Big season finale sees men in middle shine

PICTURE SPECIAL Smiles and silverware as another thrilling season in the Camden & Islington Youth League comes to a close

Thursday, 2nd June — By Zakaria Taibi

Camden Elite and Camden Elite Red - U-15s Challenge Cup winners and runners up

Camden Elite beat clubmates Camden Elite Red to do the double in the Under-15s age group

AS the dust settles on another scintillating season in the Camden and Islington Youth League, it’s not just the young footballers who were rewarded for all their hard work on the pitch.

Brothers Ronnie and Danny Ersser, who live in Holloway, proved that the future of officiating is in safe hands after they took charge of scores of gripping matches at Market Road.

In front of their proud parents, Ronnie, 17, picked up the Referee of the Year award, while Danny, 14, was presented with a plaque naming him as the Young Referee of the Year.

Ronnie Ersser with his Referee of the Year award

“I am extremely proud of winning this amazing award,” said Ronnie. “I would like to thank Ellen from London Football School who made all of this a possibility for me by paying for my referee course a few years back. I dedicate this to her.

“I would also like to thank the committee and everyone involved in the league.”

Younger brother Danny added: “I’m over the moon to get an award like this and I appreciate the people who voted for me. It really makes me feel good about myself, I’m really happy.”

Danny Ersser with his Young Referee of the Year award

As if scooping an officiating accolade wasn’t enough, Danny also collected a winners’ medal as part of the Chapel Youth squad that was crowned champions of the Under-15s “B” Division.

As mentioned in part one of our picture special last week, Arsenal fan Jeremy Corbyn joined parents at the artificial pitches for a special silverware celebration.

Islington MP Jeremy Corbyn with Chapel Youth Under-15s after their invincible season

And the Islington North MP was delighted to present Chapel Youth with their medals and trophies following an invincible season that saw them remain undefeated, winning 15 and drawing three of their 18 league games.

Elsewhere, Camden Elite dominated the Under-15s “A” Division with the two sides representing the club in this age group finishing first and second in the league, and then also going on to meet each other in the Challenge Cup final.

Camden Elite won the title after finishing just two points ahead of club-mates Camden Elite Red. And the cup final also went down to the wire with it taking penalties to separate the two sides.

Jerome Richards scored for Camden Elite, while Tommaso Beber was on target for Camden Elite Red as a pulsating final ended 1-1, before Camden Elite won a tense shootout 4-3 to complete a memorable double.

Highbury Wolves Elite celebrate their Under-16s Challenge Cup victory

There was also an all-club final in the girls’ Under-16s Challenge Cup, where Highbury Wolves Elite beat Highbury Wolves Predators 3-0 on penalties.

A thrilling match had ended 1-1, with Priscilla Rastouil giving Elite the lead, before Milla Martinez-Groom equalised.

Emma Ismaili then converted the final kick of the penalty shootout before setting off to celebrate with her teammates.

Highbury Wolves Predators won the Under-16s title

Despite the defeat, Predators will also look back on their 2021-22 campaign as a successful one having won the Under-16s title.

Another of the big winners were Essex Road Giants who conquered the Under-12s age category. They dropped just three points all season as they won the “A” Division title boasting 15 wins and just one defeat from their 16 league games.

Essex Road Giants won the double in the Under-12s age category

Two goals from Joseph Higham and a strike from Elijah Kwandahor saw the Giants beat Sintra Athletic Football Academy 3-1 in the Challenge Cup final to add the finishing touches to their dominant double.

Tom Wynn scored for Sintra in an entertaining final, but it wasn’t enough to lift his side to victory.

Bloomsbury Football, who won both the Under-17s ‘B’ and ‘C’ divisions

Similarly, players from Bloomsbury Football were also cheering with joy after doing the double – winning both the Under-17s “B” and “C” divisions.

Freddie Brennan was named player of the season for Bloomsbury Football

Striker Freddie Brennan was named player of the season by coach Lucas Capalbo after scoring 23 goals for his side.

The proud coach said: “This was an extremely difficult season as our players had to balance football and their studies for GCSEs, but they were able to get the job done on the pitch.”

Related Articles