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Inter-schools football must increase says Brent chairman Ampofo

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 April 2020

The Princess Frederica year three and four team. Picture: Brent Schools FA

The Princess Frederica year three and four team. Picture: Brent Schools FA

Archant

Brent Schools FA chairman Chris Ampofo has called for inter-schools football to increase in the borough to give more children the chance of playing the sport.

The Princess Frederica year five and six team. Picture: Brent Schools FAThe Princess Frederica year five and six team. Picture: Brent Schools FA

Ampofo, who represented Brent as a youngster and also won the FA Youth Cup with West Ham, has been in his current role for ten years and chairs the Middlesex FA Football Committee.

The former West Ham player has spoken passionately about the need for more children to be given the chance to play football, regardless of their skill level.

“We believe that out of the approximately 75 primary schools in Brent, only approximately 20 play regular inter-schools football,” he said.

“The best way to start the activity is in schools. The schools are under immense pressure with OFSTED and funding and it seems to me that a lot of the funding and attention over the past number of years from the powers that be has been on clubs.

Chris Ampofo (left) alongside West Ham academy legend Tony Carr. Picture: Brent Schools FAChris Ampofo (left) alongside West Ham academy legend Tony Carr. Picture: Brent Schools FA

“If you don’t play football at school it’s very unlikely you’re going to play for a club. The normal thing would be you start playing a sport at school and then you join a club.

“It’s not just a gifted and talented sort of programme for elite footballers who will go on and play at a higher level.

“Yes, they will go on but the vast majority of young players and children are probably won’t. I’m very interested in those girls and boys having the opportunity to play and love football no matter their level.”

Brent have previously produced players including Raheem Sterling, Cyrille Regis and Luther Blissett as well as several other professional and semi-professional players.

Ampofo oversees Brent’s youth teams and also manages the under-13 girls side and is keen to provide a pathway for girls and boys to make it in football.

He added: “We also are very interested in building links and improving what the offering of football is.

“What we’re trying to do is have a pathway where you play for your school, you play for your district, your county and potentially for England.

“That’s one element of it but the other side is even if you’re not able to or interested in going down that pathway, we just want young people to come and enjoy football and enjoy the game, make friends and have fun and a laugh.”


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