Andy Hessenthaler backs Kent FA's campaign to cut out bad behaviour

Wednesday 05th February 2014
FORMER Dover Athletic and Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler has called for the end of bad behaviour from footballers.

The Kent FA Youth Council invite people to tune into ITV Meridian news tomorrow evening at 6pm for the premier of their latest campaign video.

Titled ‘SWEARING – Let’s Tackle It’ is the final product of months of work by the Kent FA Youth Council.

Supported by members of Kent FA staff, the Youth Council collaborated with Fixers UK, a charity which supports young people across the UK to take action and change things for the better, to orchestrate a campaign tackling foul and abusive language in the game.

From initial concept development to the execution of filming a promotional video, the Kent FA Youth Council has directed the campaign to help eliminate and raise awareness of the negative impact of bad language in football.

The campaign video will be exclusively launched on ITV Meridian News.

After its television screening, the Kent FA Youth Council’s video will be circulated to Kent clubs and Leagues in the hope to gain further momentum and support from the local football community.

The Kent FA Youth Council will be working closely with three Leagues in particular – the Kent Youth League, Kent Girls and Ladies League and the Kent County League to encourage their involvement with the Kent FA Youth Council’s work.

The campaign will be driven by Kent FA Youth Councillors throughout the rest of the season, leading to a co-ordinated series of events promoting the campaign at selected Kent FA County Cup finals. 

Kent FA Youth Councillors have already received great feedback to their campaign from Hessenthaler who also features in tomorrow’s broadcast.

Hessenthaler, 48, who is now one of many coaches at Soccer Elite FA, which is run by former Kent-based footballers Lee Spiller and Tony Browne, said Premier League footballers should set a better example to youngsters.

He said: “If you can see players, who are supposed to be role models for the youngsters, behave like that it could drive people and certainly parents, away from the game, which won’t help the next generation of footballers.”

Kent FA football development officer, Lee Suter, congratulated the Kent FA Youth Council for their hard work on this campaign.

He said: “Our pioneering Youth Council has excelled once again.  From the point of identifying an issue they wanted fixed in the game to directing a brilliant campaign video; they’ve represented the county brilliantly.

“Working with Fixers UK has enabled some of our youngest members to have their voices heard which is the whole reason we have a Youth Council here at the Kent FA.

“They have created an engaging concept with an important message and it is testament to them that the campaign video will premier on primetime television.”

Meanwhile, the ugly side of football reared its ugly head in two separate incidents at the end of two games last night.

VCD Athletic captain, central defender Ben Payne, was branded “an idiot” by his manager Tony Russell following a tackle and bad reaction towards Thurrock substitute Callum Ibe, which sparked an eighteen-man melee at the end of Vickers’ 2-0 home win over their opponents.

Payne and Ibe were both red-carded by Maidstone based referee Ian Fissenden, who was watched in the stand by his coach Ian Crouch, a fellow Football League assistant referee.

Two goals from Michael Power ensured the Crayford based side remain at the top of the Ryman League Division One North table.

Russell said: “It’s poor! I’ve just said to Payno, it’s shocking! Yes, it’s a bad tackle but it’s the last minute of the game, you’re 2-0 up, why are you reacting like that? I don’t know!

“He’s an idiot because now he’s going to be banned for four games. He’s our captain, it’s a critical stage of the season. It’s poor!

“I said to him, it’s not good enough! He’s let himself down. He had that when he was early in his career when he kept on getting sent off and when he came to me he’s been good as gold.

“I don’t know what’s the matter with him. It ain’t good enough! He’s let himself down but he’s let everyone down because he’s a good player for us.”

Beckenham Town have said they are considering pulling out of the Macron Southern Counties East Football League Cup after ugly scenes inside injury time at the end of their game against Cray Valley at Badgers Sports Ground in Eltham.

Cray Valley were winning the Quarter-Final First Leg 3-1 as the game was heading towards the conclusion, before it all kicked-off.

The Millers’ official twitter feed captured the shocking incident.

“Chaotic scenes at the end as an altercation develops between players and benches after a foul and before it calms down, the ref blows time!”

It continued: “The official verdict is that the match was abandoned after 90+4 minutes in the interests of safety!

“Jake Britnell (Beckenham) cautioned after the finish for the foul which instigated the fracas while Laurent Hamici (Cray Valley) is given a red card for retaliation!

“To re-cap. Match abandoned with 30 seconds of play remaining with the score 3-1 to The Millers following altercation after a foul.”

Beckenham Town, meanwhile, issued a statement on their club website this morning.

“It is not our intention at this stage to make any public comment regarding the incidents that occurred last night.

“We as a club need to have time to consider what, in our view, is the best way forward in the interests of Beckenham Town Football Club.

“It may well be that our intention to scratch from the competition will be embraced in such considerations.”

Seven weeks ago, Becks club secretary Peter Palmer issued an official statement on their club website.

He said: “We have not been happy in the Kent League for a considerable time now and the general feeling is that the club would benefit from a change of environment.

“It would be nice if the change could be achieved by way of promotion to the Ryman League, however that’s not going to happen at present and the alternative is a switch to the Combined Counties League.

“Geographically it makes sense.  We almost straddle the Kent/Surrey border and we already compete (by invitation) in the Surrey Senior Cup.”

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