Archives for March 2017

Palace stars Scott Dann and Martin Kelly support young job seekers

An innovative employment support scheme run by the Crystal Palace Football Club Foundation is equipping youngsters from challenging backgrounds with the skills to find work

28/03/17 pic: © Sam Friedrich tel: +44 7977 482 272 **FREE TO USE IF PROMOTING CPFC FOUNDATION** Young people taking part in a theory based session whilst doing their FA Level 1 coaching badge at Sutton Utd, Sutton meet players from Crystal Palace Football Club

Crystal Palace club captain Scott Dann and team-mate Martin Kelly paid a morale-boosting visit to a group of young people seeking employment opportunities.

The Employability programme, run by the Crystal Palace Football Club Foundation, helps 16-25 year olds in south London prepare for the world of work. Most are from challenging backgrounds and many have been referred by social care teams, probation services and young offenders’ agencies.

Now in its third year, the 12-week programme teaches them the basic skills they will need in the workplace, making them more attractive to employers. In the last two years, 29 young people have been successfully put through the programme and this year the aim is to make another 20 work-ready, teaching them about interview technique, writing a CV and how to search for the right job.

Twelve of the young people are taking an FA Level 1 coaching badge as part of the programme, giving them a useful qualification at the end of the 12 weeks. Teaching them the basics of football coaching also keeps them motivated and focused during the course.

Crystal Palace full-back Martin Kelly was impressed with the attitude of the young people he met at the Borough Sports Ground in Sutton during Tuesday’s visit.

He said: “You can tell in the lads’ eyes they’re here to learn and they want to make something of themselves. They will look back later in life and realise they became a better person by doing a course like this.”

28/03/17 pic: © Sam Friedrich tel: +44 7977 482 272 **FREE TO USE IF PROMOTING CPFC FOUNDATION** Young people taking part in a theory based session whilst doing their FA Level 1 coaching badge at Sutton Utd, Sutton meet players from Crystal Palace Football Club

One of the youngsters, Harrison Hart (17), from Croydon, said: “The work we do in the classroom is really testing, we’ve learned how to have a positive attitude and how to come across well.”

Susan Patterson-Smith, Education, Training & Employability Manager at CPFC Foundation said: “This programme gets hard to reach young people in the right mindset to get ready for work. By having practical sessions we are able to keep the group engaged throughout the 12 weeks.”

Mental Health team paraded on pitch

The Foundation’s Mental Health team, the Croydon Eagles have been recognised for their success on and off the pitch during the Watford match at Selhurst Park.

CP v Watford 18/3/17 Presentation Photo: ©Neil Everitt 07970 789228

Partnering with Mind Croydon, the team train every week and urge those who have experienced mental health difficulties to come along and join in. For information on our football sessions please contact Michael Harrington at .

If you wish to contact someone to discuss any issues relating to Mental Health then please contact Mind in Croydon on 0208 668 2210 or

Foundation teams up with London Community Boxing

The Foundation has partnered with London Community Boxing to give 15 local people the opportunity to gain a ‘BOX course’ qualification delivered by England Boxing.


As part of the PL4Sport initiative the Foundation engages with local people to give them the opportunity to partake in a variety of different sports with boxing being one of the more popular activities.

With qualifications like this, students like Jade Hart (pictured far right) will be able to assist on PL4Sport satellite sessions with the Foundation. Jade said,

“I really did enjoy myself yesterday and meeting new people. At first I was nervous because I thought that I was the only girl who was completing the course but once it started I wasn’t nervous because I realised that I wasn’t the only girl and there were others there. Everyone was really nice and easy to get on with.”

Jon Dennis who led the programme said,

“All the candidates engaged in the course, the hope is now they will take their new found skills and get more people active and engaged using boxing as the vehicle to increase fitness and wellbeing.”

For more information on PL4Sport programmes including boxing, contact

Success at Ladies Recreational Tournament

Palace Pumas started so a group of ladies could enjoy a kick about when their daughters trained, but now they’re competing in tournaments and having success of their own.


Palace Pumas have been training together for the last six weeks and are coached by the Foundation. The programme originally began with a five-week pilot to gage interest. During that time the Foundation engaged with over 15 mums attending the weekly football sessions trying soccercise, basic football skills and matches.

From the success of the pilot the Foundation continued the programme and used word of mouth and social media to recruit new players. The team now has 18 regular players which enables the ladies to compete in tournaments like the ladies recreational tournament run by Surrey FA.

Palace Pumas entered two teams into the tournament, one of which played AFC Wimbledon in the final. I hard fought match with some very tired legs but the ladies collected well deserved runners up medals. Erika Toncova, Palace Pumas midfielder said, “This was the best day for me this year, thank you all for an awesome day.”

Roxanne Bennett, Women and Girls Lead at Crystal Palace FC Foundation said, “This is the start of inspiring women to get active, try something new and enjoy playing football. These women were watching their daughters play and now have a team for themselves.”


Emma Barnes, Senior Football Development Officer Surrey County FA said, “It was brilliant to see so many likeminded women together in one place embracing the benefits of football. For some of these ladies it was the first time that they had ever played in a tournament and although nervous at first, as soon as they stepped on the pitch and got started they absolutely loved it. Events like this show that there is a demand there for ladies new to football to get involved in the game.’’

For more information on ladies recreational football email

980 children take part in PL schools tournament

The Premier League Schools Tournament is organised by the charities of each Premier League club every year. Each charity organises their local fixtures, with the winners of each competition representing their football club at the national finals day at the end of the season. The Foundation has been engaging with Primary and Secondary schools across south London for their Under 11s mixed and Under 13s Girls tournaments.


Sam Bacon, PE and School Sport Officer, and Terence St Lewis, placement student, organised primary and secondary school tournaments in Bromley, Croydon, Sutton and Tandridge district, with venues including Kent County Cricket Club, Carshalton boys sports college and Selhurst Sports Arena. 980 children in south London from 92 different schools took part, all receiving a Crystal Palace certificate. Winners of each local tournament qualified for the Crystal Palace Finals Day at Kent CCC, with Unicorn Primary; Aerodrome Primary, Avenue Primary Academy and St Mary’s CofE Junior school going through in the Under 11’s, and Charles Darwin, Edenham High, Sackville School and Greenshaw High in the Under 13s, with children from each winning team receiving a Crystal Palace medal.

Our finals day was a fantastic occasion, with a high standard of football being played in two closely contested tournaments. Our Under 11s tournament was won by The Avenue Primary Academy, who defeated Aerodrome Primary 3-1 in the final. Support for all teams was terrific, with teachers and parents coming to cheer on their school. The Under 13s girls tournament was incredibly close, with Charles Darwin school and Sackville having to play a playoff to reach the final, after finishing the group stage level on points, goal difference and goals scored! Edenham High were our eventual winners, beating Charles Darwin 1-0 in a tense final, leading to mad celebrations from the team and teachers. Both winning teams received a crystal Palace Eagle trophy, and all children at our finals day have been given the opportunity to attend an Elite Player Session with the Crystal Palace FC Foundation free of charge during the Easter Holidays.

Edenham High and Avenue Primary Academy will represent Crystal Palace at the Premier League national finals day, taking on schools representing teams including Manchester United, Arsenal and Leicester City. This year’s finals day takes place at Chelsea FC’s home ground, Stamford Bridge on May 23rd. Both teams will receive a full Crystal Palace home kit to wear on the day and take home afterwards, with their name and number printed on the back. They will be taken in the Crystal Palace team coach to Stamford Bridge, along with a second coach full of supporters of both schools.

Foundation Coach Named Kicks Hero

13:00 16th March 2017

Michael Lacey, a longstanding community coach with Crystal Palace F.C. has been announced as The Eagles’ Premier League Kicks Hero. Wilfried Zaha, himself a former Kicks participant, was on hand to present Michael with his own personalised Premier League Kicks Hero comic strip, as part of the Premier League’s 10-year celebration of the programme.

Premier League Kicks is a youth outreach programme with the aim to create safer, stronger and more respectful communities through the development of young peoples’ potential, whilst giving young people access to facilities, coaching and mentoring.

Wilfried Zaha was delighted to have the opportunity to hand over the comic strip to Michael.

“I’m glad to be able to present Michael with the Premier League Kicks hero award. Guys like him who give up their time to help young people in the community make a huge difference in people’s lives. It’s nice that he’s receiving this comic and he deserves his moment in the spotlight.”

In its first decade, Premier League Kicks has engaged more than 180,000 young people in weekly football, sport and personal development sessions held at local community venues across the UK. 68 Premier League, English Football League and National League clubs now run the programme.

Michael Lacey joined Crystal Palace as a community coach in 1999 and was a founding member of the club’s Premier League Kicks programme ten years ago. His hard work and dedication has been recognised by the club and the Premier League. Michael’s story has been immortalised in a comic strip illustration designed by Marvel and DC Comics artist John McCrea. The comic book charts Michael’s involvement with Premier League Kicks – opening with Michael watching Attilio Lombardo at Selhurst Park in 1998 and covering the 2013 Play-Off Final, which saw Crystal Palace promoted to the Premier League.

“I’m honoured to be named as Crystal Palace’s Kicks Hero as there are strong team of people who put a lot of time and effort into delivering coaching for young people in the local community. I can’t really believe it’s been 10 years since we first launched Kicks at the club. Time files when you’re having fun! I’m still as passionate as ever about delivering football coaching in the community. I get a lot of joy seeing Kicks participants go on to achieve their goals, whether its improved self-confidence, doing better in education or other areas – like Wilf’s achievements on the pitch.”

Goals, Goals & More GOALS!


Wednesday 1st March 2017 brought more goals then any Match of the Day you would’ve seen this season! Crystal Palace DS (Downs Syndrome) Eagles invited Fulham FC Badgers to a friendly match; the occasions involved 3 small games, a presentation and produced a strong friendship between both teams.

The DS Eagles have been training together just short of two years and have had very little competitive football so when Fulham agreed to come and give us a friendly match we were over the moon to show them how much we have developed.

Fulham have been putting on Downs Syndrome Sessions for 10 years now and this was easy to see; from the word ‘go’ all the Fulham Badgers were in their positions and keen to get hold of the football.

Crystal Palace took the lead with a brilliant long-range shot hitting the top corner after taking the ball around 2 players! Both teams brought a lot of skill and were delighted when both sets of supporters gave supportive encouragement to all playing. It felt like every goal was a match-winning goal! Players showed great respect and congratulated the opposition on scoring super goals.


All 3 games were consistent of goals and naturally celebrations closely followed, some even slid on the floor and punched the air, Wilfred Zaha style!

We learnt a lot from the friendly and it has given us a chance to set new targets and goals for all our players starting at our next training session.

We are now planning on producing our first ever Downs Syndrome Tournament so keep an eye out for more information. To show your support or even if you think you may be able to help out on the day in any way please get in touch.


For more information on the Friendly Match, or any other aspects of our Downs Syndrome program, please contact Julian on 020 8768 6047 or

Ed Warner appointed Chair of Crystal Palace Football Club Foundation

Ed Warner has been appointed as the Chair of the Crystal Palace Football Club Foundation, the official charity of the Premier League club, for a three year term to start with immediate effect.


Ed currently serves as Chair of UK Athletics, World Para Athletics and the organising committee of the London 2017 World Athletics Championships. He also has extensive experience in the financial services industry and many years of board experience, including currently as Chairman of Grant Thornton UK. He was awarded the OBE for services to athletics in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List.

Commenting on his new role, Ed said “As a Palace fan for 45 years, I’ve always been an admirer of the work the club does in the South London community. Through the good times and bad, the Foundation has always been there to help young people. I’m looking forward to working with the Foundation team and the club to play my part in developing the charity as a force for good in South London.”

Steve O’Connell, outgoing Acting Chair of the CPFC Foundation, says “We’re delighted to have someone of Ed’s sport and business pedigree taking the helm as we aim to make an ever-increasing impact on the lives of young people in the local boroughs we serve. We all look forward to working alongside Ed on the next step of our journey”.

Steve Parish, Chairman of CPFC, added “I’m delighted that Ed has agreed to accept the invitation of the trustees and join our Foundation as Chairman. I believe it will be a great benefit to the Foundation, club and most importantly the community to have someone of Ed’s standing and experience to ensure that our goals of helping and inspiring everyone but particularly the young people of south London are as effective as possible.”