A youth football manager from Croxley Green has said farewell to his team he has nurtured for over a decade.
Colm Finnegan took charge of his last ever game for Croxley FC, an Under 18 game on Sunday, May 5. Colm has spent 12 years coaching, managing and being chairman of the club.
In his final game against Abbots Langley in a double header, his team drew and won, but this wasn’t enough, and the team had to settle for second place in the league.
Colm said: “When I first got involved with Croxley FC, we initially handed out flyers to schools and started running sessions. Out of that we were able to set up two whole teams at U6. There are children form eight different schools who play against each other at that level, to then play together at Croxley as it it’s like international level.
“Croxley doesn’t have any youth clubs and I think it’s important for youth development in the community and one thing I’ve found is the pressure for young people in exams and the expectations people put on them is tough. Football is a release for some of these boys.”
Four players have stayed with Colm and the club for 13 years, a rare sight at youth level. Colm is a level 2 coach and has been in football for 30 years as a semi-professional and a FA mentor coach.
His next role with the club is to guide the new coaches and share his experiences.
Colm said: “I’ve been asked to stay on as a coaching mentor for the younger coaches and age groups. Goalkeeping is a position that is always left to one side and all drills very rarely touch on improving the keeper’s ability.
“Being an FA mentor allows me to support them in running the team, manage expectations and tell them what it’s really like running a team.”
During his 12 years with the side, Colm fondly remembers his reams treble with in the league, cup and FA People’s regional winners in 2016.
Colm added: “I would like to thank the parents for supporting me and to the executive committee – I couldn’t do it without them.”