Rebuilding pays off as Regent’s FC target Islington league title
- Credit: Archant
Never mind Manchester City – another team far closer to home also have their sights firmly set on the possibility of a quadruple this season.
Regent’s FC – formerly known as Regent’s Park Estate – look a good bet to land their first Islington Midweek League title and are also in the latter stages of three cup competitions.
Having finished as runners-up to Islington Admiral in 2012, Regent’s slipped down to fourth last season and embarked on a rebuilding process which seems set to pay immediate dividends.
The team have looked virtually unstoppable in the Premier Division this year – a 2-2 draw against bogey team Camden Lions is the only blot on their record of nine wins from 10 games and they currently lead Admiral by a point with two matches in hand.
“We encouraged some new players to come in and we’ve got a nice ethos in the side,” said manager Des Casey, who helped to set up the club back in 2007 along with assistant Paul Badman.
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“There’s a really good buzz around the dressing room – there’s a desire to win, fire in their bellies and a lot of camaraderie on and off the pitch. The players can’t wait for the next game at the moment.
“I think it’s always going to be like that when you’re part of a winning team. At times we’ve been behind, but the players won’t give up – they’ve shown their maturity to see games out.
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“We’re in a good position for some silverware and the one we want most of all is the league title. People might forget who won cups, but everyone remembers the league champions.”
Originally made up entirely of youngsters from Camden’s Regent’s Park Estate, the team now features players drawn from across north and east London and even beyond.
One of the recent arrivals, Alfie Rogers, has made a significant impact with 11 goals in four games, while Karim and Naim Essiaghi have both made “huge” contributions in midfield.
The versatile Jason Perdicou, another mainstay of the team this season, scored in their 5-0 win over Unity FC in last week’s Gazette Cup quarter-final, with Rogers netting a hat-trick and Ricky Loucas also on target.
Regent’s – who were beaten finalists in last year’s Gazette Cup, as well as the Premier League Cup – will be aiming to reach their second semi-final on Thursday night, when they take on Division One opponents Tornados in the Ken Doherty Memorial Cup.
Off the field, the club have also benefitted from a deal with Kentish Town-based KCJ Builders, who are sponsoring their home and away kit for this season and the next.
“I’d like to thank Peter Lambrou of KCJ for his continued support of the club, now and for the foreseeable future,” added Casey.
“Hopefully he’ll have something to celebrate with us at the end of the season.”
Regent’s are still to play Admiral in the league, as well as third-placed Cricklewood Wanderers, the only other side who could conceivably deny them the championship.