‘If the players stick with me, I will stick with them’ – newly-formed City of Portsmouth Sunday League side vow to carry on after 26-0 defeat

The City of Portsmouth Sunday League side who have conceded 133 goals in their 12 games so far this season are ‘100 per cent’ going to carry on.

By Simon Carter
Friday, 3rd December 2021, 2:21 pm
King George Rovers concede again during a 13-0 Adelaide Cup defeat at AFC Eastney Reserves. Picture: Kevin Shipp
King George Rovers concede again during a 13-0 Adelaide Cup defeat at AFC Eastney Reserves. Picture: Kevin Shipp

King George Rovers suffered a horrendous 26-0 defeat in their latest Division 6 fixture last weekend.

It was their 10th successive league defeat and left them with a goal difference of minus 100 - having scored 10 times and let in 110.

The team have also played two cup ties in 2021/22, losing 10-0 and 13-0.

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King George Rovers (black shorts) in action during their 13-0 Adelaide Cup loss to AFC Eastney Reserves. Picture: Kevin Shipp

As a result of some of those losses, assistant manager Reece Cawley admits the team have been on the receiving end of some negative comments from opposing players.

Not all their defeats have been huge - they only lost 4-2 to Pelham Arms – but King George Rovers have conceded double figures in eight of their 12 games. That statistic alone would be enough for some teams to call it a day.

But Cawley, 20, is adamant the squad have no plans to throw in the towel - a great attitude in the face of adversity.

‘If the players stick with me, I will stick with them,’ he stated.

‘We are a new team and it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time.’

The team were formed earlier this year, named after the venue - King George V in Cosham - where a group of former Trafalgar School friends used to go for a kickabout.

Due to word of mouth and social media appeals, enough extra players were attracted to form a club which was accepted into the bottom tier of the six-division City of Portsmouth Sunday League.

‘This season was all about gelling, trying to get to know each other,’ revealed Cawley, whose team have over 20 players signed on.

‘We’re a young side - the age is around 17 upwards, we’ve got a couple of players in their mid-20s.

‘I know we haven’t won yet but the lads get up every Sunday morning ready to give it a go.

‘Most of the squad were training this week, they want to keep on learning, developing

‘People have still wanted to come and join us even though we’re bottom of the table - I like that.

‘One hundred per cent we will carry on.’

Asked what reaction they have got from the teams who have beaten them easily, Cawley added: ‘A lot have just told us to keep going.

‘Some have said we should have stayed in bed, that we should fold, that sort of thing.’

Last Sunday’s 26-0 hiding against Freehouse was easily the club’s heaviest defeat of the season, beating the previous week’s 16-1 loss to AFC Prospect Farm Rangers.

King George Rovers could only muster 12 players for that game, and were not helped when Cawley had to come off feeling ill.

‘I never want to lose like that again,’ he remarked.

King George host AFC Fairfields Reserves on the 3G surface at HMS Temeraire this Sunday.