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Club News


21 January 2014

Brentford Football Club's Category Two Academy agrees deal with Holloway club Isledon Wolves

Brentford Football Club have agreed a new partnership with Isledon Wolves FC.

The Holloway-based club this week signed an agreement to become an official partner of the Brentford FC Academy.

Under the new agreement, the best players from Isledon Wolves will be invited to join Brentford’s Category Two Football Academy.

Brentford will also provide support and training for Isledon Wolves coaches, if requested, and equipment for the teams.

A player from Isledon Wolves has signed for Brentford at Under-14 level as part of the arrangement.

Shaun O’Connor, Brentford’s Head of Youth Recruitment, conceived and set up the partnership with David Byrne, the Head Coach at Isledon Wolves, and Ricky Palmer, the Isledon Wolves secretary.

The initial contact between Brentford and Isledon Wolves was made by Justin Girdler, the Clubs’ Berkshire and Buckinghamshire scout coordinator.

Shaun said: “Isledon Wolves are a club I have known about for a little while and I am pleased we have been able set up a partnership.

“Isledon Wolves are a club that I and the recruitment team have watched a lot and they have become known as a side that has played good football and contains good players.

“But the coaches also ensure the boys enjoy their football and that is the most important thing.

“We have scouts all over London and the South East watching players that may fit in to Brentford and we like what we have seen at Isledon Wolves.

“Their player development is very good and they recruit players with natural ability that can be worked on.

“We can work with their coaches and their players and hopefully find young footballers to come in to Brentford Football Club.

“We should recognise the work of Justin Girdler, who played a major role in getting this to the table and getting it completed.

“He and other scouts like him are out representing the Club well in the football community.

“The aim is always to find First Team players and Isledon Wolves had a history of producing professionals, I hope there can be one come through at Brentford.”

The move is part of Brentford’s drive to build one of the best Football Academies in the South East.

The Club is now operating Category Two Football Academy, under the new Elite Player Performance Plan, and just last week there was an official opening for the new indoor facility at Uxbridge High School.

Brentford’s youth development system is now rated ahead of many other London clubs and being in Category Two enables Bees teams to play games against some of the biggest clubs in the country.

David Byrne said: “I spoke to Shaun and I could see his vision for Brentford.

“His ideas about producing players are the same as ours at Isledon Wolves.

“I liked the way Shaun talked about football and that convinced me to link up with Brentford.

“The agreement will enable us to give some young people in Holloway and Islington a chance in football.

“We will be able to produce players at a decent level and get kids off the street.

“This partnership gives them a chance.

“We have already produced professional players and we have only been going nine years.

“We have a lot of talented young players and there is now a path for them if they are good enough.

“Our club is developing all the time and this is the next stage for Isledon Wolves.

“We want to produce players.

“I do not believe youth football is all about winning trophies, we want to be known as a club that produces professional players.

“This arrangement will help us attract young players to our club and will then help Brentford.”

Ose Aibangee, Brentford Academy Director, added: “Finding the best players possible to come in to the Club requires a lot of work.

“Setting up partnerships with well-run clubs is a good way for us to see the range of talent available.

“Isledon Wolves is a fantastic club – there is a lot to be admired about the way they coach their players and also develop them as people.

“This partnership gives us the best possible chance to find future professional footballers from that area.

“We believe our Academy provides the best possible development both in a football and personal sense and everyone at Isledon Wolves trusts us to do the best by their children.

“We already have partnerships set up and we are starting to see results.

“We benefit by seeing more players and the clubs benefit as we provide support for them.

“I am sure the relationship will be great for all parties.”

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