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Barking & Dagenham enjoy football and netball success at London Youth Games

PUBLISHED: 13:09 07 July 2011

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Footballers continue good season with bronze medal at the Games

The Daggers might have been relegated last season, but there is hope on the horizon after Barking & Dagenham claimed football bronze at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games last weekend.

The team, who have already tasted success in the Essex Leagues and Cup this season, came through a long day at Crystal Palace to reach the semi-finals before going down to eventual runners-up Camden.

But joint captains Anthony Cooke and Jack Hodgson were delighted with the performance of their troops on finals weekend, which saw all 33 London boroughs go head-to-head across 18 sports.

“We were really pleased with how the day went,” said Cooke, who also plays for Billericay Town. “It was tough with seven matches, especially with how hot it was.

“Some of the games were played in the dome, which was even hotter, so it was a real test of our stamina. We were unlucky to go out in the semis to Camden in a very tight match, but it was still a great performance.”

And the performances of the Barking & Dagenham youngsters did not go unnoticed with TV football star, Andy Ansah, hugely impressed with the talent on show.

The former Southend and Brighton midfielder was in Crystal Palace coaching his home borough Lewisham who went on to win the competition, beating Camden in the final.

“It’s a tremendous competition,” said Ansah, who is best known for his role on hit TV series Wayne Rooney’s Street Striker.

“It brings together everyone around London, people get to meet each other and it’s just the integration of London youth. It’s a positive day to have everyone here.

“We’ve got some fantastic young talent. Every year we produce some great apprentice talent and the continuation was clear to see.”

Meanwhile, Barking & Dagenham also impressed in the netball competition winning silver at the National Sports Centre while finishing fifth overall in the boys’ athletics.

Those results meant Barking & Dagenham were able to improve their position in the overall standings by one place compared with a year ago.

They finished 21st overall with the Jubilee Trophy, awarded to the top borough, going to Richmond for the first time in the competition’s history.

Balfour Beatty is committed to helping raise the aspirations, motivation and attainment levels of young people in the communities in which it operates and has committed over £2million to help develop the London Youth Games until 2013.


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