CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

District footballers become history boys

Islington & Camden lift Watkin Cup for the first time since 1974

18 May, 2018 — By Steve Barnett

Islington and Camden celebrate their 6-0 win against Brent that clinched the Inter-District League title

A TEAM of young footballers are set to get their hands on a forgot­ten treasure after the Islington and Camden District team won the Under-12s Middlesex Schools’ Inter-District League for this first time in almost 45 years.

The newly-crowned champions were sworn in after smashing six past Brent at the Capital City Academy in Willesden on Saturday. Their dominant display was rewarded with a 6-0 victory – a result that saw them finish a point ahead of Barnet at the top of the table – and reunited them with the Watkin Cup, which they last won in 1974.

“I’m so proud of all the boys,” beamed coach Chris Mozo. “They have worked tirelessly all season, not just on the pitch but also in training. That hard work has paid off in the best possible way, by winning a trophy that Islington and Camden hasn’t managed to lift in 44 years.”

The mighty reds took the lead midway through the first half when Stephane Mgbaida capitalised on some poor defending to race free and beat the goalkeeper.

The goal lifted the team’s confidence and it wasn’t long before they doubled their advantage courtesy of another clinical finish from the impressive Mgbaida.

The floodgates opened and the combined Islington and Camden team were celebrating goal after goal, with Joe Gurie, Cem Najati and Jayden Miller all adding their names to a growing scoresheet.

The defence was just as ruthless, with Tyreese Piper-Burt, Kian Morgan and Sheldon Poku-Nyarko working well with the midfield to protect goalkeeper Ossi Valtanen, who did not have a save to make in the first half, which finished 5-0.

Islington and Camden took their foot off the gas in the second half, but still managed to find another goal, this time courtesy of substitute Santiago Paulido’s well-placed finish.

“We deserve to be the champions,” Chris added. “We scored more goals than anyone else, had the best defensive record and lost just one league game all season.

“To be the first side to win the Watkin Cup since 1974 tells you all you need to know about their achievement. Now we’re just waiting to find out when we will be presented with the trophy.”

Islington and Camden team: Ossi Valtanen, Tyreese Piper-Burt (C), Kian Morgan, Sheldon Poku-Nyarko, Jayden Miller, John Gurie, Joe Gurie, Oscar Philips, Stephane Mgbaida, Cem Najati, Santiago ­Paulido, Jack Vargas, Fabian Barford and Seyi Kogbadokie.

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