For the first time in their 71-year history, St Lawrence FC were crowned Champions of the Sevenoaks and District League’s Premier Division in May.
They did so by winning 11 and drawing one of the 12 league games they played during the season. When all local football had ceased due the Coronavirus, they then had to endure a tense few weeks while a decision was made to either null and void the season, or to use the Points Per Game method. Thankfully for them, sense prevailed and the league title was achieved.
The club is based in the beautiful parish of St Lawrence (Bitchet Green), amongst the orchards off the A25, where current Chairman Philip ‘Pip‘ Burrows has been involved for 47 years. Having also played, managed, and generally run the club since, there would literally be no St Lawrence FC without him.
1st Team Manager and Club Secretary, John Herbert, commented that: “It’s a great honour to win the Premier Division of this League, and this season was one of the toughest on record. Team captain, Tim Daniels, is very lucky to have a really fit, talented and focused squad, who stuck to their aim of finishing the league season unbeaten. Obviously we weren’t able to finish the programme, but we were well on the way!”.
“We started the season confidently after winning the Smiths Trophy at the end of last season, and that confidence grew after our run kept going, we are actually unbeaten in the league now since March 2019. It was a shame that we won in these unique circumstances, but the congratulations received from most of the other Premier Division sides made us feel like worthy champions” he added.
He concluded: “It’s an unusual club, that’s for sure. All of our players are proud to be ‘Saints’ and a massive shout out for all of the reserve players who played for the 1st team this season when needed, all of them putting in a talented shift!”.
As a matter of course, the St Lawrence 1st team also won the coveted League Sportsmanship Award again this season, bringing their total to three out of the last five seasons.
Since winning the title, the club have embarked on a journey throughout lockdown. The club membership, which has already seen 62 members sign up for the 2020/21 season, have been taking part in multiple lockdown challenges and meeting up via social media and web-chats.
John Herbert added: “Whilst in lockdown, our players have shown great commitment to the club, each paying the £20 membership fee, plus buying their own kit for the new season. This ensures that the club are in a great position for next season, whilst also promoting a positive attitude towards the pandemic and any changes that may come our way”.
“We have been busy working hard on social distancing measures at the club for the start of the season too. We’ve designed measures around the pitch for supporters, coaches and players plus in the changing rooms as well (no showers for the time being).”
“We’ve also been talking with the Parish Council regarding works to the Bitchet Green ground and applied for FA Charter Standard status.”
Will the cup season finish though?
The Sevenoaks & District Football League are still hoping to finalise their Cup season and St Lawrence will be first in line to hope that they do as they are in the semi-finals of the Smiths Cup once again and could go on to do the double this season.
We are sure that all our local football clubs wish them the best of luck in their endeavours and that they at least get the chance to have a go at it!