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Hampstead FC – A youth football club based in Camden

Hampstead FC was founded in 1998 with a single team. 15 years later it has over 30 teams including 9 girls’ teams and an all-abilities academy. The youngest members are just 3 years old (non-competitive) and the oldest are 18. The club is a Football Association Charter Status club and with over 400 playing members is the largest youth football club in North London. It is currently applying to become a Community Club, the highest charter standard award available. The Club has also been awarded Camden Beacon Club Status and works with Camden’s Sport and Physical Activity department providing countless football sessions for Camden’s young players. They are currently working with the Council to reprise girl’s footballing sessions to a selection of Camden’s junior schools.

The club fields teams in the Harrow League, the Hertfordshire Girls League, the Capital Girls League, the Regent’s Park League, the Watford league, the Camden and Islington Youth League and competes in a plethora of cups and tournaments.

The ethos of the club encompasses success both on and off the field of play. It is equally important that members achieve personal and social goals as well as sporting goals and some of the club’s greatest successes can be counted in these areas. On the pitch the club enjoys considerable success with many league titles at all age groups including winning the London Cup and the Harrow Youth League Cup and the Home Counties League cup for Girls- all outstanding achievements.

Alumni of the club have been taken into the academy programs at Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham, QPR, Watford and Leyton Orient to name a few. Diane Culligan, the club’s chairman, says “Whilst we will miss our leaving members we always wish them the best and trust that their time at Hampstead FC has given them grounding in more than ball control. It is gratifying to see many of them returning to cheer on their old team mates when they can.”

The club is run on a not-for-profit basis by volunteers drawn from its members.

All the coaches are either FA qualified or are encouraged to take their FA qualifications when they join the club – which will be sponsored by the club. The club also sponsors members to take their refereeing qualifications and is proud of the fact that a number of the area’s youngest referees come from Hampstead FC.

In 2009, the club formed a charity called the Camden Community Football and Sports Association (CCFSA) to acquire the former Spurs training grounds at Chase Lodge in Mill Hill as a home ground for its growing membership. Diane Culligan says “We saw the opportunity to create a first class footballing facility for the club and for the local community and joined forces with the Marathon Trust to take on this wonderful resource. We see no reason why local footballers should not have the best facilities for their development and enjoyment”

Hampstead’s successful development Academy is growing well and expanding to take in more venues in and around Camden. Alternative sessions and holiday programme will be held at the Clubs home ground in Mill Hill at Chase Lodge.

The motto of the Club is ‘non sibi sed totti’ which means ‘Not for one but for many’ Hampstead FC is a club that run by its members and for the benefit of its members. “There are plenty of people trying to make a fast buck out of kids football” says Diane, “but Hampstead is really about the kids, their development and the football” – a refreshing thought!