February 

Youth team trials announced

Former Terror Isaiah Jones  joins St Johnstone from Middlesborough on loan 

Isaiah Jones in action for Middlesborough under 23s after his switch from Tooting & Mitcham last Summer 

Photo credit - Middlesborough Football Club official website 

A transfer deadline day saw former Tooting & Mitcham's Isaiah Jones seal a loan deal at St Johnstone in the Scottish Premier league until the end of the season. Jones, who is a youth product from Tooting & Mitcham joined Middlesborough in the Summer along with Sam Folarin, and went straight into the development side. Both have impressed since joining, and Jones impressive performance has earnt him a loan deal to test himself at senior Football level. We would like to wish Isaiah the best of luck in Scotland and we no doubt he will impress quickly!

The news come a few weeks after fellow academy graduate Abraham Odoh , who joined Charlton Athletic in the Summer made his senior debut against West Brom at the Valley in the FA Cup.

Squad arrival and departures 

As some people will be aware there has been quite a lot of player movement in recent weeks so ahead of our game at Ware this afternoon, here's a quick summary of all the recent comings and goings at the Campus Society Stadium;

 

Out:
Didi Castahno (to East Grinstead Town)
Ainsley Everett (to Sittingbourne and subsequently to VCD Athletic)
Antonio Simeone (to Chertsey Town)

 

We'd like to thank all of the above players for there time and contribution at TMUFC and wish them all the very best for the future.

 

Incoming and welcome to TMUFC to:
Duncan Culley (striker from Hanworth Villa, previously Hayes & Yeading Utd)
Antone "Dougie" Douglas (Defender from Three Bridges)
Christian Gitau Eneremadu (central midfielder from Merstham)
Stefan Ilic (attacking wide midfield player returning to TMUFC after a spell at Lewes)
Dominic Odusanya (central midfielder from VCD Athletic)
Dan Williams (Striker from Chalfont St Peter)

Club to support Football v Homophobia 

Tooting & Mitcham United FC are pleased to announce they are designating their home game v Bracknell on Saturday 29th February 2020 in support of the Football v Homophobia campaign.

 

Football v Homophobia exists to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression at all levels in football. February is the Football v Homophobia Month of Action

 

Caroline McRoyall, Chair of Tooting & Mitcham United FC said ‘I have been a strong supporter of the FVH campaign since its inception and am pleased the club are able to demonstrate their support as well. It is so important that we continue to challenge all forms of discrimination and demonstrate that football is for everyone’.

 

Further details on the campaign can be found at https://www.footballvhomophobia.com/

Departure of Razzaq Degraft Coleman

The club would like to confirm that Razzaq Degraft Coleman has left the club to join Conference South side Hampton and Richmond Borough. Razzaq has progressed through the ranks at the club and has become a fan favorite at the Campus Society stadium this season with his hardwork and has habit of popping up with important goals. We wish Razz all the best at Hampton and Richmond and hope to see him back at the ground in the future! 

Despite rained off game, game supports football v homophobia campaign 

Tooting & Mitcham United FC designated their home game v Bracknell on Saturday 29th February 2020 in support of the Football v Homophobia campaign, which exists to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression at all levels in football.

 

Unfortunately the weather meant the game was postponed but as today was the last day of the Football v Homophobia Month of Action, a select group of individuals including the club’s mascot Terror the Tiger, got together to show their support for the campaign.  

 

Caroline McRoyall, Chair of Tooting & Mitcham United FC said ‘I have been a strong supporter of the FVH campaign since its inception and am pleased the club are able to demonstrate their support as well. It is so important that we continue to challenge all forms of discrimination and demonstrate that football is for everyone’.

 

Further details on the campaign can be found at https://www.footballvhomophobia.com/

Exclusive interview with Michail Antonio

Written by Alfred Davies  

Alfred Davies, a postgraduate journalism student at City University, had the rare opportunity to speak to former Tooting and Mitcham player Michail Antonio following West Ham's match against Liverpool. 

 

Two days after West Ham United came painfully close to becoming the first team to defeat Liverpool in the Premier League this season, Michail Antonio would be forgiven for focusing on the positives of what was one of the Hammers’ best performances of the season. But that wouldn’t be very Michail Antonio. The 29-year-old has instead only been able to think about a golden missed opportunity for a winner when the scores were level.

“The last two nights I’ve not been able to sleep because of that one chance. I take a good touch, I score a goal and we possibly win that game 3-2 instead of losing 3-2. Then it’s a different story, we’re out of the bottom three, everything is good.”

This is testament to a man who has never been able to rest, rising from non-league Tooting and Mitcham United to a first England call-up in just eight years. Antonio is known for his outgoing personality, his silly celebrations and his entertaining post-match interviews. But behind the infectious smile lies grit and determination, which is what has ultimately allowed the south Londoner to establish himself as an experienced Premier League footballer.

“When I first signed professionally for Reading [ed. in 2008], I had to go out half an hour earlier than the other boys. I wasn’t technically as good as other players. I never did passing drills where there are no goals, where the whole point of the game is just to keep the ball. I never did that, so I was no good. All I wanted to do was take someone on, get the ball into the box.”

 

Antonio wasn’t even playing for a Sunday league club when he was spotted, aged 12, playing football in a field near his house by a Tooting and Mitcham youth coach. He was soon invited to play in his age group, and five years later made his first-team debut.

It is perhaps this unconventional route into professional football that has led many to describe him as a ‘raw’ talent, even now, after almost five years of playing at the highest level. Not that this bothers Antonio.

 

“They class it as raw because it’s different. I’m quite boisterous, I’m muscly, I’m powerful, so that’s what I use, they’re my attributes. I don’t try to be someone else, I use those attributes because that’s what got me into the situation I’m in now. If it’s not broken, then why would I fix it?”

 

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson discovered that strength under the Anfield lights last Monday when, in the twelfth minute, the West Ham forward made enough of a nuisance of himself in the six-yard box to distract the Brazilian and allow Issa Diop to head home an equaliser.

The constantly-shifting emotions of that hard-fought game against the expected Premier League champions are an example for Antonio of one of the hardest aspects of playing professional football.

“It’s awful. In football there are so many rollercoasters. Your emotions are so high at times and so low at others. The game on Monday explains it all. It’s still affecting me today. We don’t understand how we’ve managed to lose that game. It affects you for not just one day, it affects you for two or three days afterwards. People are now starting to realise how massive the mental side of football is.”

Antonio speaks with the openness and sincerity of someone who has been around the professional game for a while. The forward turns 30 this month, and has over 120 Premier League appearances to his name. He is keen to pass on his knowledge to those around him, as was evident when the cameras in the tunnel before last Monday’s match caught him passing on words of wisdom to 19-year-old right-back Jeremy Ngakia, who was a shining light for the Hammers in just his second league appearance.

“He’s got a bright future ahead of him. He’s played two games this season. Both of them coincidentally against Liverpool! He’s played well both games. What he’s done now, he’s been amazing, he’s up there, it’s just about not letting it drop. I’m quite an opinionated person, I do like to speak to people. Especially to him now, I was like, ‘you’ve got the shirt now, keep it. Don’t get lazy, don’t get complacent. You’ve got two appearances, talk to me when you’ve got 150.’”

 

Antonio himself is not far off 150 for West Ham alone, and says he sees himself staying long-term at the club where he is very happy and has built a strong rapport with fans.

“I’ve been here for five years, I could be here for another five and get a testimonial. Obviously, with the career I’ve had coming from non-league, getting ten years in the Premier League would be amazing. Who would I want to play in a testimonial? Tooting and Mitcham!”, says Antonio, grinning. 

Alfred Davies