Some people think its all over

The football season may be coming to an end this month, but the work of the Daggers Trust continues throughout the Summer. It has been a difficult time to say the least, but after all of the lockdown periods, school closures, furlough payments, etc brought on by the COVID pandemic, the Trust has emerged stronger than when it all started back in March 2020.

At this end of May the Trust will be operating three one day fun filled multisport camps for young children at May and Bakers Sports Club, working alongside the Metropolitan Police building on the success of previous camps held during the last 18 months. 70 children have registered for the three days, coming from over a dozen schools across the Borough. A further three weeks of camps is planned for August. All of the camps are available free of charge and we thank the National league Trust for their financial support, along with May and Bakers Sports Clubs and our friends and colleagues in local schools.

We have had over 50 new youngsters, boys and girls, sign up for the regular Premier League Kicks sessions at Goals Dagenham on Tuesdays and Thursdays in term time. We are now operating 5 different groups on a Thursday and 1 on a Tuesday. Three of our PL Kicks coaches were sponsored by the Daggers Trust and have gone from participants, through to volunteers and now qualified FA coaches. In addition to the regular PL Kicks sessions, the Trust is operating Girls’ Only Kicks at Goals Dagenham and in local schools. Since Easter Y5 & Y6 girls from Fives Elms and William Bellamy Primary Schools became the first school based groups to take part after the restrictions of lockdown over Christmas and the New Year. The Girls’ Only groups are funded by the London Marathon Charitable Trust, working with the member clubs of London United and PL Kicks.

Another event which re-emerged recently was the Vitality Westminster Mile held in the Mall, finishing outside Buckingham Palace. The 15 member clubs of London United were asked to provide a representative group of youngsters and children from Dagenham United represented the Club and the Trust at the event. Some of the youngsters who took part will be joining our Matchday Guard of Honour on Sunday 15th and we would like to thank Vicky Davis and all the coaches, parents, guardians and players from Dagenham United who have been unbelievably helpful and accommodating on numerous occasions throughout the season.

The Guard of Honour for the final scheduled league match versus Wrexham is from Leys Park FC. Leys Park has multiple teams and has provided several GoH groups this season. We thank all of the people who have supported this activity and look forward to seeing you again when football returns to Victoria Road later this year.

Girls from George Carey Primary School will be representing the Daggers at the Southern Regional heats of the National League Trust under 11 competition. We wish them ‘Good Luck’ at St Albans City FC on the 19th. A big thanks for all the support from the Barking and Dagenham Schools FA.

Lastly, if you are over 50 and would like the opportunity to chat with others about sport (or anything else) over the coming months, the Trust and the Club are holding regular Sporting Memory sessions on a Thursday morning from 1030-1200 in association with the Sporting Memories Foundation and Essex Cricket in the Community. Just pop along, have a cup of tea and meet friends, old and new. No need to register, just turn up.

Go to www.daggerstrust for more information or email:

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Register for PL Kicks

Spaces are available for young people aged 8-18 at the Trust's Premier League Kicks free sessions, held at Goals Dagenham on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Use this link to register:

Stadium Tours

Behind the scenes tours at Victoria Road for Schools and Local Youth Teams/Clubs.

Visit Victoria Road, home of the Daggers.

Go behind the scenes of the Chigwell Construction Stadium.

Visit the changing rooms, walk down the players’ tunnel, sit in the dugouts and more.

With the lifting of COVID restrictions and the approaching end of the season, an opportunity has arisen to restart visits to the ground by school groups and local youth teams.

For details, email:

Making the most of your opportunities

Barney Walsh, son of Bradley, on TV recently said that his father always told him that it was better to regret what he did, rather than live a life regretting what he didn’t do. That is a commonly repeated maxim that I have personally followed from a very early age and it has presented me with so many different and wonderful opportunities throughout my life. I often couple this with, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get, but always expect people to say ‘No’ and you’ll never be disappointed”. I can’t believe what I have been able to achieve in my lifetime by following those simple rules.

I often wonder today whether we deny young people opportunities to experience a wide variety of different things as we become over protective and wrap children up in cotton wool. Throughout my career I have been amazed by many young people who have demonstrated just what they are capable of, if they are only given an opportunity or a sense of responsibility. “If children don’t climb trees, how do they know it hurts when they fall?”, is a quote from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). “If you wrap someone up in cotton wool, they eventually asphyxiate”, is a quote of mine.

Over Easter, the Daggers Trust coaches along with officers from the Metropolitan Police and members of ‘Box Up Crime’ have been working with groups of young children, aged 6-13 at May and Bakers Sports Ground from 10am in the morning through to the 3pm in the afternoon as part of the “Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone” School Holiday Camps sponsored by the National League Trust. Each day the youngsters not only played games and generally ran around having fun but also engaged with everyone, participated in mini workshops and discussions with the focus on changing minds, attitudes and lives. One such topic covered l was ‘Bullying”.

The emphasis is always on having fun and putting smiles on faces, but also improving life skills and self-awareness, adding tools to their toolbox and stepping outside comfort zones is always on the agenda. The camps started off when the weather was wet, cold and windy. The Metropolitan Police Officers from the TSG, based in Chadwell Heath, started a session which involved talking about their work in general and led on to their First Aid training. The Premier League Kicks/Metropolitan Police Liaison Officer, John Joseph (JJ) admitted he was ‘gobsmacked’ several hours later when a 7 year old girl was able to confidently quote the rate of compressions for CPR along with several other bits of connected information, she had learned from the morning session. She was able to demonstrate and explain the procedures she had been taught.

Children are like sponges. They can soak up so much information at an early age and that information needs to be positive.

Are you looking for a local team for your child to play in? Use the Essex FA Squad Booster