A COGS’ Year in Review – 2018 – Another great year!


COGS with Thura Win from the FA.

2017 was a fantastic year and 2018 was going to have to be pretty special to beat it, but beat it we did!

Throughout 2018, we continued to encourage women to join us and be involved with a special group of women as well as try and spread the word, nationally, about Women’s Recreational Football.  We enjoyed some amazing times together and did some unbelievable things too.

Women’s Recreational Football continues to grow and the women who embrace playing football at a later age, also embrace what a great opportunity it is to get active, have fun and make new friends!

Here are our highlights……


11th:  The COGS were involved in filming for an FA TV advert for the FA People’s Cup which was show on 11th January on all TV channels.  What a privilege!


12th:  An invitation to St. George’s Park to be a part of the Launch of the FA People’s Cup with 16 other teams representing the groups involved.  We were involved in some FA coaching sessions and did a piece for BBC South East as well as having a tour of SGP.

Recording of BBC South East 12.01.18

13th: Visit from the FA’s Thura Win to Crawley Town Community Foundation to showcase the COGS before the day’s EFL fixture.

COGS with Thura Win from the FA during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Crawley Town and Barnet at the Checkatrade Stadium in Crawley. 13 Jan 2018

26th: Carol Bates’ visit to BBC Sport, Media City to help promote the FA People’s Cup, on behalf of the COGS.

29th:  Interview on BBC Radio 2 with Chris Evans/Vassos Alexander promoting the FA People’s Cup, on behalf of the COGS.

Radio 2 Chris Evans 29.01.18


4th:  A trip to the Bank of England to play in few friendly 7v7 games organised by ESPS Phoenix.

12th:  On the 12th February, the EFL Trust held their 10th Anniversary Celebration Event, at EFL House, in front of members of the Community Partnerships from EFL Clubs, along with Shaun Harvey (Chief Executive EFL), Mike Evans (Director of Operations EFL Trust) and John Nixon (Chairman EFLT).  The COGS were invited as one of the 10 most successful projects which had been delivered by their Community Club Organisations, in the 10 years.  A real honour!

25th:  THE FA PEOPLE’S CUP 2018 – A highlight of the COGS’ calendar, the FA People’s Cup, which is a free National 5 a-side Amateur Competition, was attended by no less than 9 COGS’ teams!  An amazing turnout where we all descended upon Isleworth Goals.  1 team got to the semi- finals, which were to be held at Wimbledon Goals.  We all left Isleworth having enjoyed the day and not thinking that any of the teams had progressed any further.  Little did we know that COGS 2 had reached the semi-finals but didn’t even realise!


10th:  Surrey FA Women’s Rec. Tournament with 3 teams entered.

23rd:  What an incredible experience 8 COGS had at Manchester’s Media City UK, for BBC One’s Sport Relief!  We had an amazing time playing in the Sport Relief’s #5Liveaside Charity 12 hour event playing against Robbie Savage’s Allstars and were featured on the BBC.  Although we lost 6-1, we were very excited to play against Robbie Savage, Harry Judd, Warren Brown, Sam Quek, Rachel Yankey and Peter Reid, among others!

24th:   FA People’s Cup – Semi-finals.   What a great surprise when COGS2 received an email saying that they had reached the semi-finals to be played at Wimbledon Goals.   It was a great day with Alex Scott and Nick Bright there to film some interviews and we also met our friends the Canterbury Old Bags who also didn’t realise they had got through either!



24th:  An invitation from the FA to join in the Parliamentary Event for “Girls’ Football Week” was received and a few COGS travelled to Westminster to join the women in the UKWPFC team to help promote Women and Girls Football.

30th: It was with great pleasure that we could announce that we were chosen as 1 of 3 Finalists in the Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger Awards in the “Inspiring Initiative – Local” category.


18th/19th/20th:  Three Festivals/Tournaments in 3 days made for a bumper weekend of football, which is always welcome!  Firstly, the Sussex FA Women’s Recreational Festival was held on Friday 18th, followed by Saturday 19th when we travelled to the FWF Herne Bay Football Tournament, followed by a trip to Whitstable beach.  Finally, on the 20th we made our first trip to Arsenal to play their walking football team, which actually ended up with everyone running!  A great weekend full of football.

24th:  The Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger Awards.  To our surprise we won this National Award after a public vote and enjoyed an inspirational evening with so many influential people from the Sports and Media Industries.


16th:  After months of planning, the day arrived for our own National Women’s (over 30s) Recreational Football Festival.  With over 200 women, playing in 23 teams, we held a participation Festival which was an amazing day followed by a party in Redz for those who stayed.  What a day!

Over 200 women playing in 23 teams enjoyed a fun day of football at the National Women’s (Over 30s) Recreational Football Festival, in June.


20th: A trip to Lancing for another Sussex FA Women’s Rec. Festival and a detour on the way home to Three Bridges’ Lidl car park, where Gareth Southgate was awarded his own personal parking space due to coming from Crawley.  Each England player, after the World Cup, was “honoured” with their own parking space in their local Lidl car park so we took the opportunity for a photo!  Good job we did it on the way home from the Festival as the next week it was gone! Always Dream Big!


4th:  The EFL Trust’s first Women’s Walking Football Tournament.  The event was held at St. George’s Park and had 6 teams (2 COGS).  The over 50s’ team reached the Final, against Birmingham City’s WWF team, and only lost on penalties.  What a great day at SGP!

26th:  A trip to Whyteleafe to play a friendly against the Palace Pumas was a very wet affair but we still enjoyed it and managed to actually get a photo before we got drenched playing!


2nd:  A day spent at the Tankerton FC tournament followed by a full team trip to the beach for fish & chips!

27th:  The first “on the road” Female Coaches’ Session was held at COGS and run by Sussex County FA.  FA Coach Mentor Pam Chandler and Clare Nichols from Sussex FA invited local female coaches to join in with the session.  Great turnout with 23 attendees and coaches!


13th & 19th:  More Festivals played with Sussex County FA and Surrey County FA both holding events for Women’s Recreational Football teams.

21st: We teamed up with Brighton & Hove Albion Women FC to showcase Women’s Rec. Football before the game against Manchester City to try and get more women involved in playing and watching the game.  6 teams enjoyed a hot afternoon playing in a participation Festival and then watching the FAWSL game, which included the likes of Lionesses, Steph Houghton, Nikita Paris and Jill Scott, for Man. City.

27th: Another tournament with Women’s Rec. teams, this time run by SheCanPlayUK in Romford.  A really enjoyable day with like-minded women and the first of the new rule with adding players for being ahead by 4 goals.  Got beaten in the semi finals!

31st:  Shortlisted as 1 of 3 Finalists in The Grand Hotel “Community Impact Award” at the Sussex Sports Awards 2018, run by Active Sussex!


4th:  A second trip to Arsenal but this time Justin ran a mini round robin which included teams from the Canterbury Old Bags, Arsenal, Wimbledon and Lewes as well as our 2 teams.   A Stadium Tour was also included, like last time for those who hadn’t been before.  A very hospitable afternoon by Community Manager Justin and his Arsenal women!

13th:  COGS become Dementia Friends!  12 COGS attended a Dementia Friendly Evening, held by Crawley Borough Council, which was organised in conjunction with a new project which is going to be delivered into local Care Homes.  This, it is hoped, will increase the activity and fun for the residents, especially those with dementia.

21st:  History was made when COGS became a Constituted Group after holding our Inaugural EGM and AGM.  A Committee was formed and the future looks good!

23rd:  Unbelievably, we only went and won The Grand Hotel “Community Impact Award” at the Sussex Sports Awards 2018.  A fantastic evening at The Grand Hotel, in Brighton with some very inspiring stories from around Sussex!  Very proud!


7th:  COGS wouldn’t be COGS unless there was some kind of party involved so the Tavern on the Green was picked for a Christmas Party!  Music, food, drink and great company will always end the year well!  Everyone who attended was given an amazing gift, hand crafted by one of our COGS, Alison McMullan, which are now gracing Christmas trees everywhere!

14th:  We were invited by Crawley Town to be involved in the new Stadium Sponsor announcement.  Community groups involved with CTFC were asked to be part of the day, along with The People’s Pension employees and we had to have a kickabout on the pitch too!

15th:  Our final tournament of the year was our annual trip to Dorking for the COPA Futsal Fever Tournament.  It’s great to play Futsal for a change and with it being near Christmas, a trip to the local pub on the way home was always going to be on the cards!

What another amazing year we’ve all had and it doesn’t look like stopping here!  It’s the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year when excitement will start building again for Women’s Football and the Lionesses and we hope that other Women’s Rec. teams will join us in France for our “Old Girls” World Cup Festival which we are running with the Canterbury Old Bags and the Mochdre Lionesses.

We wish everyone a merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2019 with Women’s Rec. Football continuing to grow!