In a great advert for girls football, the Brent Schools' FA Under-11 Girls squad went into the summer break on a high after a deserved victory over Ruislip Rangers at Capital City Academy.
Played in scorching conditions. the game was far closer than the scoreline suggests. Sophie Kew showed why she won the 'Most Improved Player' award, driving forward from defense to start the scoring with a 25 year drive into the left hand corner of the net.
Ruislip then countered and keeper Milly-May Blue made a superb diving save to keep Brent in front. Brent extended their lead when a great move led to a penalty. Keely Dibley-Dias passed to debut girl Chloe O' Donoghue who dribbled into midfield and played a pinpoint pass to Maya Rosenberg in the box. Rosenberg beat her marker and blasted the ball goalwards only for a defender to handle. Brent skipper Giuseppina Carnavale stepped up and rifled the spot kick home. 2-0.
Carnavale increased her side's lead further with a terrific strike from the edge of the box just before the break to make it 3-0.
After the restart, Rangers enjoyed their best spell in the game passing well and only superb defending by Raya McIntosh and Matilda Easterby and Elizabeth Ulusele kept them at bay. Brent introduced Tammy Nathanial in attack and would have extended their lead further with a great volley but the superb Rangers keeper made a fantastic save.
Next, Simone Silva combined with the skilful Kathleen Santos Ferreira but despite outpacing the defence, the Brent pair were denied when the Rangers keeper pulled off another brilliant reflex save.
Although Brent were ahead, the game was in the balance as Ruislip pressed for the all-important next goal. The game was finally settled with a superb solo effort by Carnavale dribbling down the left past two defenders and curling the ball into the top corner to complete the scoring.
Brent coach Chris Ampofo observed that: "It was great to see how much the Brent team has progressed this season. They all contributed and showed real courage and composure against a good Ruislip side."
Brent: Giuseppina Carnevale (capt), Keely Dibley-Dias, Elizabeth Ulusele, Tammy Nathanial, Milly-May Blue, Simone Silva, Kathleen Santos Ferreira, Sophie Kew, Matilda Easterby, Raya McIntosh
Brent’s most famous footballer Raheem Sterling is in Russia representing England and competing for World Cup glory, while the next generation of the districts footballers attended the Brent Schools' FA awards fun day at Capital City Academy.
Since its formation in 1966, a number of famous footballers have come from the borough including Cyrille Regis, Stuart Pearce and Rachel Yankey who represented Brent at the prestigious London Youth Games tournament. More recently, young Tafari Moore has turned professional at Arsenal having won a gold medal with England and starred for Wycombe Wanderers, helping them to win promotion .
The event started with a squad photo of the teams together followed by a number of action packed games. There was plenty of skill and talent on show. Special guests were veteran Brent coach Keith Young who brought along the Olympic Torch that he carried in Brent during the London Games of 2012 and former Councillor Zaffar, who formed the Brent Super Cup earlier this year.
The district recognised the traditional honours, including prizes for 'Golden Boot' and 'Player of the Season' and also recognised other qualities including 'Most Improved Player', 'Best Contribution to the Team' and 'Best Attitude'.
Brent Chair Chris Ampofo “It was great to see so many young people having fun and playing. Brent is a really special borough and it is a great honour to play for Brent. It is important to recognise the players' efforts and also thank the volunteers and parents who support the teams. It has been a great day and with The World Cup on we are already looking forward to and planning next season”.
Information about trials to play for Brent will be announced shortly.