Two goals from Darren McQueen denied Panjab FA a famous victory over England C in a historic football match on May 28, 2017.
Darren McQueen struck twice as England C defeated a spirited Panjab side 2-1 at Damson Park, Solihull, on May 28, 2017.
The landmark event marks the first time that a south Asian national team has faced an England representative side.
Panjab began the game brightly, much to the delight of the nearly 1500 watching supporters. Players in blue and yellow were showcasing every bit of their determination and self-belief to everyone in attendance.
England C struggled to keep any meaningful possession when faced with Panjab’s perfectly timed sliding challenges and high pressing. Gurjit Singh fired an effort just over, before coming just as close several minutes later.
After Rajpal Virk released Gurjit down the left, he saw an initial effort blocked, but the ball fell kindly for the Panjab, and Rushall Olympics, striker. He then cut inside with a clever shimmy and curled a shot over the crossbar.
With Panjab arguably on top at this point, England C looked to have won a penalty. The Chester FC striker, James Alabi, went round Ash Malhotra in the Panjab goal before going down. But the referee was unmoved and, instead, booked Alabi for simulation.
Panjab’s rhythm, though, was disrupted in the 27th minute. Their influential captain, Amarvir Sandhu, went down after a late challenge, and worryingly stayed down as the referee waved play on.
The Darlington defender, David Ferguson, broke down the left before crossing deep to Alabi who headed back across goal only for an unmarked Darren McQueen to head straight at Malhotra.
Sandhu’s injury meant he could take no further part in the historic game. Panjab manager, Reuben Hazell, sent on Camen Singh Bhandal to replace their skipper.
Just minutes later it got worse for Panjab as McQueen made no mistake in converting his chance this time. Alabi’s weighted through ball allowed McQueen to race clear of the Panjab defence.
The Ebbsfleet United forward then delicately chipped the ball over the onrushing Panjab goalkeeper with just enough pace to take it over the line before Jhai Dhillon could get to it.
Ten minutes after the half-time break, Raj Virk was brought down by Ryan Croasdale in a dangerous central position 25 yards out. Gurjit Singh’s free kick was parried away by the England goalkeeper, James Montgomery, only for it to fall back to Virk who lashed it into the net via the post.
After a fantastic run by McQueen, who was a constant menace to the Panjab defence, his low cross looked destined to be turned in by Alabi. But his control let him down and allowed Panjab to scramble away.
England C didn’t have to wait much longer to regain the lead as McQueen put the Non-League Three Lions back ahead in the 62nd minute. Ferguson’s low driven cross was met by the England striker and the ball ended up in the corner after taking a deflection off Dhillon.
Panjab pushed forward for the remainder of the game in an effort to equalise for a second time. But they struggled to fashion any clear opportunities against a side who were now content with sitting back and playing on the counter.
In the final minutes, England C captain, Keaton Wood, did brilliantly to head Gurjit Singh’s cross off the line. And moments later, substitute, Joe Ironside, fired into the side netting from a tight angle after a quick counter-attack.
Both teams received warm applause from a satisfied crowd as they went down the tunnel after the full-time whistle. After all, today was always about more than just the football or the result.
Panjab FA have shown that they, and Asian footballers as a whole, can compete at a high competitive level, and this match could well be the start of a new footballing era.
Panjab play England C in what will be a unique and historic game. Panjab vs England C game will kick off less than 48 hours from now.
Do not miss out. Book and print your free tickets for the game: Panjab vs England C
Please remember to book and print your tickets before arriving.
Event management service provider Events Asia, team up with Panjab FA in the upcoming landmark fixture between Panjab vs England C.
On agreeing this deal, chairman Harpreet Singh is looking forward to working with Steve of Events Asia. He said ” I had initial discussions with Steve of Events Asia, it went so well, we did not need to sit and go through it again. He showed great enthusiasm and I am delighted that an excellent events management company will now join us for current and future developments. They provide a vast array of services for different industries and I look forward to a prosperous relationship together.”
Events Asia Managing Director Steve had the following to say ” I am very excited to be part of this expedition as the event partner. This is a great opportunity for our company to be supporting in such a special game, this is our passion and we want to provide complete satisfaction and demonstrate our standards and service.”
For more information on the services of Events Asia, please click here. http://www.eventsasia.co.uk/
Sikh Channel secure the rights for the LIVE and exclusive coverage of the historic football fixture between Panjab vs England C, in what will be a landmark moment in football history.
Sikh Channel will become the first Asian channel globally to take LIVE coverage for the first South Asian national football team to play an England representative team.
On agreeing this deal, founder and chairman Harpreet Singh expressed his delight of this development, he said ” This is a landmark moment game, for a landmark TV channel. Sikh Channel have been the first to take on many community initiative in recent years and once again, they expressed great enthusiasm to take LIVE coverage of the fixture between Panjab and England C.”
Singh further said, ” Sikh Channel have a very big global following through the TV, website TV, social media and social media LIVE. The viewers of the channel are predominantly of Panjabi background worldwide and this is befitting to showcase the first Panjab national football team representing 125 million global Panjabi community giving consideration of football entertainment to the viewers. I am very sure that in the build up to the game, the community, football fans and passionate Panjabi patriots will be in support to cheer on Panjab, I urge all who to Panjab to connect with us.”
Panjab take on England C on the 28th May 2017 at Solihull Moors FC, The Automated Technology Group Stadium, Damson Parkway, B91 2PP.
FREE TICKETS:Panjab vs England C – register for your free tickets
To celebrate the landmark game vs England C, Singh refunds all tickets to fans, for an admission free game for all.
In an interview with the Panjab FA media team, Founder and Chairman Harpreet Singh, explains his reasoning for the decision.
” To make it an admission free game was something that was on my mind from the moment the game was agreed with The FA back in January. Ofcourse with all costs associated with hosting the game, you have to look at various aspects and what works best.
However, I am so delighted with the game taking place, It is more important to me that all people from different backgrounds, the young, the elderly, people who may never have watched a football match previously, to come to the game and enjoy this unique fixture, the first of its kind.
Why not, I had a feeling in my heart that I wanted to make this an event that is not charged on the people. I have great devotion for creating opportunities, participation, inclusion and diversity. I want this to be the start of a prosperous relationship between Panjab FA, The FA and most importantly the people, after all, it is about the people.
I am a proud Panjabi patriot and this will be another milestone for Panjab FA as we continue to build credibility in the game and for British Asian footballers, especially for the next phase, with plans in place for a player participation in the thousands very soon.”
Book your place for Panjab vs England C. All fans must produce printed tickets by registering on the link below.
In a landmark game between Panjab FA and England C, we can now share details of the final squad to face England C.
Ash Malhotra (Stourbridge FC)
Raajan Gill (Free Agent)
Kuran Athwal (Albion Rovers FC U20s – Scottish League 1)
Toch Singh (Tilbury FC)
Jhai Dhillon (Redditch United)
Arjun Purewal (Consett AFC)
Aaron Singh Basi (Albion Sports FC)
Glenvir Hayer (Clevedon Town FC)
Rajpal Virk (Marbella United – Spain)
Aaron Minhas (Beaconsfield Sycob FC)
Omar Riaz (Windsor FC)
Amarvir Singh Sandhu (Free Agent)
Camen Singh Bhandal (Fisher FC)
Gurjit Singh (Rushall Olympics FC)
Amar Purewal (TBC)
Due to the progress, developments and for the next evolution of the Panjab FA, we have opportunities for 48 – 64 Film/ Video Editors across the UK to join Panjab FA media division in a voluntary/work experience capacity for the period of 6 months, in the following areas:
- Gravesend & Kent
- Bradford & Huddersfield
- Luton & Bedford
Key responsibilities and skills:
- A keen eye for detail and a critical mind
- Creativity and a passionate interest in film and video editing;
- Patience and concentration;
- The ability to listen to others and to work well as part of a team;
- A high level of self-motivation, commitment and dedication;
- Organisational and time management skills;
- The ability to work under pressure and to deadlines;
- Communication skills, both written and oral.
- Film and edit live football events, film and edit interviews to produce finished football videos that are consistent in style and branding of the task.
- Editing projects (e.g. internal videos, highlights/ promos, social media videos & documentaries)
- Categorise and storage of all material on shared storage. Dropbox.
- Same day editing and uploading to websites & social media.
- Coordination and managing video projects as needed.
- Essential – a good foundation in video production from video recording, editing to football standards and uploading to website and social media.
- Identify new avenues in football social media content and assist in Panjab FA recorded and live social media sharing.
- Drivers’ licence would be an advantage, but not essential as you will most often work in your local region.
Qualifications and experience:
- Suitably qualified to a good standard
- Experience is desirable, but not essential.
- Creative and technical skills necessary to edit long and short-form football related video projects
- Excellent writing and editorial skills
- Experienced in all aspects of the post-production process
- Technologically adept – able and willing to learn new software
- A punctual, self starter and problem solver
- Able to work on multiple projects and manage time efficiently
- Flexibility with the ability to work to deadlines
- Must be willing to travel abroad for filming if needed at our expense
- Awareness of safety in handling of equipment in a filming environment
- Creative with regard to multiple design elements
- Energetic and an innovative thinker
- Excellent communicator and well organised
- A team player
- The ability to communicate in Panjabi, Hindi or Urdu would be advantageous, but not essential
- Sundays between 4pm and 8pm for setup and production of football coverage and additional time for editing and uploading.
What we will do for you
- Provide the platform for football filmng enthusiasts. We want you to join us and work in a fun and exciting football environment.
- We will provide the canvass for all sports production, driven individuals seeking the opportunity to demonstrate there skills. We will create site profiles and promote the work you produce.
- We will provide the support system for you to help you progress in your future pathway and career.
If you keen to join us and/ or have any questions, please contact us at info@PanjabFA.com. Please send a cover letter explaining why you want this opportunity, together with your up-to date CV.
We are delighted to confirm that Panjab FA will go head-to-head with England’s C team – made up of the Vanarama National League’s best English players – in a landmark friendly at, The Automated Technology Group Stadium, Solihull Moors FC. Panjab vs England C tickets here
Due to technical reasons, the game between Panjab and England C has been moved to The Automated Technology Group Stadium, Solihull Moors FC, the date and time remains the same.
With the change of venue, founder and chairman Harpreet Singh had the following to say, ” We apologies for the inconvenience caused to fans who have bought tickets prior to the venue change. There were technical issues which left us with little option to move this pivotal game. We thank all involved for their patience and understanding.”
Following months of ongoing talks and meetings at St. George’s Park, we were gladly informed officially in mid-February. And, echoing our chairman Harpreet Singh’s words, it’s not just a historic landmark in football history, it’s also about celebrating inclusion and diversity and player opportunity for Asian football in Britain as a whole.
Here’s Singh’s statement in full:
“After several months of discussions, the moment has come to celebrate a grand fixture for Panjab against England C. From the very first day, the objective of Panjab FA was to provide the canvas for the talents of the Panjabi community, and British Asian footballers to progress through the football pyramid. It’s also a proud moment for me, as a Panjabi, to promote the culture, heritage and identity.
“I want to take this opportunity to reach out to the whole Panjabi and the wider Asian community; the media and public figures to come together and celebrate this new evolution in football – and our love for Panjab, it’s history, and the Panjabi identity.”
Laurence Jones, The FA’s Head of Leagues and Clubs said, “Enabling talented players from every diverse community to play in a match like this just one of the ways we hope to make football truly a game for all. Working with Solihull Moors FC and Panjab FA we hope this is a well competed game, a family friendly spectacle and something fans will remember for a long time.”
England C, managed by former Stevenage Borough and Barnet man Paul Fairclough, go into the game most recently having beaten Estonia’s u23 team. They face the runners-up of the 2016 CONIFA World Cup on May 28 in a 3pm kick-off at Solihull Moors FC, Automated Technology Group Stadium.
Panjab national team manager Reuben Hazell, played over 300 league games and captained Oldham Athletic FC expressed his delight upon confirmation of the game. Hazell said, “ Great game to be involved in as a player or a coach, Good test for the boys and should be a momentous occasion for the Panjab team, considering it’s still less than 3 years old and where all this started from.”
Written by Keiran Samra
Photos credited and courtesy of Daldeep Kaur
A statement from Founder Harpreet Singh, “Keiran, Daldeep are very talented and such talents in the community need opportunities and the freedom to express and display their skill-sets. Since having first contact with both, I can say they have been a credit and are an asset to any organisation. A very big thank you to Barjinder for your support and work during the tour. Panjab FA will continue the process of bringing more and more talented individuals and groups into Panjab FA to help meet the objectives of both Panjab FA, the executives and all stakeholders of this growing Football Association”
Saturday April 22nd, 2017
11:00 – Twenty six representatives of Panjab FA arrived at Liverpool John Lennon Airport on April 22, 2017, in high spirits ahead of their international friendly with Jersey.
13:00 – With everyone accounted for, and each of the 15-man squad in matching Panjab FA tracksuits, the team boarded the plane.
13:35 – After a slight delay, due to a leak in the bathroom, the jet carrying the squad eventually took off.
14:30 – Panjab FA land on the island of Jersey, and are welcomed by none other than a caged triceratops dinosaur.
15:30 – The team arrive at Hotel Ambassadeur after being transferred from the airport via private coach. They are welcomed with lunch ready and waiting for them.
16:30 – Reuben Hazell, and his coaching staff (Amar Ali, Darren Wright, Manraj Singh Sucha, and Balvinder Singh Shekhon) led the team out for an open training session. They began with a warm-up jog around the lush grounds before doing their stretches.
16:45 – Association Chairman and founder, Harpreet Singh, and the soon to be appointed Head of the National Team Game UK, Vinay Jalota, watched on as their talented players went through various drills with the coaches on a beautiful, clear day.
17:00 – Rajpal Virk showed real quality with his set-pieces as the coaches went through corner routines with the team. The midfielder delivered a number of pinpoint crosses for his teammates to attack.
17:30 – At the end of training, the players returned to the hotel to relax. Some enjoyed watching the thrilling FA Cup Semi-Final between Chelsea and Tottenham in the hotel lobby, while others went across the road to the beach.
19:00 – The team gathered together again in the evening to enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant. Players indulged in chicken, fish, vegetables, potatoes and rice before being treated to ice cream and fruit.
20:30 – Players enjoyed the rest of the evening to unwind in their own ways while the coaching staff met up to analyse video footage of the previous meeting between Panjab and Jersey. The islanders won that 2016 match 2-0, but Panjab players and staff alike were determined to make sure there was no repeat of that result.
Sunday April 23rd, 2017
09:00 – Once again, the hotel staff prepared a lovely meal for the team. A variety of options were available, but most opted for the traditional English breakfast with juice and a hot drink.
10:00 – Promptly after finishing breakfast, the players and coaches went for a short walk along the beachfront. After a more light-hearted mood yesterday, the atmosphere was now much more serious as everyone got their head into the upcoming game.
10:45 – Before checking out of the hotel, the Panjab FA squad met in the lobby so the coaches could talk through key video footage from the previous match vs Jersey.
11:15 – With kick-off looming, the team arrived at Springfield Stadium, St Helier, where they sat in the grandstand to watch the finale of a pulsating U-16 game.
12:15 – After changing into their kits and training tops, Panjab carried out a light pre-match training on the potentially tricky 3G pitch.
13:00 – Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes due to the youth game before it overrunning. But at 1pm Jersey vs Panjab began, with the latter, in all blue, kicking from left to right.
13:15 – It’s a bright opening by the Jersey team. They keep hold of the ball well, and win a series of free-kicks in the Panjab half, although they come to nothing. A snapshot by an unbalanced Kieran Lester goes harmlessly over.
13:18 – GOAL! Amar Purewal fires a low left footed shot across the keeper and into the bottom right hand corner. Purewal showing that he’s deadly with both feet. Jersey 0-1 Panjab.
13:26 – Panjab FA controlling proceedings now. Virk’s effort from 25 yards is straight at the Jersey keeper who had to do much more to somehow tip over Aran Basi’s goal bound header from a Virk free kick.
13:30 – GOAL! Panjab skipper, Amarvir Sandhu, attempts to drill a cross from the left hand side. But he gets across it a little too much, and the ball arrows into the top right corner of the Jersey goal. The keeper was helpless as he watched it swerve into his net. Jersey 0-2 Panjab.
13:45 – Half-Time. Jersey 0-2 Panjab. Panjab neatly control possession and comfortably see out the half.
14:00 – Ash Malhotra, Glenvir Hayer, and Sukhraj Nijjar come out for the second half in place of Raajan Gill, Aran Basi, and Nathan Minhas respectively.
14:14 – Jersey substitute, Jack Boyle, struck a 25 yard free kick just over before later being booked for a cynical tackle from behind. Kuran Athwal comes on for Harj Samra who is on the receiving end of a couple of hefty challenges from the Jersey players.
14:15 – POST! After Panjab concede a cheap free kick, Craig Russell rose highest with a towering goal bound header. But it’s a fantastic save from Malhotra who tipped it on to the post before Panjab cleared it away.
14:20 – CLOSE! Amar Purewal expertly beats the Jersey offside trap and races towards the onrushing goalkeeper. His attempted dinked finish, though, was read by the Jersey man who didn’t go to ground as expected.
14:25 – DISALLOWED! Despite Jersey’s second half change to a 4-2-3-1 formation, Panjab’s central midfielders continued to find pockets of space. Virk’s floated cross was flicked on by Purewal towards the arriving Aaron Minhas and Amarvir Sandhu. Minhas took it down brilliantly on his chest before firing into the net, but the linesman raised his flag for offside. It was a very close call.
14:35 – Tempers began to flare up after a series of poor challenges. Cavaghn Miley was shown a yellow card, while Boyle could easily have been booked for a second time if the referee had seen his late lunge on Panjab’s young defender, Glen Hayer. Between all the stoppages, Kieran Lester volleyed wide from a flick on by Jersey number 9, Craig Russell.
14:45 – Full Time. Jersey 0-2 Panjab. The referee blows the final whistle and it’s the opposite result of the last time the two sides met, where Jersey won 2-0 in Kidderminster. For Panjab, it was a confident and controlled display ahead of their upcoming game with England C on May 28, 2017.
15:30 – Jersey officials kindly hosted both parties for a post-match meal and drink, and after words from the President of the Jersey FA, Phil Austin, there is a real possibility of another match between these two sides.
17:00 – The Panjab team are back in the Jersey airport in a positive mood and waiting to board their flight.
18:00 – Their return flight takes off and team say goodbye to the island of Jersey.
19:00 – After a tiring, but enjoyable weekend, Panjab land back in Liverpool, England, and after a short speech by manager, Reuben Hazell, the team made their journeys home.
Press Release: Jersey FA v Panjab FA
E. Van Der Vleit – GK R. Gill – GK
C. Andrews – CB Arjun Purewal – CB
S. Andre – CB A. Basi – CB
C. Weir – LB A. Sandhu – LB
R. McBey – RB T. Singh – RB
C. Miley – CM R. Riaz – CM
M. WEIR – CM A. Minhas – CM
J. Queree – CDM H. Samra – RM
M. Thompson – CAM R. Virk – LM
C. Russell – ST N. Minhas – ST
K. Lester – ST Amar Purewal – ST
Jersey FA Substitutes: Panjab FA Substitutes:
K. Hinds A. Malhotra
J. Scott K. Athwal
J. Kilshaw G. Hayer
J. Boyle S. Nijjar
The Jersey FA is delighted to announce the friendly fixture between, Jersey FA Men and Panjab FA. The match will take place at Springfield Stadium, Jersey Island at 12:45pm on April the 23rd. This is the second time the two Associations have met, following last year’s initial friendly.
Jersey FA Vice President Iain Mackenzie said; “This is a fantastic fixture for our senior men, and exactly the type of competitive match that we have been seeking as part of our fixture programme leading up to the Muratti and 2017 NatWest Island Games.”
Mackenzie added; “We have been working hard over the last three months or more with the Panjab F.A to try and ensure that this match goes ahead and I am delighted that we can now finally announce it. The Panjab F.A is a very progressive Association with real drive and focus and we look forward to building on our relationship with them.”
Jersey FA Senior Manager Martin Cassidy said; “We’re looking forward to this return match against a very good team. When we played them last season they had some talented and exciting players. It was arguably our toughest game last season. Hopefully our footballing public will come out in their numbers to see an excellent match and create a Muratti style atmosphere.”
Panjab FA Chairmen & Director of Football Harpreet Singh was delighted to announce the fixture and said; “Having played and met the team and management of Jersey FA previously, I was so pleased with the kindness and respect demonstrated between us. A long and lasting impression was made on which I can say that the people of Jersey are great.”
Harpreet added; “Football or any sport, is not just a game, or a competition, but the opportunity to learn more about each other and different cultures, whilst promoting the sporting talents of each community. Its moments like these that bring people together for the betterment of society, to build a prosperous future together for generations to come. It’s all about respect.”
For Further comment: Jersey FA Vice President Iain Mackenzie 077797718246