Brent-based Hyde Development League launches first education conference

Over 70 young people were in attendance at the Hilton hotel in Wembley on Monday for the Hyde Develo

Over 70 young people were in attendance at the Hilton hotel in Wembley on Monday for the Hyde Development League's first education conference - Credit: Archant

The Hyde League presented their first Aim Higher Education Conference in partnership with the Jason Roberts Foundation, Comic Relief, Hyde Housing and SoccerLution at the Hilton Hotel in Wembley on Monday afternoon.

The Hyde League’s development football league - aimed at bridging the gap between grassroots and academy football - is already well underway, having launched at the Pavilion’s Stonebridge base last month.

And now the first educational element of this exciting initiative has now taken place, with more than 70 young people from all corners of London in attendance at the conference.

The young people, aged 12-21, received an inspirational talk from Eugene Dwaah, Director of Soccerlution and Talent Identification Officer for Cambridge United FC, who highlighted how important education is for aspiring footballers.

Dwaah told the Times: “We had a number of young people from all the different stakeholders and clubs in the league turn up.

“All of them are ambitious and want to be professional footballers, but we live in the real world and know a lot of the boys won’t make it, so we want to make sure they start thinking about career paths inside and outside the game.

“What we wanted to do was really win their hearts and minds by getting them to think about the league as something more than just football in the park. I think they started to realise that this is very different and something they can get lots of opportunities from.”

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During the afternoon the young people were split into different groups and were asked to come up with a mission statement for the league.

Guest speaker Simon Maurer, CEO of AtTheMatch, facilitated a workshop about teamwork and by the end of the hour-long workshop some of the young people, who were shy at first, came out to speak and had to articulate themselves to the wider public and their peers.

Hamza Miezou, 19, plays for the Jason Roberts Foundation’s team that competes in the League, and said on the event: “I came today because I wanted to learn about the education opportunities outside of playing and how I can progress in my life if my dreams of a footballer are not realised.

“You always need a plan B in life, my parents always used to tell me that you cannot rely on your plan B, for example if a professional footballer breaks his leg, he needs a plan Band that is what today was about.

“I am privileged to be a vice captain for the JRF and I’m also thoroughly enjoying the aspect of education and sport in this league.”

Together with competing in the league, players from most of the teams attended, including; Nigel James Academy, Strive Sports, QPR in The Community Trust, Soccerlution, Cambridge United and the Jason Roberts Foundation.

To find out more information on the Hyde Development League – where education and sport meet - go to