NKSFL G & M Motors Cup Winners 2013-14
The Saturday First Team were now playing their football in Kent County Division 2 East again after being relegated last season and once again being geographically moved from the West to the East. Mick Helaith resigned in the summer, so the committee advertised the job externally for the first time ever. After interviewing 4 candidates, the Committee placed Dennis Hughes as Manager. Dennis resigned before a ball was even kicked, he attended only half of the training sessions in pre-season, bought no players with him, no physio and coach as promised and cancelled friendly games last minute without telling the players….he resigned before he was sacked. We lost alot of players in the summer to other teams and Dennis did not help matters with his wayward and confusing ways, alot of damage had been done, and the squad was looking thin to say the least. Mick Helaith immediately stepped in as Manager once again as he couldn’t tolerate the state Dennis had left the squad in, and assisting him would be Jess Gill. We made a late surge and managed to sign enough players for a squad.
It was an uphill task as we lost 6 of our first 7 games. But as our young squad become more experienced and better we then won 4 of our next 7 games. We started to hold our own in the division, but consistency in play and squad faces was our biggest let down. Ryan Jarrett (11 goals) and Scottie Bhens (8 goals) were amongst our best players scoring 19 goals between them. Our best win came away to league leaders at the time Swale Utd when we beat them 1-0, another good victory was against local team NK Aces 3-1 Ricky Mann scoring twice avenging an earlier 3-0 loss. Sarndip Bagri had a tremendous season and was the heartbeat and skipper of our side for the majority of the season. Avi Hundal had a good consistent season at left back. We ended up a respectable 7th in the table. A lot of new players found and discoveries about their qualities made. Micky once again resigned as manager at the end of the season.
A Reserve team was once again formed by Jaz Cheema. They entered the Gravesend League and with the League being so short of teams we were placed in the top Division. The Reserves were folded in February, they struggled for players and points – even Hutchy Kandola made a comeback. We were lying second to bottom in the table at the time.
The Sunday First Team was managed by player Kam Khunkhun for his third season in charge and Assistants Serg Atwal and player Jag Tiwana. So we were back in the top division. We made our best ever start to a campaign as we won 4 of our first 5 matches scoring 19 goals along the way including a 6-1 mauling of Old Comrades, Amarjot Tiwana unstoppable that day with a classy hatrick and certainly the best individual performance I had seen for any Gurus team since Craig Gillam’s destroying of Azaad a few years back (this was his second hatrick on the trot as the week before he demolished Rose and Crown present League Champs). We were sitting at the top of the table, we looked fit, strong and our football was of the best quality and a joy to watch. But then disaster struck as the heartbeat, skipper, manager and leader of our team Kam Khunkhun suffered a terrible injury that would put him on the sidelines for the rest of the season and maybe for the rest of his career. Kam’s injury rocked the club as everybody felt for him, the teams results took a dip and the side never recovered from losing him and finding a suitable replacement. Our challenge for the title soon died, you cant help to think this could have been our season if Kam had been there – a terrible shame. At one stage we lost 6 games on the bouce including a Quarter Final in the Senior Cup to a Division 1 Team. In a season that promised so much it was done and dusted in an instant of injury, thats how valuable Kam was and is to the Gurus. Hardev Dale (13 goals) finished top scorer with Amarjot and Ryan Jarrett pitching in with 11 goals and 9 goals respectively. Sunny Hayre had a great season as keeper, Gurdeep Jutte was instrumental in midfield as was Jagtar Toor and Hardev was brilliant up front on his own most of the time. We finished mid-table. Kam will go down as one of Gurus greatest players – hopefully he will play again, certainly the best for the last 10 years, great captain, leader and manager – had everyones respect, a player everybody looked up to and gained to be like. Kam resigned as manager at the end of the season.
The Saturday First Team were still playing in Kent County Division 2 East. Now under a new Management Team – Manager Andy Stevens, Coach Nigel Wakelin, Assistants Jess Gill & Surjit Atwal. After a few more young players were signed up in the summer we possibly had our youngest average aged squad ever. We started the League campaign reasonably well by collecting 10 points from our first 5 games (3W 1D 1L). In February 2012 Gurus for the first time since joining the Kent League picked up the Eastern Manager of the Month Award – this was largely due to a 9 match unbeaten run which included 7 wins and 30 goals scored, Kent League Reps presented Andy with the award at our home ground in March. We was in the running for promotion all the way up until the end of March but let ourselves down by losing 3 games on the bounce in April. Even with a 47 point haul and 68 goals scored we ended a disappointing 6th – expectations were set much higher than that. Our best result was a 1-0 home win v top of the table Malgo. So now 2 Seasons have passed with a fairly new young learning side with the odd experienced campaigners. Next season we need to win promotion, the time for learning and gaining experience is clearly over. The squad in large done well, including Courtney Rayfield (top scorer with over 20 goals), Randeep Sabharwal (numerous man of the match performances), Tommy Vine (16 goals), Ross Murphy (11 goals) and Diljit Boora (numerous man of the match performances).
The Sunday First Team was now under a new Management Team too – Manager Balbir Beila, Assistant Gurdeep Jutte. The season started reasonably well with 6 wins in the first 8 games (including 3 cup wins). Then a few defeats were suffered before Gurus put together a 5 match winning streak starting with a superb 2-0 away win in the League v newly promoted Punjab United and including a brilliant 1-0 away win in The Reporter Cup v favourites The Sun, Diljit Boora scoring the winner. But unfortunately the last 8 games ended with 5 defeats and 3 draws – with one of the games forfeited v The Sun because of a lack of players (Sun won the league)……first walkover conceded in some time on a Sunday. We were knocked out of both cups by teams in lesser divisions. We ended 7th in the table. Hardev Dale (12 goals), Ryan Jarrett (10 goals) and Diljit Boora (9 goals) were the highest scorers. Balbir Beila resigned at the end of the season.
The Saturday First Team were playing their third consecutive year in Kent County Division 2 East. Manager Andy Stevens, Coach Nigel Wakelin, Assistant Jess Gill were in charge for their second term. This season promotion was our main target. We had a tremendous start to the season and continued it all the way through 2012 (Played 10, Won 6, Drew 4). So undefeated in 2012 for a run of 10 games, and a striker in the shape of Tommy Vine in red hot form, he had scored 15 goals already.
The winter part of the season as always disrupted our good run with very few games and far between due to the state of the pitches. In February the season finally got underway again and we lost out narrowly in the Quarter Finals of the Les Leckie Cup to Sevenoaks 1-0. The following week we played them again in the league when we were 2nd in the table and they were 1st. Once again in a tight game we just lost out. We hit some bad form after this and lost our next 3 games too, also we went on a bad run of not scoring goals. 0 goals in 5 games and 2 penalties missed along the way. Promotion hopes were being dashed away. However, news that the League were having a shake up, meant the top 4 were being promoted. With this in mind we played out our last 9 games and won 6 of them with Alec Hollywood finding some form in front of goal. We ended up 4th in the table and secured promotion, a good achievement in the end. So next season once again will see us back in Division 1 at an intermediate level of football.
Tommy Vine scored 21 goals, Oscar Saxton was named Players Player of the Year. Randeep Sabharwal won Managers Player of the Year
The Sunday First Team was now under a new Management Team – Manager Surjit Atwal, Assistants Kam Khunkhun, Jess Gill & Jaz Cheema. In our very first game we were away to new team Princes Park Dartford (whom had rejoined the league, formerly known as Welsh Tavern). We ran out 7-4 losers in an end to end game, but the management after this knew the big area of concern was the defence. We soon straightened that out though in the very next game as we shut out Punjab United for a very good 1-0 win – Jag Tiwana with the goal. After this though we went on a poor league run, only picking up 5 points in our next 7 games. We drew 1-1 with Old Comrades along the way in a great game that saw a flash of genius by Ryan Jarrett, a masterful finish – great take down and control of a ball over his head and the perfect placement (goal of the season). In the league we were struggling but kept winning a game here and there to keep us above the relegation spots. With 7 games left we knew we required at least 4 wins to stay up – and we managed exactly that. We started with a good 2-1 win over Punjab United to complete a season double over them (and that with 10 men as Hardev Dale was sent off early in the first half for us) – Jag and Amarjot Tiwana with the goals. We also had a memorable typical Sunday League 8-5 win v’s Swanscombe Tigers also, with Shane Edwards getting a hatrick that day. We managed to finish a respectable 6th in the league. In some of the latter games Kam Khunkhun had to be recalled from retirement – he still commanded the midfield after a few seasons out.
The season though would be best remembered for a fantastic Senior Cup triumph, the third in our history.
In the first round we beat holders of the Cup Real Gima in a 7 goal thriller. We ran out 4-3 winners with Ryan Jarrett, Shane Edwards, Diljit Boora and Tommy Vine scoring. In the second round we found it much easier and nailed First Division Team Gravesend Utd 8-0 – Tommy Vine hitting 4 that day! In the Quarter Finals we beat Ebbsfleet Utd 3-1 with Jag Tiwana, Tommy and Diljit doing the damage. In the Semi Final we beat Shorne Higham FC 2-1 in a very tight game. Hardev Dale scored both goals – on both occasions he was alert the most and pick pocketed the defence twice for a memorable double strike. Sunny Hayre, though, was the man of the match for a great performance in goal, he saved a penalty and numerous other efforts from the Greenways based forwards. So on to the Final v Princes Park Dartford who were very strong favourites having beaten us twice in the league already and at the time they were top of the league and we were third to bottom. With the odds heavily stacked against us (in front of a packed crowd) we produced some of our best football of the season and took an early lead through a Reece Lyons header, top assist by Amarjot. We managed to keep Dartford at bay for a large amount of the game but had Reece sent off with 10 minutes to go. So down to 10 men we tried to defend out the game but Dartford scored late on to make it 1-1 and take the game into extra time. We defended for penalties where we were confident that our ace card Sunny Hayre would come good again. And after a half hour shut out, penalties it was. Although we missed a couple, we still went on to win as Sunny Hayre saved at the sud and death 7th penalty each stage. Sunny the hero again (although the whole team played out of their skins, Captain Gurdeep Jutte and Boota Singh were brilliant) – we beat Princes Park Dartford with 10 men against all the odds. What followed were some top celebrations with everybody jumping on Sunny – all captured on video – go to facebook and twitter. The presenting of the trophy is also all captured when skipper Gurdeep Jutte lifted the trophy aloft – It was a great memorable day with celebrations running into the early hours of the next morning. Senior Cup Champs all over again! A good first season for the new management team after all.
Ryan Jarrett ended up top scorer with 10 goals. Player of the Year was shared between Ryan and Captain Gurdeep Jutte.
In the Summer Gurus put in entry to 2 Tournaments, both of which were very well run Multicultural events.
In the First Tournament in mid May Surjit Atwal and Jess Gill managed the team in the UK Asian Community Cup Football Festival 2013 where the finalists would get to play at West Ham FC’s Upton Park. With 16 teams competing in 4 groups of 4, only the top 2 in each group would go through to the knockout stages. In our first game we beat a team 3-0 (Tommy Vine, Jagtar Toor & 15 year old Sunil Bhatti scoring – son of club legend Sukhi Bhatti) from London called E7. In our second game we was up against one of the favourites and previous 3 time winners London APSA packed with Semi Pro talent – we brushed them aside with a 1-0 win, Tommy Vine scoring. With 6 points and 0 goals conceded we had already qualified for the Quarter Final stage on the next day. In the QF we played Sporting Khalsa Walsall and lead for most of the game with a goal from Simon West. However, horrifically in injury time we managed to concede 2 goals. The dream of Upton Park was over. We were ever so close to being only 90 minutes away from that dream.
In the second Tournament in early July we took 2 teams – the Senior Team was managed by Surjit Atwal and Nigel Wakelin, and the Veterans Over 35s team was managed by Harpal Cheema and Assistant Daljit Rana. These were entered into the BACC Festival Tournament.
Both teams went out in the group stages with the Vets ever so unlucky – and that after pulling off a miraculous comeback in their first game where they won 3-2 in the last second of the game (Jess Biring with a headed goal winner) after being behind 2-0 in the first half. Amarjot Tiwana finished top scorer for the Senior Team and Jess Gill finished top scorer for the Vets.
In October 2012 as part of a national series of events for One Community One Game “The Kick (Racism) It Out” Organisation and the Black and Asian Coaches Association (BACA), in conjuction with Gurus on our pitches hosted a free worshop providing support for individuals eager to be involved in football. Sean Dyche who was manager of Watford FC at the time (then went on to manage Burnley in the Premier League) and former Chelsea captain Paul Elliott CBE both held the coaching sessions – hundreds of people attended – a great day in our history.
In December 2012 Chariman Tony Rana and 2 of our Under 16 players Jutte and Shoker visited the FA offices for a Radio 1 Station Interview that was aired to thousands of people across the country – the subject was Racism in Football.
On Sunday 24th March Gurus were especially invited by the FA to supply 2 mascots for the FA Trophy Final Grimsby Town v Wrexham at Wembley. We proudly took up the opportunity and sent one young lad Hari Biring from the Youth Section and one young girl Simran Majhail from the girls team. Both their proud fathers (Jess Birring and Sukh Majhail) at the time were in managing roles for the Youth Section.
Chairman Tony Rana received an award in a ceremony that was held in the celebration of the FA 150 Years at Buckingham Palace. The reward was received from Prince William in front of the Royal Family for the work that Tony has done for Kick Out Racism and the Kent FA Equality Group. The work that Tony puts into all of this and Guru Nanak FC normally goes unnoticed – so it was great for our Club Chairman to get honoured and noticed for this award. Well done Tony Rana – a snippet from FA Website…..
On Monday 7 October, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, in his official capacity as President of The Football Association, paid tribute to football’s network of volunteers by honouring 150 grassroots heroes of the game in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. 5 Kent volunteers were among those recognised on the day, with Ricky Adams (Kent FA Youth Council Chair & Level 4 Referee), Tony Rana (Guru Nanak FC Chairman & Kent FA Equality Advisory Group Chair), Peter Hunter (Kent County League Life Vice President & Kent FA Life Member), John Harvey (Maidstone United Head of Community and Gallagher Stadium Manager) and Brian Tippett (Tonbridge Juniors FC General Manager) all receiving awards.
The Saturday First Team were now playing in Kent County Division 1 East. Manager Andy Stevens, Assistant Jess Gill, Coach’s Nigel Wakelin & Micky Whyman, were in charge for their third term. This season once again promotion was our main target. We had a tremendous start to the season and good form continued all the way through 2013 (Played 10, Won 8, Drew 2). So undefeated in 2013 for a run of 10 games.
Normally the Winter part of the season see’s us lose our form, but this season was different as the rain disrupted 3 months of football, from 15th Dec to the 21st March we played 0 games. When the season commenced we still were on form as we wrapped up the league with 2 games to spare. In a 20 game season we went 18 games undefeated from the start and won the league by a clear 7 points. Final Record P 20 W 15 D 4 L 1. For the first time in our history we were promoted to the Premier Division and going to play Step 7 football. We also had a good run in the Kent Inter Regional Challenge Cup eventually losing to Coney Hall in the Semi Finals – in earlier rounds we beat 2 Premier Division sides. An absolutely smashing season – we achieved so much and finally made it to the Premier Division. Back to back promotions completed.
Tommy Vine scored 28 goals and was presented by the Kent League with the Sharp Shooter of the League Award and also won Managers Player of the Year, Arun Suman was named Players Player of the Year.
4 of our players got call ups for the Kent Representative side – Arun Suman, Ryan Jarrett, Vicente Matsanka and Tommy Vine – good achievement considering we were only a Division 1 side – the rest of the players were from the Premier.
For the first time in years we fielded a Reserves team that played their football in Kent County Division 3 East. The team was managed by Sam Young and Tony Carlton. The reserves had a good season and ended a respectable 5th in the table after an undefeated 8 game run at the end of the season, with Tony Bains ending top scorer. Play of the Year was Ibrahim Goswell.
The Sunday First Team saw Manager Surjit Atwal, Assistants Kam Khunkhun & Jess Gill in their second term. The Charity Shield Season Curtain Opener unfortunately never happened – Gurus (League Cup Winners) v’s Gravesend Spartans (League Winners) @ Dartford FC never took place after 3 attempts of trying – all 3 times the weather wiped out the match – so shield shared. We ended up 7th in the league but the season would be best remembered for a fantastic G & M Motors Cup (Old Reporter Cup) triumph, the third in our history.
In the third round we beat Division 3 team Greyhound 5-1 (goal scorers Ryan Jarrett 2, Reece Lyons 2, Hardev Dale) and then squashed Hollisters of Division 1 6-1 with Tommy Vine scoring a sensational 5 goals and William Cole getting the other. In the Quarter Finals we beat Old Comrades 5-1 with Craig Gillam getting a spectacular hatrick – Tommy Vine and Moeen Karim also scored. In the Semi Finals we won 3-0 v Shorne/Higham RC – Tommy Vine scored 2 and Reece Lyons got the other. In the Final at Dartford FC we beat Valley Rovers Reserves of Division 3 by the score of 2-1. Craig Gillam had put us ahead before Rovers scored an equaliser in the second half. In extra time Jack Mahoney hit a great 35 yarder that went in like an arrow – a great goal to win a great final. Back to back cup wins completed.
Tommy Vine ended up top scorer with 9 goals. Player of the Year was given to Oscar Saxton.
In the Summer, Gurus once again entered the Khalsa Football Federation (KFF) Tournaments – the KFF had finally seen sense and after 5 years reversed their rule to bring Non Asians back to the games. The team was entered mainly for the U16s to U18s with the odd Senior player added to give experience to the squad. The Management team was Narinder Gill, Bal Chatha, Sukhy Bhatti and John Gill.
We started back in the Division 2 (C Section). In the first tournament at Walsall we done very well and were just narrowly beaten in the Final by AFC Coventry Lions in a 9 goal thriller, just losing out 5-4 in the 88th minute. Goalscorers in the final Reece Lyons 2, Ryan Jarrett and Randeep Sabharwal. Along the way we beat Hounslow Wanderers 3-1 and GNG Leicester 2-1. Player of the Tournament was Kiran Dingri – son of Nimo Dingri. At Hounslow tournament we lost 1-0 in the Quarter Finals to eventual winners and local team AFC Southall. At Leicester Tournament we lost in the first game to Handsworth Town in a penalty shootout but gained our revenge in the very next Tournament at Derby when we beat Handsworth in the Final 3-2 Umair Ushraf 2 and Kiran Dingri with the goals, At Birmingham remarkably we once again made the Final but this time Handsworth beat us convincingly 4-1. But what a comeback to Tournaments – 3 Finals out of 5 – We were crowned Division 2 champions which meant securing promotion to Division 1 in our first attempt…..an outstanding achievement by the Management and Players.
So this rounded off an absolutely terrific season for the Gurus – one of the best in our history with the Saturday team getting promoted to Step 7 football and the Sunday team winning the main domestic Cup. To be playing Premiership football in the year of our 50th Anniversary shows how far the Gurus have come.
The year of our 50th Birthday – in celebration of this we had numerous events including a 3 day Akhand Path at our patron sponsors £15M+ Gurdwara, an exclusive 50th Birthday Dinner & Dance at the extraordinary venue “The Brewery” in London, a Veterans Tournament (that also featured The Sun FC) for Charity and a Vets game v Greenways FC whom were also celebrating their 50th year of formation.
The Saturday First Team was now playing in the Kent County Premier Division, at the highest level we had ever played – Step 7 Football. The same Management team were in charge for their fourth term. This season primarily our target was to gain a foot hold in the Division and not become the whipping boys. Gurus had a bad opening day to the season where we lost 3-0 to Fleetdown Utd and missed a penalty along the way, but we responded the week after with a thumping 5-1 win at home to Chipstead. It was fitting to see Tommy Vine score our first ever goal in the Premiership, as it was his goals that had mainly got us there. We then registered one loss and 2 defeats in our next 3 games. As you can imagine things were not looking good at this point, but then we went on an amazing 12 game unbeaten run in the league (15 games including the cups). Along the way Andy Stevens picked up the Manager of the Month Award in December 2014 – this was a great reflection of just how well and hard the management and players were performing in our first Premier League showing. If it wasn’t for a 5 game blip in February and March where we lost in the Kent Intermediate Challenge Shield Semi Final, and in an Inter Regional Challenge Cup Quarter Final & in 3 league games – the season could have fared so much better than it did. Even though we regained our consistency in April where we once again went unbeaten for 5 games and didn’t concede in 4 of those league games. However, it was too little too late as we finished a respectable 5th in the table. This though was a good start to our Premier Division Life.
Tommy Vine once again finished top scorer with 19 goals, Sam Cuthbert scored 13 goals and 3 players finished on 11 goals (Simon West, Arun Suman and William Johnson Cole).
Arun Suman was a regular in the Kent Representative Team all season long.
Randeep Sabharwal was awarded Managers Player of the Year and Ryan Perkin was named Players Player of the Year.
The Saturday Reserves team of Kent County Division 3 East was once again managed by Sam Young and now new Co Manager Nathan Taylor. The reserves though mainly struggled and finished 8th just above the relegation spots. On the plus side about 5 players from the Reserves became regular squad members of the First Team. The Reserves were certainly a good feeder for the First Team.
Tony Bains finished top scorer with 15 goals and Player of the Year was awarded Oliver Preston.
The Sunday First Team saw a new Management team of Jaz Cheema, Jess Gill and John Gill assisting. Surjit Atwal had stepped down due to work commitments and Kam Khunkhun went on to manage one of Guru’s Youth Teams where his 2 twins are now playing. This time the Annual curtain raiser for the season went ahead – we played in the Charity Shield as Cup holders v The Sun who won the League. The game was played at Dartford FC. We were really short for this match with so many on pre season holidays and work commitments. We called in some of the youth players and I even grabbed an Iranian player from the street on the morning of the game. The Sun were, as always, at full strength, but we managed to take a 2-0 lead through a superb team goal rounded off with a Raghbir Chauhan header and a Sam Cuthbert left footed goal. The Sun got back into the game though, like they always do! And it was 2-2 with half hour to go. Sam Cuthbert scored another left foot special with 10 minutes to go on a memorable day that gave us a 3-2 victory. Sam Cuthbert was named Man of the Match and stole all the headlines for a great performance. This was a superb team performance and the football we played was brilliant to watch……the Iranian by the way was subbed on and then subbed off 10 minutes later. This completed a win of all the 3 different league cups in 3 seasons, Senior Cup in 2013, G & Motors Cup in 2014 and Charity Shield in 2015…..can we top this off by winning the league title in 2016?….
We also had our best ever start in the league winning 6 of our first 7 league games. We were top of the table for 2 months but then lost narrowly away to Montrose. We recovered from that though to top the table again in February and March with 5 wins on the spin. But The Sun was just too strong in the end, as always, and won the League. In the last game of the season we played The Sun, we needed a point to guarantee Runners Up spot but lost 5-3 even though we were leading at the interval 2-1 with goals from William Cole and Alex Mckay. So we finished the season in a respectable 3rd position after Comrades on the final day were given 3 points for a walkover v Real Gima who did not field a team.
Sam Cuthbert finished up top scorer with 16 goals and also was named Sundays’ Player of the Year.
On Sunday 10th May Gurus Vets played against Greenways Vets to celebrate both of our clubs 50th Birthdays – organised by Jess Gill and Greenways Manager Les Harpley (ex Gurus First Team Manager). The match featuring two of Gravesend’s eldest clubs drew an enormous crowd; the match was played at Guru Nanak’s Sports Ground. The game, rather fittingly, ended in a draw.
On Wednesday May 13th a Guru’s XI representative team mainly made up of the KFF Tournament Team that played in the Summer was invited to play against ‘The Grand FC’ as part of a get ‘back into football project’ that was heavily advertised on the BBC (as part of their get inspired by sport campaign) and radio stations. The Grand FC was coached by one of our own coaches Inderjit Sanghera who worked closely with Rav Marwaha (son and nephew of Gurus Sweep and Raju) of Grand FC. The match was played at Ebbsfleet FC. Gurus managed by Narinder Gill and Bal Chattha won the match, the project was deemed a big success once again showing Guru’s willingness to work with the Community. Grand FC after this got accepted to play in a the Medway League and will be playing in Season 2015/16.
In the Summer KFF Tournaments, Gurus was now playing in Division One (Old B Section) after winning Division 2 last season. The management team of Narinder Gill, Bal Chattha, Jaz Cheema and John Gill were now joined by Coach Micky Whyman to add his vast experience and knowledge. We mainly fielded our Under 18s again (whom, by the way, had a fantastic season by winning the U18 John Leeds Cup v Bredhurst Juniors FC in a thrilling final via a penalty shootout 7-6, 2-2 AET, man of the match was awarded to Arun Suman by the League judges – another terrific day that saw us lift the cup in front of a massively supported match all the way in Sheppey).
In the first tournament at Walsall we beat Azaad Wolverhampton Reserves in the opening round (aided by a memorable and brilliant Pavan Dhillon hatrick) followed by a 8-7 penalty shootout win (Sunny Hayre the hero – scoring and saving) over Nuneaton (3-3 full time) in the Quarter Finals. We lost out to Smethwick Rangers Reserves in the Semi Final aet 3-1 (Arun Suman scorer) after being reduced to 10 men in the 70th minute when the game was 0-0. Pavan Dhillon was top scorer with 4 goals. Player of the Tournament for us was defender Ryan Mahal (son of retired player Manjit that played for us in the 1990’s) – a great signing for us by Interim Chairman at the time, Nirmal Dingri.
In the second tournament at Leicester after thrashing Singh Sabha Watford 5-1 (Sam Cuthbert and Pavan Dhillon amongst the scorers) in the opening round we then lost 2-1 to eventual winners Singh Sabha Barking in the Quarter Finals.
In the third tournament at Derby we played some really good football but were undone by a very good GNP Coventry team in the Final. It was a fantastic achievement to get Runners Up in Division 1 in our first season. In the First Round we beat Smethwick Rangers Reserves 2-1 – Ryan Jarrett scored both goals. We then thrashed AFC Lions Coventry 7-1 in the Quarter Final – Kin Beila helping himself to a hatrick – also veteran Peter Bains scored too. In the Semi Final we beat Singh Sabha Barking 2-1 with Dara Kanda and Arun Suman scoring a penalty. One of 2 players of the Tournament for us along with Moin Karim was Kam Khunkhun who returned once again – makes more comebacks than Balboa!
In the fourth KFF tournament at Birmingham we went one better and won it. Not only did we win it but we beat GNP Coventry who thrashed us in the Derby Final. We beat them 2-1 after extra time with goals from Ryan Jarrett and a penalty converted by Michael Barhane. In the first round we beat AFC Lions Coventry 6-3 including 2 goals each by Pav Dhillon and Ryan Jarrett. In the Quarter Final we drew 2-2 with Singh Brothers Derby Reserves but then went through on penalties when Sunny Hayre saved 3 pens after we missed our first 2 pens. In the Semi Final we called up the fresh legs of the aging Kam KK and Randeep Sabharwal where we beat Singh Sabha Barking 2-0 with Michael scoring both goals – he was voted player of the Tournament. Arun Suman in particular also had a great tournament – some of skills, vision and imagination with the ball was simply breath taking. This brilliant Tournament win then put us top of the League Table – promotion was almost secured.
In the final KFF tournament at Barking we were several players short and we ended the season with a bit of a whimper as we went out to Nuneaton (0-0 draw, 4-3 penalty loss). The KFF also invited us to field a reserve team as they were short of Teams in Division 2. We conjured up what we could and pulled out some vets too like Jess Biring, Ajit Sian, Balbir Beila, Jess Gill and Hardip Gill. In the Quarter Final we thrashed Singh Sabha Birmingham with a dazzling display with goals coming from Jess Biring, Ajit Sian, Kin Beila Jnr and Bertie Granger 2. In the Semi Final we took a shock lead with Jakob Karim scoring but then fell 3-2 behind at half time. Then the Birmingham based team put us to the sword in the second half, we lost 6-2 in the end.
However, the KFF season end tables confirmed us as Champions and, therefore, we were promoted. So in just 2 seasons we won back to back Championships and back to back Promotions – a great achievement. Next season we will be back in the Premier Division where we belong. When other teams heard we were back in KFF Tournaments last season – that was the expectation – and we lived up to it – never ones to disappoint ! We made a whopping 5 Finals out of a possible 10 – Winners at Derby 2014 and Birmingham 2015 along the way.
A Veterans Charity Tournament took place on Saturday August 1st, of which the main organisers were Jess Gill and Daran Poppy of The Sun FC – in aid of Cancer Research UK. The Tournament featured 4 of North Kent’s longest running Sunday Clubs :- Gurus; The Sun; Valley Rovers; Milton & Denton. The tournament itself was a success raising over £1650. Gurus had to play 4 games in all. Managed by Jess Gill we had a 20+ man squad. In our first game we were narrowly beaten by The Sun FC by the score line 1-0. As it was a 4 team round robin tournament with the top 2 in the league advancing to the final we knew we had to win the next 2 games to advance and we did just that by scoring 1-0 wins v Milton and Denton FC and Valley Rovers FC – the scorers were Tony Bains and Sarb Khraud respectively. In a rather one sided Final we went on to beat The Sun FC 3-1 with Dominic Hewitt, Sunny Manik and Chairman Nirmal Dingri scoring from the penalty spot – at one stage in The final we had John Gill and Bahadur Atwal up front with nearly a combined age of 110 years old!! Skipper Kam Khunkhun lifted the trophy aloft at a packed presentation back at The Bat & Ball.
The Saturday First Team was now playing their second season in the Kent County Premier Division. Manager Andy Stevens and Assistant Jess Gill were in charge for their 5th term. Our coaching set up was shared by Nigel Wakelin, Micky Whyman, UEFA B Coaches Robin Manuel and Michael Morgan (formerly of Lingfield Town FC).
We started the season badly with 4 straight defeats in the league – but the scores told a different story as these could have just as easily been 4 wins/draws. Our 5th game was a KICS Cup match v Borden Village – we finally started our season with a thumping 6-1 win – Tommy Vine hit a glorious hatrick that day. We then went on to pick up our first points in the league with a 3-0 win versus Hildenborough Athletic. Our form went on to improve and we even picked up the Manager of the Month Award in November 2015 – with 3 wins and clean sheets.
However, it turned out to be a season to forget – with a double win over local rivals Greenways 3-0 and 1-0 being the highlight of our season – as we nosedived in the table, no training commitment or match day turnouts meant digging into the reserves on a frequent basis. So after looking good for a top 5 finish we nosedived to end up fourth to bottom.
Tommy Vine once again finished top scorer with 14 goals, Ryan Perkin was awarded Managers Player of the Year – this after a great season – last season he picked up Players Player of the Year. Sunny Hayre was in line to pick up an award but got injured midway through the season, meaning we lost our first choice keeper – this almost definitely played a major part in our decline during the season too as there was no regular replacement.
The Saturday Reserves and Sunday Teams both had new management teams – Neal Granger (formerly U16s Manager) and Narinder Gill (formerly Under 18s Manager) were persuaded to leave the youth leagues and take their teams with them to senior football – the idea was to start bleeding in the youngsters who showed in the summer tournaments and the leagues last year that they were ready and able. Also if this idea was ignored the Sunday side was in danger of folding as the previous management team refused to go on with the last batch of players – who in essence were not taking making matches seriously enough – a new breed of players with a new hunger was required.
So the Saturday Reserves of Kent County Division 3 East were now managed by Neal Granger. Sam Young ably assisted; he was forced to take a back seat to renew his goalkeeping career.
Not a great season for the Reserves (but some of those youngsters gained invaluable experience of senior football) where they only picked up 4 wins out of 20 – this meant they finished 2nd to bottom.
Tony Bains finished top scorer with 10 goals with Pavan Dhillon weighing in with 9 goals also. Player of the Year was awarded to Dean Grice who was brilliant throughout; most improved Player went to the Goalkeeper and Assistant Sam Young.
The Sunday First Team saw a new Management team of Narinder Gill with John Gill and Bal Chatha assisting. The new younger looking team had a great start to the season brushing aside Longfield Athletic 8-2 and also thrashed Punjab United 6-3. Arun Suman and Dan Carrington were pulling the strings week to week in the midfield. 16 year old Ruben Shergill weighed in with a great hatrick against Welsh Tavern in a 3-2 win giving Gurus a top of the league spot after 4 games (3 Wins and 1 Draw, 10 points). Dan Carrington then deregistered on Sundays to concentrate on Saturday football as he got contracted by Faversham Town – a big loss. This was followed by a few disappointing defeats. A season that had promised so much petered out to a bottom 3 finish. The team even saw themselves disqualified from the G&M Motors Cup Final for playing an ineligible player in the Semi Final by mistake.
Arun Suman finished up top scorer with 11 goals and William Johnson Cole weighed in with 10 goals. William Johnson Cole was named Sundays’ Player of the Year.
Gurus all season long in the background were heavily involved in the promotion of Girls and Womens Football – mainly driven by Parm Gill and coaches Nigel Wakelin, Graham Nicholson and Inderjit Sanghera. We ran 2 successful fun day events on the day of Vaisakhi and on May Day 2nd May. FA qualified coaches were in attendance – there was great publicity for the club and the first signs of actually setting up a Women’s Team. Then in June 2016 the Womens Team entered the Castle Colts Tournament and played really well – winning the respect of other teams. A grant was awarded that helped raised funds for kits and tracksuits. An impressive 40+ women had now joined the club.
In the Summer KFF Tournaments, Gurus was now playing in the Premier Division (the old A Section) after winning back to back Divisions in the last 2 seasons. The management team of Narinder Gill, Bal Chattha, Jaz Cheema and John Gill and were in charge for their third term. We also fielded a Reserves Team in Division 2 (the old C Section). Surjit Atwal and Jaz Cheema managed them.
At Walsall The First Team after being 2-0 down performed a brilliant comeback to win 4-3 to complete a great return to the Premier Division. However, in the Quarter Finals we were beaten 5-3 v GNG Leicester. The Reserves won 7-0 in the First Round and went one round better than the First Team and made the Semi Finals where they lost to eventual winners Shere Punjab Birmingham. Player of the Tournament was 15 year old First Team goal keeper Cameron. Arun Suman and Ruben Shergill also had a good tournament.
In Barking The Reserves lost out in a penalty shootout in the Quarter Finals after a entertaining 3-3 (Sam Cuthbert scored 2) draw where we finished with 9 men. However, The young First Team (only 30+ player Dipa Jutte) had a great tournament where against all odds we beat cooksy’s GSA 5-3 in Round 1 all over again, local team East Ham Inter 3-1 in the QF and Moses’s Smethwick Rangers 5-3 in the SF. Along the way our 3 internationals (Micheal Barhane, William Johnson Cole and Chris Brown) performed brilliantly by murdering all oppositions and scoring 10 of the 13 goals between them. In the Final we was down to bare bones as we only had a 15 man squad to start with – we lost to Indian Gymkana Singh Sabha Hounslow 6-1 after it being 1-1 at half time – we just ran out of legs and did not have the depth and experience in the squad like our opposition. This put us 2nd in the KFF table – our aim was now clear – get top 4 to qualify for the all prestigious Scotland Asian Championships Tournament. Player of the Tournament for us was captain William Johnson Cole.
At Derby in the First Round we performed a great fightback again from 3-2 down where we beat Southall United with our favourite scoreline 5-3 (Arun Suman hatrick). However, in the Quarter Final we went out 4-3 in a penalty shootout to Singh Sabha Slough. It was 1-1 AET with Will Cole getting the goal. The Reserves did not have enough players to field a team on this occasion due to final exams for most of the young players.
Birmingham Tournament was one to forget as we squandered a 3-0 lead to lose 6-3 in the First Round v home team Wondervaults. The Reserves once again did not have enough to field a team.
In the final Tournament at Leicester The Reserves were back in action but lost in the First Round to Guru Ravidass Birmingham. The First Team beat Singh Sabha Barking 4-1 in Round 1, but in the Quarter Finals lost out to home team GNG Leicester 3-1.
This meant we finished 7th in the table out of 16 teams 1 point ahead of GSA in 8th. It was a good first season in the Premier where we won 6 games and lost 5 (one of them in a penalty shootout). Last season we were promoted along with Singh Sabha Barking who lost all their games in the First Round and got relegated – just showing how well we had done.
After the success of last year’s Veterans Charity Tournament raising over £1650 in the end for Cancer Research UK – this tournament had now become an Annual family day fixture – on Saturday 30th July 2016 at Old Southfield pitches the 2nd Vets Charity Tournament took place. Daran Poppy and Jess Gill as main organisers were now joined by other helpers from the other clubs – but namely from our Club Michelle Maynard, John Gill and Dara (Co managed with Jess Gill as a Club gesture) and Raghbir Chauhan (Co captained along with Kam Khunkhun as a Club gesture) helped out too as they lost members of their families to Cancer. This time we managed to raise over double last year near £3400 for Ellenor and Cancer Research UK – making the tournament a huge success.
As for the football (We had a 25 man squad including Sukhi Bhatti and Bahadur Atwal – great turn out!) just like last year we began with a defeat (in a penalty shootout 9-8 v Milton and Denton FT 0-0) meaning we had to win our next 2 games to stand any chance for qualifying for the Final. We beat The Sun 1-0 with Raghbir scoring, and then we beat Valley Rovers 1-0 with Kam Khunkhun scoring. Once again we met The Sun in the Final in a repeat of last year’s showpiece match. The match ended 0-0 meaning another dreaded shootout. We lost 5-4 in that shootout. 50+ goal keeper Micky Whyman and the defence done best as they kept 4 clean sheets. As a club we managed to raise over £1000 alone. Boota Singh and Micky Helaith made notable donations as both also lost family members to the big C.
The Saturday First Team was now playing their third season in the Kent County Premier Division. Andy Stevens and Assistant Jess Gill had now stepped down. A new management team had taken over Paul McDonagh and Assistant Coach Joe Bailey. Unfortunately we lost virtually our whole squad over the summer – but the new management were fine with this as they wanted to start fresh with new young talent – this season was going to be a learning curve where youngsters gained valuable senior level experience. Gurus struggled losing their first 8 matches and Paul soon resigned. Joe then took over and in his first match we were leading 2-1 v last season’s title holders Faversham Strike Force Seniors – only for the game to be abandoned in the 85th minute. Serg Atwal and Tony Rana helped out as Assistants in the new year. Gurus struggled all season and ended up getting relegated as they finished bottom with no points at all.
The Saturday Reserves of Kent County Division 3 Central & East were now managed by Sam Young and Carl Nevell as Neal Granger had stepped down. A bad season ended us 2nd to bottom.
The Sunday First Team was still managed by the team of Narinder Gill with John Gill and Bal Chattha assisting.
After a good start with 7 points from 3 matches the season nosedived in the League and we ended up 2nd to bottom – only Punjab Utd finished lower than us. In the Cup we fared much better but lost out in 2 close semi finals.
Even the KFF Tournaments saw us make only 1 Sunday – we finished 10th in the table overall.
So all in all a terrible domestic season – the worst in a long time.
However, we had great national exposure thanks to the GNG Ladies Football team (whom were only in their second season) where we were named the National Winner in the Best Inclusive Project Category in the 2017 FA Community Awards. Parm Gill was the main anchor in us getting this award.
Following winning the Kent and South East award earlier this year, Parm attended the McDonald’s Community Awards national ceremony at Wembley during the FA Community Shield on Sunday 6th August 2017 (Arsenal v Chelsea). She was presented the Award at a FA gala and at half time on the Wembley pitch (World Cup Winner Geoff Hurst presented the Award) in front of over £83,000 fans.
Of winning and the National Award, Parm is so delighted “It is so overwhelming for me, I am privileged my hard work has been recognised. I’m a great believer that anything can be achieved if you have the passion to drive it with positive attitude, enthusiasm and the willingness to try. ‘Think big goals and aim for success’!”
Natalie Curtis, Kent FA’s Football Development Officer said “I am so proud of Parm and Guru Nanak for winning this award. The passion and drive that Parm has shown to create this opportunity to allow girls in the local area to play football has been incredible. The ladies have just completed their first season in the South East Counties Women’s League and the club has now entered to youth girls teams in to the Kent Girls and Ladies League. This achievement has seen the ladies integrated fully into the club and the community. Parm has now completed her Level 1 in coaching football and other ladies are now doing theirs. This will only create more positive female role models in Gravesend. The FA Coach Mentor programme played a big part in getting this up and running and to see Parm rewarded for all the hours she has put in at meetings, assemblies and coaching is amazing for all those involved as well as Kent football itself.”
The Guru Nanak FC Ladies project started when they were allocated some space at Guru Nanak Sports Ground in front on the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Temple in Gravesend and found themselves training alongside the men’s and youth teams.
Parm had a vision to create teams from 5 through to ladies to allow any local girl the opportunity to fall in love with the beautiful game. She gave up her own time to attend school assemblies to talk to the girls about football and the club, she ran sessions for them to try and fought hard for all the ladies to get a female fit kit for their matches and training.
The ladies set up were also part of the recent Vaisakhi celebrations, showing how well she has done to integrate her vision fully into the club.
The ladies section is fully inclusive with players from all backgrounds and nationalities being welcomed into training and matches. Parm is the epitome of the ThisGirlCan campaign and has overcome every barrier with a positivity and passion that is second to none. She is now a member of Kent FA’s Equality Advisory Group and helps with our strategies to ensure the County FA is as inclusive as it can be.
Brilliant Achievement well done Parm Gill and the Ladies!