has grown from 1 person (Tom) to over 35 employed staff and many volunteers.

We have grown the diversity of sports from football, to dance, to cricket and the whole PE curriculum.

We have grown our income from £30k per year to over £550k per year.

We were the smallest sports based Christian ministry in the UK and we are now in the top 2.

We have an excellent CEO in Joe Lowther who has built and leads a great team.

8. What do you believe is next in the Kick London adventure?

More of the same, but with a heart and a vision to do it better and bigger…

… better – improving the quality of what we are seeking to do and therefore improve the quantity and quality of transformational outcomes which makes a lasting difference to their lives and

…  bigger – engaging with more young people, in more schools and other institutions, in more London Boroughs, and then across the UK and then Internationally.

The other challenge that we have own our hearts is diversity.  What about engagement with those with special needs and disabilities?  One of our aims is inclusivity, are we really 100% inclusive – we want to be.

9. What is your dream for the future of Kick London?

I would like to see a Kick London coach working in every school in the UK.

In England alone, that’s over 16,000 schools, so that will require over 5,000 coaches.  That isn’t going to be achieved overnight but it’s dream that helps drive me on and build on 35 coaches and 7,000 young people – but we have a long way to go.

10. What have been some of the highlights during your involvement with Kick London?

I have enjoyed the hard work of day-to-day engagement over the years with Trustees and staff in the running and oversight of the organisation.  And then every now and again, its great to sit back and reflect on some of the highlights, which have included…

The 10 young people who made a commitment of faith at a recent Kick London academy.

The “family” atmosphere and care amongst the staff team.

Participating in last year’s Kick London triathlon.

Seeing the belief that Trusts and funders continue to place in what Kick London is achieving and generating significant investment income for Kick London.

Reading the quotes and citations from head teachers, young people and coaches on the difference Kick London has made in schools and lives as part of our annual evaluation.

 

Premier League Predictions 2017-18

We asked our crack team of pundits for their predictions for the 2017-18 Premier League season! We asked our ten budding panelists ten questions about this years Premier League. Let’s introduce the men behind the answers!

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Hans Sims

Quality Manager

Derby County fan

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Andy Dutton

Senior Coach

West Ham United fan

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Zuko Akwuba

Staff Coach

Arsenal fan

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Wez Tudor

Staff Coach

Manchester City fan

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Matt Rogers

Staff Coach

Tottenham fan

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Tom Greenhill

Staff Coach

Arsenal fan

 Joe Lowther

 

Joe Lowther

Chief Executive Officer

Manchester United fan

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Pedro Guaratto

Staff Coach

Arsenal fan

 Robbie Smart

 

Robbie Smart

Staff Coach

Portsmouth fan

 

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Simon James

Mentoring Lead

Arsenal fan

 

Question 1: Who will be the Premier League Champions, 2017-18?

Hans: Man City

Andy: Manchester…..hard to split which one! Let’s go City, I prefer them! No, I’ve changed my mind. I’ll go Manchester United. They have a squad built for the physicality of the Premier League, City’s squad seems more built for Europe.

Zuko: Manchester City

Wez: Manchester City

Matt: Manchester City

Tom: United (Editor’s note: this could be Newcastle, West Ham or Manchester. We’ll assume Tom meant Manchester!)

Joe: Man City

Pedro: Man City

Robbie: Manchester City

Simon: Man City

Overall: Manchester City (8), Manchester United (2)

 

Question 2: Which three teams do you think will make up the top four (Champions League places)?

Hans: Man Utd, Arsenal and West Ham (for a laugh!)

Andy: Man City, Arsenal and…wow, this is tough. I think Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool have all fallen away. I think we may see a shock team creep in. Everton?! No, I’m going to say Spurs. Their squad is largely the same (Kyle Walker is no massive loss), and they have to win at Wembley eventually!

Zuko: Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs.

Wez: Manchester United, Spurs, Arsenal.

Matt: Man United, Spurs, Chelsea.

Tom: Chelsea, Man City, Spurs.West H

Joe: Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal (Wembley will kill Tottenham and CL will kill Liverpool)

Pedro: Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea

Robbie: Spurs, Arsenal, Manchester United

Simon: Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea

Overall: Arsenal (8), Manchester United (7), Spurs (6), Chelsea (6), Manchester City (2 – but everyone had them as Champions), West Ham (1)

 

Question 3: Which three teams do you think will be relegated?

Hans: Brighton, Crystal Palace, Swansea.

Andy: Stoke, Crystal Palace, Newcastle.

Zuko: Brighton, West Brom, Swansea.

Wez: Newcastle, Brighton, West Ham.

Matt: Brighton, Swansea, Newcastle.

Tom: Brighton, Crystal Palace, West Brom.

Joe: Burnley, Huddersfield, Brighton.

Pedro: Huddersfield, Brighton, Burnley

Robbie: Brighton, Swansea, Newcastle

Simon: Swansea, Huddersfield, Brighton

Overall: Brighton (9), Swansea (5), Newcastle (4), Huddersfield (3), Crystal Palace (3), West Brom (2), Burnley (2), West Ham (1), Stoke (1)

 

Question 4: Which team will be a surprise package this year?

Hans: Huddersfield

Andy: Bournemouth

Zuko: West Ham and Everton

Wez: Everton.

Matt: Leicester City will push for Europe.

Tom: Everton.

Joe: Man Utd (we’ve been terrible for so long – hopefully we can now over achieve!)

Pedro: West Ham and Watford

Robbie: West Ham

Simon: West Brom (good cup run)

Overall: West Ham (3), Everton (3), West Brom (1), Watford (1), Leicester (1), Huddersfield (1), Bournemouth (1), Manchester United (1)

 

Question 5: Which team will under-achieve against their expectations?

Hans: Chelsea

Andy: Stoke. They will struggle in a big way this year.

Zuko: Liverpool

Wez: Chelsea.

Matt: Liverpool.

Tom: Liverpool.

Joe: Tottenham. Best first 11 in the league for the past two seasons and won nothing. Likely to continue this season and unless they can win a cup the wage structure will see the side disintegrate and be harvested off to opponents

Pedro: Tottenham

Robbie: Liverpool

Simon: Liverpool (Everton will finish above them)

Overall: Liverpool (5), Chelsea (2), Tottenham (2), Stoke (1).

 

Question 6: Which player will win the Golden Boot (most league goals scored)?

Hans: Harry Kane

Andy: Romelu Lukaku

Zuko: Alexandre Lacazette

Wez: Romelu Lukaku

Matt: As usual, Harry Kane

Tom: Alexandre Lacazette

Joe: Tempted by Lacazette with the service he will receive at Arsenal but think it will be Lukaku.

Pedro: Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (Editor’s Note: Yes please!!)

Robbie: Aguero if he stays fit, if not it’ll be Harry Kane

Simon: Romelu Lukaku

Overall: Lukaku (4), Kane (3), Lacazette (2), Hernandez (1), Aguero (1).

 

Question 7: Who will be the first manager to leave their post (either sacked or resign)?

Hans: Rafa Benitez

Andy: Mark Hughes

Zuko: Frank de Boer

Wez: Rafa Benitez

Matt: Mark Hughes.

Tom: Rafa Benitez

Joe: Expect Conte to go at some point too as every manager to win the league has been sacked bar SFA in past 8 years (Editor’s Note: LOVE a stat!!). For early though could be De Boer – he will bring style but not necessarily winning results and got sacked early at Inter.

Pedro: Paul Clement

Robbie: Rafa Benitez

Simon: Frank de Boer or Marco Silva

Overall: Rafa Benitez (4), Frank de Boer (3), Mark Hughes (2), Marco Silva (1), Paul Clement (1).

 

Question 8: Who will win the FA Cup?

Hans: Liverpool

Andy: West Ham. Is it our year?! Probably not. I’ll go Arsenal. They love a cup. Wenger signs a year extension. All is well in football again.

Zuko: Arsenal

Wez: Manchester United

Matt: Manchester City

Tom: Chelsea

Joe: Tottenham

Pedro: Everton

Robbie: Portsmouth

Simon: Manchester United

Overall: Manchester United (2), Arsenal (2), Liverpool (1), Manchester City (1), Chelsea (1), Spurs (1), Everton (1), Portsmouth (1).

 

Question 9: Who will win the Champions League?

Hans: PSG

Andy: Real Madrid, again.

Zuko: Barcelona

Wez: Barcelona

Matt: Real Madrid.

Tom: PSG.

Joe: Real Madrid (Barca and Juve have been weakened. PSG could go further than before.

Pedro: Bayern Munich

Robbie: Bayern Munich

Simon: PSG

Overall: Real Madrid (3), PSG (3), Barcelona (2), Bayern Munich (2).

 

Question 10: An unexpected incident/shock that will occur during the season?

Hans: Arsene Wenger will quit.

Andy: A team outside the Premier League will reach a domestic cup final.

Zuko: There will be 3 points between league champs and 4th place!

Wez: Klopp will get sacked.

Matt: Spurs buying someone (Editor’s note: Ooo, frustrated much?!)

Tom: Mourinho to not complain about the referees.

Joe: Wenger actually retires??

Pedro: A top 6 club getting sold to a Chinese owner

Robbie: Portsmouth to get he domestic double and win the league cup and the FA cup!

Simon: Jay Rodriguez to get back into the England squad

 

The Narrative according to Kick London (to be analysed in June 2018):

“A scintillating season of football is over, and it is Manchester City who have won the Premier League this year, with Arsenal and Manchester United filling the automatic Champions League places, who incidentally were the two teams who battled it out for the FA Cup at Tottenham’s home, Wembley Stadium (perhaps another cup won by Arsenal on Spurs soil!).

Manchester United’s fine season has been epitomised by the free-scoring Romelu Lukaku, who got his hands on the Golden Boot, and Mourinho has been surprisingly complimentary of this season’s refereeing displays, deeming them “Quite exceptional. I have nothing to moan about”. Having got Arsenal back into the Champions League, Arsene Wenger has finally stepped down as manager, and will let his successor take on the campaign next season.

The final Champions League place was fiercely contested by Spurs and Chelsea, both of whom were underwhelming, but not as underwhelming as Liverpool, who have finished below Everton and West Ham, with Jurgen Klopp paying with his job. Surprisingly, the top four clubs were only separated by three points, and the title decider went down to the final game of the season. Subsequent to their poor season, Daniel Levy has sold Tottenham to a Chinese consortium, having only bought one player in the summer transfer window.

The League Cup was an interesting affair, with West Brom and Portsmouth (a side outside of the top division of English football) both making it to the final. Newcastle never recovered from their poor start, which saw Rafa Benitez lose his job in the early stages of the season, and they were relegated along with Swansea and rock bottom side, Brighton.

In European action, Bayern Munich and Barcelona were unfortunate to not reach the Champions League final, pipped to the post by PSG and Real Madrid.

In a final piece of breaking news, Jay Rodriguez has been called up to the England squad for this summer’s World Cup, having had an impressive season at his new club, West Bromwich Albion.

 

Do you agree?! Please comment on our socials with your predictions! Where have our staff gone wrong? Who is deluded, and blinded by their patriotism to their club?

Kick London Team Triathlon 2017 Review

The Team Triathlon was a challenge that Kick London fully embraced; one which epitomises the very word ‘Team’.

On Saturday 10th June, Kick London dared to take on an Olympic Distance Triathlon in Teams of Three. Friends and Family, Staff and Trustees were all part of this Team effort. A total of over 50 participants.

Some being brave (others say crazy!) taking on all three disciplines whilst others completing at least one discipline including a 1.5k Swim, 40k Cycle and finished with a 10k Run.

All of our efforts were completed with one vision in mind ‘To see young people’s lives transformed with God’s love through Sport’. The Team Triathlon formed Kick London’s primary fundraising campaign in which the money raised supports us in our vision to reaching more communities across London and seeing stories of lives transformed.

The day Kicked off with the Swim Briefings at Pools on the Park in Richmond. None other than Joe Lowther got us underway with a prayer, and a much needed one at that! Meanwhile, the triathletes had their own briefing as they prepared for the challenge in front of them!

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So it was time for the 1.5k Swim to begin. With glorious sunshine, the 33m outdoor pool proved to be a popular option with Kick London taking over a number of lanes with what can only be described as some ‘interesting’ swimming strokes! The 1.5k Swim was a huge success and we all survived with no armbands to be seen!!!

As part 1 was complete, the Triathletes grabbed their towels and dashed to grab their cycling gear. However, we can’t progress without recognising Ross Cursitter’s unbelievable efforts in racing to a time of 27.09 minutes!

So the 40k Cycle got underway at Richmond Park, Richmond Gate to be precise. A gruelling 3.5 laps of Richmond Park’s toughest laps faced us. Highlights include Tom and Michelle Rutter’s tandem efforts…. absolute heroes! With the road bikes and mountain bikes setting off at the same time, I certainly know which bike had the advantage on this surface…. road bikes!!!! Each Cyclist got over the hills and made it through. Neil Brewster did this in fine fashion clocking an impressive time of 1 hour 33 minutes to claim the fastest 40k Cycle time.

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Whilst the Cyclists crossed the finish line the runners braced themselves for their 10k Run. This would be two 5k laps from Richmond Gate to Richmond Gate. The runners got off to a flying start as the sun beat down on us. By this point the triathletes were tiring, or maybe that was just me… and I’m not sure the word ‘tired’ even comes close to describing how I truly felt! At least it seemed that way as the fresh faced runners cruised past my tiresome efforts.

The finish line was in sight and so were the 10k runners. Whether participants crossed over line like gazelles (Phil Coales – 37.14 minutes) or whether they stumbled across the line, our vision remained our motivation ‘to see young people’s lives transformed’.

And there it was, the finish line. With each participant cheered on to the very end, the Team environment grew stronger and stronger.

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The Team effort is reflected in some stats for you:
As a Team, we Swam over 33km!
As a Team, we Cycled over 880km!
As a Team we Ran over 340km!
That’s a total of 1253km in one afternoon!!!

After a much needed rest we gathered ourselves and headed to the Roebuck Pub overlooking the beautiful Richmond Hill on a fine summers evening. A presentation evening followed which was a chance to celebrate everyone’s incredible efforts. In typical Kick London style, this was a real time of connecting and gathering as a Team.

The triathlon efforts were completed, the fundraising campaign was well underway but the vision is alive and growing.

You can contribute in supporting us in achieving our vision by giving via the link below:

http://m.virginmoneygiving.com/mt/uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/displayCharityCampaignPage.action?charityCampaignUrl=teamtriathlon&un_jtt_redirect

Event Video:

 

Blog by Jonathan Sanders

 

Meet the Coach: Josh Chaproniere

1. Who are you, where are you from, how long have you been involved with Kick London, and what is your role?

Josh Chaproniere, Ludlow Shropshire, 2 years, on and off, as a sessional coach.


2. What are your favourite sports, teams, affiliations, and such like?

Manchester United and I have a soft spot for LA Galaxy.


3. How do you come to be a part of the Kick London family?

Alastair Park told me about the interviews. He was volunteering at St Johns helping Jack Taylor, as we all know he needs as much help as he can get.


4. What has been your best highlight while working for Kick London?

Probably answering question about God for kids at Kent House, a lot of them believed God was all about rules and control, being able to tell them about the love of God was amazing.


5. What is the funniest thing a child has ever said to you while working for Kick London?

“Are Alastair and Andy twins?”

6. Does Jesus care about football? If so, who does he support?

He does! But I think he’d be a little like Hans and have numerous affiliations, but he’d show a little more love to Liverpool, as let’s face it someone has to.

7. What is your personal sporting highlight, either for you or the team/person you support?

Manchester United winning the treble. It was that moment that I fell in love with the game.

8. What could happen in your working day, that would make your year?

Making a real difference to somebody’s life.


9. Finally, can you provide a picture of you involved in your sport, either an action shot, you in your teams kit, at a game supporting your team, you holding a cup or trophy, etc.

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10. How does Kick London fit in with your personal missional heart? Why Kick London?

I was saved though playing football for Christ central church so I know first had the power of sport, so I just try to show my love for sport and Jesus everyday.

Meet the Quality Manager: Hans Sims

1. Who are you, where are you from, how long have you been involved with Kick London, and what is your role?

Hans Peter Sims, London.
Re joined in 2015 as Quality Manager.
Prior to that I worked for Kick London between 2006-2009.

2. What are your favourite sports, teams, affiliations, and such like?
Love all sports other than horse racing! Main sports being football and rugby
I support Derby County and have a soft spot for Liverpool!

3. How do you come to be a part of the Kick London family?
I first heard about Kick London through a friend who’s dad was excited by the vision and knew with my love of sports and my faith that I’d be interested. I interviewed for the position of development officer to see Kick London expand in Croydon and Bromley predominantly at the time.

4. What has been your best highlight while working for Kick London?
My first time round we had a very tight family unit as coach’s, it was special. Equally that is something that has remained re-joining Kick London.
I’d also have to say it was a highlight the other day for a pupil in a school assembly to highlight the Kick London value instead of the school value for the month when asked by a headteacher!

5. What is the funniest thing a child has ever said to you while working for Kick London?
“Andy Dutton is better than you sir”

(Editor’s note: This child subsequently went on to have a highly successful career as an FA affiliated talent scout)

6. Does Jesus care about football? If so, who does he support?
He cares about us, so in that sense he probably sees the value when used for good that football can bring.
He’s got a Derby County season ticket I do believe.

7. What is your personal sporting highlight, either for you or the team/person you support?
Oh wow, probably have to dig out some old ones when I was half decent! Representing my county (Surrey) when younger playing a football tournament in Norfolk was pretty epic. Got to play alongside some future Premiership players.

8. What could happen in your working day, that would make your year?
A pupil remembering not only the skill taught but telling me how they’ve put the Kick London value into practice.

9. Finally, can you provide a picture of you involved in your sport, either an action shot, you in your teams kit, at a game supporting your team, you holding a cup or trophy, etc.

Do you accept black and white photos?! Here is a picture of my church team winning the league trophy!

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10. How does Kick London fit in with your personal missional heart? Why Kick London?

It seeks to further advance God’s Kingdom through sport. That’s something that anyone who loves sport and Jesus could surely get excited by!

Meet the Coach: Alastair Park

1. Who are you, where are you from, how long have you been involved with Kick London, and what is your role?

My name is Alastair, I’m from the lovely area of Penge. I’ve been involved with Kick London for about 3 years now, currently working full time based in Shepherds Bush.

2. What are your favourite sports, teams, affiliations, and such like?

Surprise that my favourite sport is football, but love watching any sport whenever it’s on. Living in south east london there is only really one team to support, Crystal Palace.

3. How do you come to be a part of the Kick London family?

Just started volunteering in a school which my mum worked at, fell in love with the job from then on.

4. What has been your best highlight while working for Kick London?

Probably being able to set up a Kick Academy partnering my church and Kick London which gathers on average 40-60 young people each week and being able to share the gospel with them.

5. What is the funniest thing a child has ever said to you?

Not directly said to me but two kids were having an argument about one having a higher IQ than the other. After a long debate one child said “I do not have a low QI!”

6. Does Jesus care about football? If so, who does he support?

I’m sure he does. Well in the Bible it talks about Jesus seeking out the lost and at the moment West Ham don’t seem to have a clue so I’d say them.

7. What is your personal sporting highlight, either for you or the team/person you support?

I’m torn between 2. Seeing Crystal Palace beat Watford at Wembley to get back in to the prem was an incredible day! Or my church team, Christ Central winning the double, the league and the shield. Was a great year.

8. What could happen in your working day, that would make your year?

Jack Taylor returning comes close but probably just seeing one of the children I mentor make a commitment. For someone who’s had such a horrible start to life seeing him come to Christ would be incredible.

9. Finally, can you provide a picture of you involved in your sport, either an action shot, you in your teams kit, at a game supporting your team, you holding a cup or trophy, etc.

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Here’s a little appearance I had in a Nike advert, I managed to meet some amazing footballers and just an all round amazing experience!

10. How does Kick London fit in with your personal missional heart? Why Kick London?

I love sports, I love God and have a strong passion for the future generation. To combine all 3 is just incredible. Being able to make a difference in someone’s life which they could have with them forever is really special especially young people, they are the future, it’s them we need to look out for. I’m just so blessed I’ve landed myself a job that does this.

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