Our ‘Junior Chat’ feature is all about showcasing our thriving Junior section and in the spotlight here is our U14’s Royals. The Royals team compete in the Surrey Primary League. They are managed by Andrew Durrant.
2022/23 season so far
The Royals have had a really positive season so far, having been promoted two divisions up this year, they are more than holding their own – in fact made it through to the Quarterfinals of the Senior Cup, narrowly losing to a team in the very top division and sit top of the U14 Championship after a convincing 7-2 win in a top of the table clash this weekend. They are a brilliant bunch of boys and are continuing to develop as players and a team.
What brought you to Ascot?
I’ve been involved in the club for some time, in fact, I had a short stint as a player many years back but finally gave in to Tom (our top AGC!) a few seasons back when the vacancy came up! It is a brilliant football club, very supportive parents and I’ve lost count how many times opposition teams have been in awe of our amazing facilities!
What do you enjoy most about coaching the Royals?
It’s getting out there with the boys on a Monday night at training and seeing how they’ve all grown and developed as players and a team. I’ve known many of them since they were at primary school and it’s so rewarding to see them performing in the yellow shirts to the best of their ability.
What’s been your highlight of the Royals tenure so far?
The cup run was great, the boys showed twice how they can compete with teams in the Premier Elite division winning first in an away fixture and as I say narrowly losing in the quarters to a really good side, we held them to 1-1 for the majority of the game. I do think, however, it’s those moments when you see things clicking into place, the boys realising what we’ve told them for weeks starts to work and when they play with confidence and enjoy themselves – it’s what it’s all about.
Have there been any moments of adversity for the Royals and how have you overcome that?
I think they’ve learnt from a couple of last-minute draws or losing games, which have been disappointing but have managed to move past these moments showing real resilience and togetherness as a team. I know these moments will build character for what comes down the line both on and off the pitch.
Something to celebrate about the Royals
There is a core in this team, with many boys playing for me over the past few seasons but they have always welcomed new lads in and generally gelled well considering they all come from different schools & backgrounds. This year we have had Alex join us having left Ukraine during the war. I have been delighted to see how the boys have welcomed him in but also the character Alex has shown to become our number one keeper, with some outstanding stops between the posts this year…we are lucky to have you in our team, Alex!
One more thing…
I’d also like to say a massive thank you to Warren who has stood alongside me on the touchline this year as coach, it’s great to have his support. Equally all of the parents that step forward to help running the line (a thankless task I know!) and being supportive when things don’t always go well.
Good luck for the rest of your season, Royals!
If you’d like to have your team featured in Junior Chat, please get in contact with our Marketing & Media Manager, Abi.