London Tigers Semi Pro Team is a window of opprtunity for inner city footballers...
History of London Tigers FC
London Tigers began life as a small local football club in 1986, under the name Marylebone FC. This was run by a handful of dedicated volunteers with a passion for football, who organised training at North Westminster Upper School (now known as Westminster Academy). The training sessions engaged young people from deprived inner city areas from across Westminster to enter into all types of sporting activities and to realise their dreams and aspirations around sports in general.
Marylebone FC competed in local, regional and national small-sided competitions and became a renowned and dominant force within the Asian sports scene.
By the mid 90’s the membership and activities of the club became so diverse, there was a clear a need to set up formal structures and processes to ensure the legacy of the work within a quality assurance framework. London Tigers was therefore formed to cater for the health and sporting needs for people living in the North Westminster area. Two youth teams were set up who participated in the Lillie Road 5-a-side league. As the club grew and the young players became older, London Tigers joined mainstream leagues.
In 2002 London Tigers FC joined the Middlesex County Premier League. During this time we won the Alex Smith Premier Divisions Cup 2006 and were one of the dominant teams in the league. We played an exciting brand of football that focused on the ethos of players enjoying playing football expressing themselves.
In 2006, having achieved success in the Middlesex County League, London Tigers joined the Spartan South Midlands League, providing opportunities to inner city young players to play football at a more challenging semi-professional level. Along with the challenge of a new league came the amalgamation of London Tigers with Kingsbury Town FC and a new management team of Eddie Cardoso to take London Tigers forward as a united Kingsbury London Tigers FC.
Valdas Dambrauskas managed seasons 2007 – 2010, which also marked the beginning of our youth development strategy and progression within the club. Valdas and Eddie combined forces to achieve the greatest period of success in London Tigers history, seeing the team playing some superb football, finishing 5th in 2009 and narrowly missing out on promotion. Under their stewardship, London Tigers FC also created history in 2008 by becoming the first club in Westminster for over 100 years to play in the FA Cup and win their first qualifying match.
After Valdas progressed to a professional club, FK Ekranas, Giorgi Minashvili took over as manager for season 2010 – 2012 with the additional task of developing London Tigers’ under 18 players so that there was a conveyor belt of players being readied to play in the senior team. This was a period of consolidation as the structure of the team developed. 2011 was a defining year for London Tigers as we moved to our own home ground in Greenford, setting up as an independent club away from Kingsbury, forming a Football Committee and a formal constitution under the brand of London Tigers FC.
Armand Kavaja came on board for seasons 2010 – 2016 with new players to replace the ones that left, with many leaving to take up professional contracts abroad or their own homelands. The team settled into their new home ground which required considerable renovation over this period.
In 2015/16, Tigers succeeded in progressing beyond the 2nd qualifying round of the FA Vase Cup.
Season 2016/17 started off with a new management team through a joint venture that saw London Tigers work with external partners for the first time. This proved to be a difficult process and saw significant shifts in structure and playing styles that impacted on the performance levels on the pitch. We stabilised the structure of the team in 2017/18 with a substantially new cohort of players and a new management team.
Season 2018/19 begins with the structure cemented from a position of consolidation from last season with an established cohort of players and continuation of the management team, led by ex-Kosovo national team player, Naim Berisha. This season looks set to be an exciting year for London Tigers as we aim to progress from our upward curve from last season.
London Tigers FC Accolades
1986 – 2000
2001 – 2005
2006 – 2010
2011 – 2018
We have close ties with professional football clubs both in the UK and abroad, ensuring that players are able to work their way through the ranks from under-8 to semiprofessional level.
We have also achieved the FA Charter Standard. Our football teams compete in competitions up and down the country and we are very proud of their achievements. The success of London Tigers’ football teams is due in part to the talent and dedication of the players, but also to the highly skilled and qualified coaches, managers and other back-office staff, many of whom are volunteers.
Our beneficiaries go on to excel in their fields; ex-London Tigers player, Marco Tagbajumi, hit the headlines in 2015 playing in the Champions League for his club Ermis against Tottenham Hotspurs.