BSFA Coach talks about his career

Growing up in Harlesden, Dean Sylvester was rated as one of the best players in Brent, if not London. 

Aged 12, Chelsea paid Luton Town £18,000 in a tribunal to sign him. A short spell at QPR followed but he never hit the bright lights of the Premier League.

His former Brent coach, Peter Moring, told the Brent & Kilburn Times that Sylvester had more talent than Liverpool and England star Raheem Sterling.

It’s a compliment Sylvester, who is now working as a learning mentor/PE coach at Leopold Primary School, wishes he’d heard when he was younger.

He said: “If somebody had told how good I was when I was younger, and made me believe it, then maybe my whole thought process would have been different.

“I used to love playing football because I enjoyed it. My parents enjoyed me playing the game – it kept me out of trouble.

“My first match was for my old primary school, John Keble. I was in year 5 and I played for the year 6 team and did well.

“I remember my first Brent training session with Peter. He said to me, ‘you can’t play football but if you keep listening, you will be able to one day – just keep coming to training’. After one season I got a trial at Luton and they took me on.

Read more: BSFA Coach talks about his career

BSFA launches Girls' District Team

For the first time in its history, Brent will have a district team for girls.

After hosting the England girls Under-15 trials at Capital City Academy in Willesden, there was renewed interest and enquiries from female footballers in the borough. With sponsorship from Cargiant, starting a girls’ team became a priority for Brent Schools FA chairman Chris Ampofo.

Brent are recognised as one of the most active associations in the country and the English Schools' FA recommended applying for a Premier League grant to form a girls’ team. The application was successful and the Premier League have pledged to give Brent £1,000 towards the costs of starting a team. The lion’s share must be spent on team kit delivered by Nike.

Having championed girls’ football in Brent for many years, Minesh Randeria has agreed to manage the team. Randeria will be assisted by two coaches who supported the England trials in Brent last year, Anna Boughey and Lisa Hayhoe – the head coach of the Under-15 team at the Middlesex FA Centre of Excellence. Arsenal Ladies star and former Brent schoolgirl Rachel Yankey has also offered her support.

The team has been entered into the inaugural Under-11 girls London League. The side will be made up of year five and year six players in the borough, taking on Camden, South London and Woking in the group stages. The final will be held at West Ham United’s training ground in June. 

Capital City Academy gets tough

Capital City Academy, a school which is a hub of football in Brent, hosted the first in a series of lectures designed to give athletes at the school and within the borough of Brent the winning edge.

 

The subject was ‘mental toughness’. Delivered by respected performance coach Ben Marks, the lecture included advice on being resilient and motivated referencing strategies used by Cristiano Ronaldo and  Usain Bolt as role models included key messages like “control the controllable”.

 

The lecture was well attended by a variety of competitors from different sports including table tennis, football , dance and athletics, having been organised by Football Development Officer Michael Amoah after he observed  Mr Marks deliver a session at the Leyton Orient football academy.

 

Fiona Dempsey, the school’s Director of Sport said: “We are looking at ways of educating and inspiring the athletes to perform at a high level consistently. The mental approach is very important in modern sport and we are interested in strategies that will help our students succeed”.

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