GFSN Get Together – Please vote!

There are two choices for the GFSN get together – please have a read of the two proposals below and vote by emailing secretary@cardiffdragonsfc.co.uk before Friday 8th November.

GFSN Summer Get-together proposal Leeds

We are proposing to host the 2014 GFSN summer get-together and 25th birthday party in Leeds and below is what we can offer. The weekend would be hosted by Leeds GFSN members and has the full backing of Yorkshire Terriers, who are prepared to cancel the annual tournament for one year if Leeds was chosen to host this event.

Tournament on Saturday – 5 a side

Saturday Evening
Exclusive use of a venue to watch the Champions League final.

Sunday
Use of Leeds University pitches to host the home nation’s 11-a-side tournament.

Social Events
We would arrange free entry to the gay night clubs in Leeds and have special drinks promotions on.

Accommodation
Leeds has a vast range of hotels, ranging from Ibis Budget at £35 for a triple room to Hilton Double Tree at the top end. We are in a good position to negotiate deals with these hotels.

Travel
With Leeds being in the centre of the country it is an easy destination to get to by car and public transport for teams and GFSN members.

GFSN Summer Get-together proposal London

We are proposing to host the 2014 GFSN summer get-together and 25th birthday party in London and below is what we can offer. The weekend would be hosted by London GFSN members and there would be something on offer to suit everyone’s taste.

Tournament on Saturday

there would also be a bar onsite offering food and drink throughout the day
Saturday Evening
Venue to watch the Champions League final.

Sunday
Use of University of Westminster Chiswick to host the home nation’s 11-a-side tournament.

Social Events
We would arrange entry to selected night clubs in London and have a host venue to start the night with

Accommodation
London has more hotels than you can shake a stick at, no matter your budget or taste there’s something for everyone from Hostels to 5 star luxury.

Travel
With London being the capital transport links are easy, with tube Travel, trains, coaches and even flights available at affordable rates.

European Capital of Sport ‘Unity Cup’ Cardiff 2014

Our lovely Unity Cup logo

Our lovely Unity Cup logo

As you’re probably aware by now, Cardiff Dragons FC will be hosting a European LGBT football tournament in June next year to celebrate Cardiff being awarded the status of European Capital of Sport for 2014. After some careful deliberation by the Committee, we decided that this would be a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of the club and to show our local and regional partners, such as Sport Wales and the FAW that we’re more than just a football club.

The opportunity to run such an event was presented to us by Paul Miller who is an ex-Board member of the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA) and IGLFA referee, who is Cardiff born and bred but now lives in Sweden. Paul recognised that there would be a gap in the LGBT football tournament calendar next year as although the Gay Games presents a fantastic LGBT football competition, the travel distance and expense to Cleveland, USA would be too much for some European teams.

That’s where we come in. Guided by the Committee and with additional help from several Dragons members, Paul Miller and some other project partners, we intend to host a fantastic LGBT football tournament. Here’s a run down of what we are planning / doing:

Dates of event: Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th June 2014.

Competition venue: Pontcanna playing fields – Sport Cardiff have agreed to provide all of the pitches for free. Football takes place on the Friday and Saturday, all day.

Competition format: Men’s 11-a-side, Men’s 6-a-side, Women’s 6-a-side, Men’s 6-a-side Masters.

Team accommodation: The Maldron and The Angel hotels – arranged through the Accommodation Bureau.

Marketing: The Unity Cup logo was designed by our very own Dragon, Matt Jones – a website is also on its way which Matt is designing. We also have a Twitter account @ecs2014cardiff.

Competition catering: We are in discussions with the Pedal Power cafe at the Cardiff Caravan Park to provide food for teams to purchase during the event.

Match officials: Referees will be IGLFA accredited and we are in discussions with the FAW to provide female match officials for the women’s competition.

Social events: Thursday night will be the draw for the tournament competition and Saturday night will be the main tournament party – venues to be decided.

Budget: We have a draft budget set for the event which we aim to cover with tournament entry fees, commercial sponsorship and grant applications.

European teams: We are working with Paul Miller, Lou Englefield (Pride Sports) and Klaus Heusslein (European Gay & Lesbian Sports Federation) to drum up interest among European men’s and women’s teams.

GFSN teams: The event is open to GFSN teams and we already have great interest from our fellow teams in the leagues.

Dragons teams: Obviously we’d love to have a team in every competition so plan ahead and book the time off work / study!

More information will be circulated as things begin to take shape. In the meantime, book the time off work and help us to promote the event with any European contacts you may have in football and follow us on Facebook (ecs2014cardiff) or Twitter (@ecs2014cardiff).

 

Newcastle Panthers FC 2 – 2 Cardiff Dragons FC (GFSN National League)

Newcastle Panthers 2 Cardiff Dragons 2 – Scorers: Liam (5th minute), Chris G (83rd minute)

Match report by David Amos
To quote Ali it was Geordie Shore but the Dragons did Roar!!!! The commitment put into this weekend by everyone that went to Newcastle is why the Cardiff Dragons is the biggest and best family ever. All of Ali’s and Amy’s hard work in booking the hotel and getting us transport, then driving us to and from Newcastle was absolutely fantastic. We also had members who worked right up to 5am Saturday morning who then got on the minibus without any sleep to commit to the weekend. To our Bristol members, some of who made the journey up on Friday, and other coming over the night before and everybody who came up to Newcastle thank you.

I think everyone was impressed by Ant’s very new Lime Green Sunderland boots – they were definitely worth a mention!!

Onto the match report itself. The Dragons lined up as follows:
Ryan, Aris, Christian, Adam, Chris G (Capt), Muzz, Ant, John A, Michael W, Liam, Andy.
Subs: James, Amy, Kevin.

Newcastle started very strong by putting pressure on the Cardiff defence from the first kick but the Dragons held strong. On 5 minutes the Dragons roared with a break away by Liam who out-paced the Newcastle defence with his speed and skill and slotted the ball home from about 12 yards. 1-0 Dragons.
Unfortunately the lead did not last long the Dragons gave a free kick away 20 yards out. It was a well worked free kick to the back post which caught the Dragons out and the score was 1-1. At this stage the Dragons were looking a bit shaky. There was a period where neither side really controlled the game and the Dragons conceded another free kick on 26 minutes which unfortunately had the same result the ball going to back post and the Panthers scoring 2-1 Newcastle.

On the 28th minute, Muzz who was playing in midfield today picked up the ball and took a shot which just went over the bar. Liam was the next one to have a shot that was well saved. There was no doubt there was going to be more goals in this game. From the back, Ryan was very strong in goal controlling his area,  and was starting to be commanding in what he did. Both full backs, Aris and Christian were defending well and aiding with great effect both Michael and John A who were really working their socks off. Both Chris G and Adam were also working well together at the centre of defence. Muzz and Ant were winning a lot of ball in midfield and getting both Liam and Andy a lot of ball who were both working tirelessly up front. On 35 minutes Ryan pulled off a very important save to keep the score at 2-1. The half ended with Liam’s quick thinking at corner almost catching the Panthers out.
Half Time 2-1 the Panthers.

The second half started with the Dragons looking the better of the two sides. On 55 minutes Andy was flattened in the penalty area but no penalty was awarded. On 62 minutes the Dragons were very grateful when a Newcastle shot came down off the cross bar on the goal line but both Ryan and Adam defended well to make sure the Dragons never conceded. Unfortunately Adam got injured and had to be replaced by James who did excellent up front right to the end, with Andy going back to partner the excellent Chris G in defence. The Dragons were starting to put pressure on the Panthers defence and a great run by Michael resulted in a well taken corner which almost resulted in the equaliser.

On 83 minutes the Dragons won a free kick 23 yards out. Liam’s free kick was played into the 6 yard box – the Panthers failed to clear it and Chris G shot from 4 yards out which took us to 2-2 and that was nothing more than the Dragons deserved. On 85 minutes the Dragons could have won the game as a fabulous pin-point ball from John A found Liam who made a great run into box but his shot just went wide of the  post. There was time for Ryan to make one more great stop when the Panthers were clean through.
Final score 2-2

MOM – Chris G – led by example, Captain Marvel today and scored a goal.
A huge thank you to Tomos for running the line – he started off as a learner but ended up a professional. Also a massive thank you to Amy and Ali on the side line and to Kevin for coming to Newcastle and supporting the team all day. The referee also did well today. Thank you to the Panthers for there hospitality after the game and for yet another excellent night out we all had in Newcastle I can’t thank everybody enough for making it so enjoyable for me.

Channel 4 Survival Documentary

Surely we’ve got a few Dragons who might be up for this!?

Do you ever secretly wonder what would happen if you were stranded on a desert island?

Have you got what it takes to build your own shelter and catch your own dinner?

Stripped of 21st century comforts, do you think you could survive?

In a new Channel 4 documentary series exploring the ‘science of survival’, Bear Grylls undertakes the ultimate survival experiment.

We are looking for fit and able men of all ages (18+) each with their unique skillset, to be cast away on a tropical island to see how they fare.

We are looking for men from all walks of life to participate. No experience of adventure or survival pursuits is necessary.

To apply, please email: island@shine.tv for an application form.

Closing date for applications: Sunday 3rd November 2013 at midnight

For any queries regarding the application, please call us on: 0207 483 6690

Taff Trail – Dragons conquer the challenge

Taff Trail

A team of Dragons took on the Taff Trail Challenge on Saturday 19th October to raise sponsorship money for Cardiff Dragons FC. The Taff Trail stretches from Brecon to Cardiff for 55 miles through some stunning countryside. The trip was set to take around 6-7hours in the saddle with a few ups and downs thrown in for good measure.

Ten Dragons were due to meet at Pontypridd railway station at 9am on the morning of the ride to pick up our transport to Brecon in ‘Buddy’s Minibus’ while the bikes got transported up in our support vehicle (Amy’s mum driving the campervan). Unfortunately, due to a technical malfunction with his bike, Muzz was unable to join the ride. I think the words were “my axle’s just fallen off”. Not a good start unless you want to uni-cycle all the way. As the team of intrepid challengers waited for Jay to arrive, we had a look at the trail map and wondered if it really was downhill all the way from Brecon as the urban myth suggested. Jay arrived having already cycled the 5 miles from home to Ponty station. Yes, the man is a machine.

Off we go in Buddy’s super-speedy-hi-octane-minibus up to Brecon. Everyone was in really good spirits if not a little nervous about the trip ahead. We arrived at Theatr Brycheiniog opposite the canal basin, the starting point of the ride. The bikes arrived shortly after and everyone got busy checking their bikes over and preparing for the trip ahead. It all got a bit quiet. Time for a quick picture then off we gooooooo! Then we stopped. 3 metres into the ride there was a quick brake adjustment on Chris G’s bike. Then off we goooooo again!

The trail eased us in gently with a nice cruise along the canal which eased onto some quiet country lanes, taking us out 8 miles from Brecon to the start of Talybont Reservoir. It became apparent quite early on that Luke’s legs were doing three times as many revolutions on his pedals than everyone else. Yep, his bike was poorly and refused to change gear to a more comfortable cruising speed. Like a little hamster on a wheel, Luke was having to go like the clappers to stay with the group. Amy kindly volunteered to take over on Luke’s bike to give him a rest but after a couple of miles the Lukicycle got the better of her. There was only one thing for it…..Jay. If anyone can cycle a bike that doesn’t really change gear for another 50 miles then Jay’s your man (I think the intention was to just ride it as far as Merthyr then see if it could be sorted – but this didn’t actually happen).

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Talybont Reservoir

At Talybont there was time to appreciate the surroundings with a quick photo stop and to establish that the traffic free route round the side of the reservoir was closed for maintenance. We didn’t really mind as the rumour was that the route was a very long but gradual climb on a surface which was sure to give us a few punctures. Off we went on the diversion and took an undulating country road to the end of the reservoir. The only thing we could see in the distance was a mountain and we all started to ask “how do we get around that then?”. The question was soon answered when we rounded a corner and saw a signpost which said we were about to face a 20% gradient. Some of the Dragons (you can probably guess which) decided that it was ride-able  / run-able and went off at pace, meeting the mountain head on. The rest of us watched in awe as we took our bikes for a long walk up the very steep hill. We stopped to applaud two cyclists who were pumping their way up the hill on their bikes like something out of the Tour de France. We mentioned that we’d done this hill twice already today so were having a rest…don’t think they believed us.

Hill of Doom

Hill of Doom

“This is the hardest bit of the whole ride” – true, it was, but I think a few of us were thinking “what the hell am I doing???”. We all made it to the top and were grateful to get over the peak and take the awesome traffic free forest trail down the other side and on towards Merthyr. Point to note – when you see a sign that says “Welcome to Merthyr” you’re not actually in Merthyr, you’re still about 4 miles away. Cue the torrential rain as we ploughed ahead, willing the sights and sounds of Merthyr to come into view just around the next corner, or the next corner, or the next one?!? At last! The golden arches of McDonalds came into view, offering us welcome respite from the horrendous weather but at the same time, sending us into a restaurant packed to the rafters with children and shoppers and a man who proposed to his girlfriend whilst looking lovingly into each other’s eyes over a big mac. I kid you not. It all goes down at Merthyr Maccy D’s. Perplexed by the impromptu proposal but full up on our hot drinks and food, we set off once again, this time in the sunshine and breaking cloud and eased into the next 30 miles. By now it’s fair to say that we were a little saddle sore but we were all determined to get the job done and finish the ride.

Almost at Merthyr

Almost at Merthyr

With the worst bit of the ride out of the way, and Dave A still wearing the coveted yellow jersey, the group ploughed on with the thought of some more hot food awaiting us at the Golden Cross, kindly arranged by Laurence Hurrell. The next goal was to get to Pontypridd via Abercynon, mainly on a great traffic free trail. The teamwork of the group was fantastic, with everyone supporting each other when it was needed. Whether it was a motivational chat, some water or a well-needed pit stop, the group seemed to be in tune with each other’s needs and all stuck together. It was a long way, and it was a tough ride. Pontypridd seemed to signify almost reaching the end, although the city lights of Cardiff were still another 16 miles away. At this point, someone (me) decided to take a wrong turn and lose the group completely. How can you lose a pack of 8 cyclists? Erm, by not paying attention and by cycling in the opposite direction.

Tired legs, achy bums, low energy and a 3-mile straight stretch to Nantgarw lay ahead. Crossing the Caerphilly Road was another notch on the mental mileage calculator….not far to go now, surely. The only thing was, we were running out of light. We reached Radyr and the night was creeping up on us fast. By the time we reached Hailey Park we were struggling to see and were desperate to reach Talybont so that we could join the lit path to take us into the city. It was a strange feeling when we reached the city. We navigated our way down the Hayes, weaving in and out of the shoppers and drinkers going about their business, none the wiser that we’ve just cycled 55 long miles to get here. After a quick photo by a passer-by who held the camera phone upside down and back to front at first…we finally made it to the pub and quietly celebrated our achievement with a rewarding drink and some hot food. Thanks to Tomos who made it along to check on our welfare, congratulate us and donate to the fundraising.

Well done to the ‘Taff 9’: Ali, Amy, Jay, Simon, Chris G, Dave A, Luke, Darrin and John B

We hope to raise over £600 in sponsorship for the club

If you’re inspired to donate then please use the link below. Thank you in advance for your kind support!