The Croydon Eagles have just completed a brilliant Victory at Brighton’s mental health tournament. The competition took place to celebrate World Mental Health Day and featured teams from all over the South of England.
The games were played in a competitive but very enjoyable way. The participating teams included sides from Brighton, Arsenal, Charlton, Portsmouth, and of course the Eagles team and all played throughout the tournament in the right spirit.
The whole day was a fitting way to celebrate World Mental Health day and hopefully helped to spread awareness of mental health issues. With the news of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge publicising the day, I would say the word is definitely getting out there.
Back to the football and The Eagles started off by wining their group with three wins out of three. We then progressed to the cup group stage where we played two tough games against Newhaven and Brighton’s B-team. We won both games 2-0 and 1-0, respectively.
We had made the semi final where we faced Victory Hants of Portsmouth. We had had some tough encounters with them in the past so we were pretty surprised at the comprehensive win. We scored 5 with no reply to reach the final where we would play Brighton’s A team, Crystal Palace and Brighton’s rivalry would add a little spice to the final. Thankfully the game was played in the right spirit and The Eagles would go on to sneak the final with a Dan Butler extra time winner to break Seagull hearts. The Brighton boys took it well though and there were all smiles at the end. Dan finished the day as top scorer with 7 goals.
The victory capped a brilliant day run by our hosts and friends Albion in the Community. Mental health football is really taking off with the leagues and tournaments taking place all over the country. The benefits of this to those who have been through mental health illness are massive and this can only be a good thing for us all.
So to conclude we would like to thank James Creegan and Jel Clifford for coaching us and to all the players who gave a massive effort to lift the cup for The Croydon Eagles. We would also like to thank Peter Rogers who couldn’t make it on the day but who works for Mind in Croydon and always makes sure everything runs smoothly for the team, and to Marlon Hobbs who on the day played for Brighton and helped them all the way to the final. This was due to a limit on the number of players per team and for all who know him Marlon is never less than enthusiastic. He nearly scored against us in the final which would have made for an interesting trip home. But we are sure he was pleased with his loser’s medal. Well done Marlon (I meant runners up medal Ha ha!)
Croydon Eagles are Mind in Croydon and CPFC’s Foundations’ Mental health Football team.
By Tim Matthias (Eagles defender (veteran))