Community focused club for the win
By Julian Savitch-Lee
It’s exciting stuff at present at Haringey Borough FC. Last month, top scorer Ralston Gabriel clinched a goal in the dying moments of the game against Burgess Hill Town, with a hat-trick of penalties, scoring a 4-4 draw. The team had led 2-0 at halftime and were 2-4 down in the match, before the last minute goal. A week later Ralston moved to a semi-professional club, two divisions higher.
The winner in the game against Brightlingsea Regent FC came after an excellent substitution from boss Tom Loizou, to bring on Ricky Sappleton and Coby Rowe. It almost backfired when the visitors had a shot on an open goal, moments before Sappleton found the winner in injury time to bring about a 2-1 victory.
The team is a tight-knit, successful unit that won promotion last year from the Bostik Isthmian League One North, and they keep on winning. They recently went 14 unbeaten moving from 17th to an unexpected 1st, in the Isthmian Premier League. This run, directly followed an FA Cup 1st round tie, which they lost in the final minutes to League One professionals AFC Wimbledon last November. The game was televised live on BBC 2 and drew lots of attention to the team.
The community focused, non-league club, which its fans declare in a popular stadium chant, to be ‘just a bus-stop in Tottenham’ is now growing at a rapid pace. The increasing support for ‘the Boro’ can be put down to the free season tickets for adults and children, a family friendly atmosphere and that swearing is banned from the vocal chants.
The diversity of Haringey can be seen on Saturday afternoon and Monday night games at Coles Park, White Hart Lane, with our various heritages and backgrounds reflected both in the stands and on the pitch.
Despite the free season tickets cutting the playing budget, club manager, Tom Loizou is working full time, to a ten-year plan that is designed to grow the club and its ground. A car boot sale each Sunday helps to bring in revenue, as does a newly created clubhouse/bar. The club’s 3G artificial pitch is also used in partnership by Barnet and Southgate College and Tottenham Hotspur, in addition to private hire.
Speaking to TCP, Haringey Borough FC manager, Tom Loizou said: “The business plan had to come first, it’s a success story, ten years in the making. When I came here we had two supporters, one died the following year and the other one [died] three years later.
“We have created a safe space for friends and families to enjoy watching a game. We are here to support our community. Offering free season tickets is a big statement and we hope to offer it again next year, even if we do go up [in the league].”
Haringey Borough FC currently sits second place in the league with ten games remaining. Should the team continue to be successful, the borough of Haringey will be known for having more than one football team.