England trials to be held in Brent for the first time

PUBLISHED: 13:01 08 October 2014 | UPDATED: 13:01 08 October 2014

England star Raheem Sterling grew up in Neasden

England star Raheem Sterling grew up in Neasden

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Trials for two England teams will be held in the borough for the first time since Brent Schools FA was founded in 1966.

Former Brent star Rachel Yankey has won 129 England capsFormer Brent star Rachel Yankey has won 129 England caps

The event, organised by Brent Schools FA in partnership with Capital City Academy in Willesden and the English Schools FA, will be held over two days. This Sunday the England girls’ Under-15 trials will take place at Capital City, followed by the boys’ Under-18 trials on Sunday November 2.

The event was initiated when BSFA chairman Chris Ampofo met with Capital City Academy’s director of sport Fiona Dempsey.

Ampofo said: “Fiona has a vision that Capital City will be a hub of sport in Brent. The school leadership team have been very supportive of district and county football.

“In addition to boys’ football, the school has an elite table tennis programme, basketball, a world-class fencer as well as a very active girls’ football programme.

Arsenal youngster Tafari Moore grew up in Kilburn and won the UEFA U17 Championships with England in the summerArsenal youngster Tafari Moore grew up in Kilburn and won the UEFA U17 Championships with England in the summer

“Playing for Brent and Middlesex can be a pathway for gifted and talented players to progress to a higher level.

“We wanted talented local players to have easy access to the trials. Hopefully this will help them to realise their potential and a few will progress to the national squad.”

The trials are a true collaboration between the major stakeholders, delivering quality football in Brent.

Ampofo, a UEFA B licensed coach who has professional experience with West Ham, will represent Brent along with A licensed coach George Lappas.

Completing the line-up of local coaches is Anna Boughey, who teaches at St James’ School in Barnet, and Vanessa Aikens, who coached with Rachel Yankey and now works alongside Paul Lawrence at Copland in Wembley – the school England star

Raheem Sterling attended.

Yankey, who plays for the Arsenal Ladies’ team and grew up in Wembley, will be at the girls’ trial this weekend.

England Under-15 girls manager Sarah Steadman will be helping the selection process and Lisa Hayhoe from the prestigious Middlesex FA girls’ Centre of Excellence will also be in attendance.

Making up the support team will be Minesh Randeria from Byron Court School, a long-time supporter of inter- schools and girls’ football in Brent.

Valerie Weaver will referee the trial and Stuart Botham from the ESFA will lead the event.

Ampofo added: “We have a great line-up and are very excited at the prospect of local players having the chance to play for England.

“Raheem Sterling is now a key player for the England first team, Tafari Moore –who is on the books at Arsenal – played in the England Under-17 Euro-winning team and Jordan Brown at West Ham has also represented England.

“Current Brent Under-11 coach Dean Sylvester has several caps playing for England schoolboys, including one against Scotland where he scored in the 3-1 victory.

“We are very fortunate; we have a great team of coaches. Wembley National Stadium Trust and schools in Brent are very supportive – especially Capital City.”

Players who would like further information about representing Brent or attending the trials should contact their PE teachers.

Information regarding Middlesex Schools FA can be seen at

To support Brent Schools FA, or for details of the Brent teams’ training schedules, contact The district has teams from Under-11 to Under-15.

Follow me on Twitter @RobBrennan82

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