Ten months on after losing on penalties in the final of the League Cup vs Dorking Wanderers at their Meadowbank Stadium, Teddington Athletic Diamonds U15 secured their place in the 2024 Surrey League Cup Final and Semi final of the London FA County Cup over two consecutive weekends.
14th January 2024 - Richmond Park vs Teddington Athletic
The previous 4 rounds had taken the Diamonds to Beckenham and Crawley via Teddington Lock scoring 23 goals along the way. The semi final, played on more mud than grass, provided a challenging environment for their free flowing football with style making way for a more pragmatic and dogged approach. Conceding early the Diamonds responded with a long-range strike and a Trent Alexander Arnold like cross that was guided in by their centre forward to secure a place in the final.
20th January 2024 - Petts Wood vs Teddington Athletic Diamonds
Adding variety to the games programme is essential in the development of youth football players. For this reason the Diamonds chose the path less travelled and entered the London County Cup which tested the parents' knowledge of the M25 and allowed us to potentially play against team from Essex, Kent and Inner London. The competition also boasts teams from Junior Premier League (JPL) and Academy teams like Charlton Athletic, Dorking Wanderers and Billericay Town FC. The teams wishes came true in Round 1 with a 3 hour round trip to play an Essex Tier 1 side, Buckhurst Hill.
Playing on a Saturday the Diamonds faced Petts Wood, a JPL team and last seasons winners. The JPL is deemed to bridge the gap between grassroots and Academy football. Missing players to due to other football commitments the Diamonds were rightly recognised as the underdogs. However, what ensued was a dominant performance embodied by the teams speed of play, intensity of their counter pressing and 3 wonderful strikes. What made the performance even more impressive was that the team went into half time one - nil down after conceding a soft goal. Playing progressive football the second half was spent largely in the oppositions half. Three wonderful long range strikes equally spread across the half secured a semi final place in the London FA County Cup.