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"Faces" of Swalwell Juniors 2019-20.

Congratulations to the four fantastic players who are the “faces” of SJFC 2019-20.

Each have demonstrated, in their own way, a level of commitment to the club, above and beyond what is expected, both on and off, the field.

Read 'their stories' below.


Megan

Megan is only 7 years old and is already quite simply football crazy, loves training and can’t wait for her weekly match day to come around. Her mam told us “Megan spends loads of time at Home watching as many football matches as she can, she’s always willing to learn”, her love for the game is clearly something special already. Megan is the main Goalkeeper for the under 9’s and really shines in this position (but she’s also a fantastic outfield player too, and as any modern day goalkeeper must be, she is able to play solid in defence and is continuing to improve all the time). I’m sure it hasn’t escaped anybody’s attention that at only 7, Megan is playing a year up too! Megan is a ray of sunshine, with a smile on her face win, lose or draw. She’s a young ambassador for young children in football, goalkeepers in football and girls in football (and she’s a Swalwell Juniors player!)


Harrison

Harrison has been with Swalwell Juniors since his footballing journey began aged 6. Harrison is the archetypal team player who lives and breathes football, wearing the red and black of Swalwell with immense pride. He's determined, battles hard and never gives up, and what very few people know is that these traits have been with Harrison since the day he was born because he had no other choice (and I'm humbled that Harrison has given me permission to share this with you all). Harrison was born with only 1 hip joint, so his parents were more concerned about whether he'd be able to walk normally never mind play football, but here he is, playing & training week in week out. Harrison learnt to walk in a hip brace and leg splints (which extended from his hip to just above his knees, holding his legs constantly at 90 degrees apart). He wore these for 23 hours per day from the age of 9 weeks until he was 2 years and 1 day old and was already kicking a football before the splints were off! This young man has overcome so much more than he will allow me to say and genuinely doesn't believe he deserves the nomination for this year's face of Swalwell Juniors. However, on this point he's wrong and I'm incredibly proud to have personally nominated Harrison to be a face of Swalwell Juniors for the 2019/20 season.


Rivan

Rivan is one of many new players to join the club at only 6 years old. He started to play for the Under 7 Swifts this season having progressed through Alan Birkett’s soccer school over the last 12 months. Rivan’s dad told us “He is passionate about football and is always studying the top players and games on match of the day and YouTube. He never showed any interest in football until he started collecting Panini stickers during the World Cup last year and he’s been football obsessed ever since”.

Through Alan’s coaching and guidance Rivan has become confident in himself and his team members, he listens during training sessions and demonstrates what he has learned consistently and is always looking to improve.

He has made a lot of friends throughout the club and particularly in his new team. Rivan’s proudest moment was being asked to represent Swalwell Juniors by Alan and receiving his first strip. With many years of football ahead of him, we wish Rivan, his team mates and the entire new crop of under 7’s players every success and enjoyment week in, week out.


Joe

From one of the youngest players to one of the oldest, Joe has been with club for 10 years and and is fast approaching the unthinkable milestone of 600 appearances in a Swalwell shirt. Joe has shown an incredible level of commitment especially when a lot of his friends left to join other clubs, despite being encouraged by them to follow, he nailed his colours to the mast and committed himself to Swalwell. The reason for this is plain and simple, Joe loves playing football for and with Swalwell Juniors. He has recovered from three bouts of serious illness and a broken leg and on each occasion recovering much faster than anyone expected. On the field Joe is something special; He is strong, brave and fierce in the tackle, yet skilful with a keen eye for a pass and scores more than his fair share of goals. When the final whistle blows, Joe is respectful and incredibly humble. Joe is becoming one of the older players at Swalwell now and is hugely respected by younger players, parents and coaches throughout the club. He is a true role model for his team mates and all of the younger players at the club, always leading with the spirit of Swalwell Juniors and our core values.

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