Football

Running for over 20 years, the Old Pauline Association Football club currently consists of two teams which play weekly.

Both play in Amateur Football Combination league on a Saturday afternoon from September through to April, while also attempting a cup run.  Following the success of the Vets team in the London Old Boys cup they have joined the Southern Vets League, with eight games throughout the year on a Sunday morning.

The club is based at the Old Pauline Club’s sports ground near to Thames Ditton Station (20 minutes from Clapham Junction).  The club boasts the best pitches in the Leagues, regularly hosting cup competition finals.  Unfortunately the team’s inability to take penalties mean that for another year there won’t be an OP team to contest them as the club has exited every cup competition on penalties.

There is a real club feel with players regularly playing in different teams as required and seamless integration between the squads when both at home.  This lays the foundations for what is the highlight of the clubs calendar which is a tour to a footballing hot spot on the European mainland.  2020 will be no different with a four day trip to Croatia already planned.  Nick Troen usually draws the short straw and selflessly heads out a few days with a select group to make sure the touring party can visit the premium locations during their time.  This is open to all members of the club along with anyone who wants to get involved.  For some of the tourists, it is their annual game for the club.

Each year during the first weekend of the February half term, two St Paul’s School squads make the journey to Thames Ditton to play against the club.  In what is usually a tightly contested affair results have ebbed and flowed over the years, as the club try to use their experience to nullify the fact the pupils play football every day.

The club is always happy for new players to get in touch, whether you have just left school or are back in London working.  A number of players have joined while on their gap year, and then played while at University before playing for the club on a full time basis.  Equally a number have come back to playing after several years away.  So if you have the urge to dust of your boots, please do contact us.  Playing Dorking away in the middle of January, may give a cold Tuesday night in Stoke a run for its money, but playing with your pals on a weekly basis is a highlight of the week for many involved!  I’m still trying to find someone who has regretted playing too much football in their life.

If you like further information, please do not hesitate to get in contact with Ciaran Harries –  ciaran.harries@btinternet.com.