Phoenix-like, Birkbeck Orient fire up for glory

Hackney Marshes Lon July 2012

By Ben Archibald

THIS IS a new section for Loving Dalston: sport. The site has accepted a request from Birkbeck Orient FC to join it in bringing you a view of life at the home of grassroots football.

Playing in the Hackney and Leyton Sunday Football League on Hackney Marshes, Birky, now our favourite Sunday football team, will be giving an insight to the ups and downs of amateur football.

Founded by a group of passionate Leyton Orient fans in 2005, BOFC started life in the Independent Sunday League. After five seasons of mixed fortunes and a 13-1 defeat, the decision was taken that the club needed to change.

In 2010 Birkbeck Orient joined the H and L SF League, formed a new committee and won their first game 12-0.

Things were looking up. But after inconsistent performances they fell just short of promotion. Yet it was their most successful season.

They were even awarded the Fair Play Award for both their division and the entire league.

BOFC’s commitment to playing football the right way started promisingly in 2011-12 and halfway through the season they were topping the league. Towards the end of the season the promotion charge unfortunately lost its legs (word-play is a part of sport-writing) and Birky finished a disappointing fifth — and then got legless (that’s what you call sustaining a metaphor).

The club has an ambitious five-year plan, focusing on not only the development of the team but also on how to provide support to the local community. With plans for a second men’s team, a women’s team and youth teams, the future of the club both on and off the pitch is bright.

BOFC start their new season officially on Sunday 23 September 2012 on Hackney Marshes, above, and on Loving Dalston you’ll be able to read the latest match reports, team news and how there’s more than meets the eye to the running of a Sunday football team.

Will Birky find more sponsorship? Will they ever win a cup game? (Seven seasons and counting.) Will there be action in the summer transfer window? Will the summer continue? Find out first here.

* The writer is chairman of Birkbeck Orient Football Club. You can join the BOFC revolution on Twitter @BirkbeckOrient. The photograph shows a match at Hackney Marshes. Similarly stunning photographs of BOFC action will appear eventually.

* Birkbeck Orient will play their pre-season games at Ashton’s Playing Fields, Woodford IG8 8AA. Kick-off 10.30am: 19 Aug 2012: Hilford FC (to be confirmed); 26 Aug: Leiston Orient; 3 Sep: Leyton Orientear (TBC). On 27 Aug BOFC will play Old Parkonians FC in a five-a-side tournament at Old Parkonians, Barkingside.

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