News & Match Reports
Talented footballers from all corners of the borough gathered to celebrate the season at the Brent Schools’ FA’s annual awards.
The packed event was held at Capital City Academy to recognise the young stars who play for Brent and opened by the deputy head of the school, Rhoda Flindall.
Special guest, Councillor Krupesh Hirani , lead member for Public Health , Culture & Leisure congratulated the young stars tweeting “So proud of the Brent boys and girls and their footballing talent. I am honoured to join them for the awards event this evening. Some amazing work being done.”
The Association was founded in 1966 and is one of the most active in the South East of England. It has been recognised by The English Schools FA as a hub of football and now boasts eight Representative squads ranging from Under-9 to Under 15, including three girls’ teams.
In addition to the traditional awards for the ‘Golden Boot’ and ‘Player of the Season’, there were awards for some of the unsung heroes in the Brent teams such as Best Attitude, Most Improved and Best Team Contribution.
Over the years, the boys’ teams have produced a large number of professional players including Raheem Sterling, Stuart Pearce and Cyrille Regis. This season was the first time Brent Schools’ FA had players in both the English and Scottish FA Cup finals with Uche Ikpeazu playing for Hearts against Celtic and Raheem Sterling scoring a hat-trick for Manchester City against Watford.
However, the newer girls’ teams produced some of the highlights of the season. The newly-formed Under-9 girls team have produced some great results and the Under-12 girls were the most successful Brent Representative team. They were unbeaten in the Camden & Regents Park League on their way to winning the treble.
The Brent Schools’ FA squads train at Capital City Academy every Wednesday. There is a girls-only Wildcats session from 5:45pm to 6:45pm with the boys training from 6:45pm to 8:00pm.
Brent Chair Chris Ampofo commented: “It is great to see that the tradition of playing for Brent which started over 50 years ago is still going strong. It has been a great season and thanks to the commitment of the coaches and parents who work so hard volunteering to support the teams we hope to build on this success. It is great to see young players really enjoy their football”.
Photos by Stephen Toddington
The Brent Schools' FA are offering local youngsters the opportunity to represent their borough against the cream of the Capital.
Raheem Sterling was the star for Brent when they won the London Youth Games in 2009 and talented players have the opportunity to follow in his footsteps by representing Brent at the London-wide tournament.
Open trials for the Under-14 team will be held at Capital City Academy on Sat 22 June from noon until 2:00pm and also on 26 June from 6.30pm to 8:00pm. The team will be managed by Brent coach Fitzroy Benson. The tournament will take place at Crystal Palace National Sports centre on 6 July.
A school in Queens Park emerged as the borough's Under-11 girls champions at the Brent Schools' FA's World Cup-themed tournament.
The competition was organised by Brent Schools' FA to coincide with the FIFA Women's World Cup and is the second event set up by the Association to encourage more girls participation in football.
Princess Frederica won the Under-9 tournament and this second competition included older players. Islamia were impressive throughout the competition and defeated a strong Princess Frederica team in the semi-finals. In the Final, Islamia came up against Oakington Manor from Wembley. The deciding match was action-packed, end-to-end stuff with both teams trying to score the vital first goal.
The match ended 0-0 after extra time and Islamia emerged as champions by winning 3- 2 on penalties.
Brent Schools' FA Chair Chris Ampofo said: “It was great to see so many girls playing today. Congratulations to Islamia and their coach Mr Robbins. They have been superb all day and are worthy champions.”
On Saturday 15th June, the Middlesex Schools' FA U14 Girls' Representative Squad welcomed their equivalents from Essex to Rectory Park, the home of Middlesex County FA, for the South East England Schools' FA (SEESFA) Cup Final.
The visiting squad included some 12 Regional Talent Club players and had won the national Inter-County Trophy. The fixture therefore represented a significant challenge for the Middlesex side, which included no fewer than six players from Brent.
Both teams started the game by moving the ball around well but it was Essex who broke the deadlock from a corner that was bundled in. Middlesex didn’t allow their heads to drop and responded well, making the Essex goalkeeper make some great saves before Caitlin Star Boodram played a great through ball into Lena Williams who fired the ball into the net.
At the start of the second half, Essex came out of the blocks with 'all guns blazing' and scored a superb goal from outside the box to regain the lead. Once again, the setback seemed to galvanise Middlesex and a superb run from Brent players Shakira Kafero Roberts caused a panic in the Essex box, leading to a penalty for Middlesex. Lena Williams stepped up and calmly slotted home to make the score 2-2.
With the game heading towards extra time and with both sets of players becoming weary, Brent's Macey Bannerman-Lloyd slipped the ball through to Caitlin Star who slotted home to give Middlesex a 3-2 lead with just moments left in the game.
There was still time for Noelani Agyeman to make a crucial tackle to keep Essex at bay and with the referee's final whistle Middlesex became SEESFA champions for the first time since 2010. To claim the title is a truly momentous achievement considering the team was not back in existence until 8 months ago. This is now a platform for Middlesex girls to now kick on and try and better this season's effort.
Middlesex Manager Adem Ali commented: “We knew coming into the game we were up against a fantastic squad. Taking on the National Champions was all the motivation the girls needed and they all put in superb performances.”
After the game Middlesex Schools' FA Vice-Chair and Brent Schools' FA Chair Chris Ampofo said “We would like to thank our colleagues at the Middlesex County FA for hosting the Final at Rectory Park, with special thanks to MCFA President John Davies for coming today and presenting the trophy. It was a fantastic game and both teams should be very proud of their performances. This is a wonderful way to end the season and a great reward first and foremost for the players and their coaches but also for the many teachers, volunteers and match officials in Middlesex who give their time to support schools' football. It is great to have a platform for the talented girls in the county and wonderful to see so many Brent girls playing at a good standard.”