Independent FA Chairman Greg Dyke officially openings Academy's Indoor Sports Facility at Uxbridge High School.
The new indoor sports facility at Uxbridge High School that will be used by Brentford Football Club’s Academy and students at the school was officially opened last night.
Brentford FC and Uxbridge High School have agreed a partnership to allow players from the Club’s Category Two Football Academy to attend the school, taking advantage of the outstanding education provision, and train on site.
As part of the upgrade of the Club’s Youth Development department, a new indoor facility has been built at Uxbridge High School.
Greg Dyke, Independent FA Chairman, was at Uxbridge High School last night, Thursday January 16, to formally open the building.
Greg was Brentford FC Chairman when the project was first conceived and work started.
Brentford FC Academy Director Ose Aibangee, Chairman Cliff Crown, Chief Executive Mark Devlin, Manager Mark Warburton and other senior Club figures were at the opening last night.
Peter Lang, Principal of Uxbridge High School, staff and governors were also present.
The facility – which has been paid for by the Club with a contribution from the school – has a fully enclosed 60m by 50m pitch with Third Generation artificial turf.
The building also has learning zones, changing rooms, a gym and a physio room.
Ose Aibangee, Brentford FC Academy Director, said: “It is fantastic that this building is now formally open and I thank Greg Dyke for coming to do the honours.
“The building has been operational for a couple of months and it is a wonderful facility.
“We have a superb gym and classrooms so we can provide our education here.
“It is heated so the temperature will be good for the boys to train.
“And we have a third generation playing surface because it is very important that the pitch is good.
“When I came to Brentford this sort of building was the stuff of dreams.
“Thanks to the backing of Owner Matthew Benham, the Board of Directors and the Executive Team we have made it a reality.
“The players love it, the staff love it and I hope the fans will see the benefit in the future as we produce players for the Brentford First team.”
The Club’s partnership with Uxbridge High School came in to effect at the start of the new school year last September.
The Club has young players attending Uxbridge High School – which is rated as Outstanding by Ofsted, the Government’s schools inspectorate.
They attend lessons with class mates and train with the Club’s highly qualified coaches during the day and in the evenings.
The facility will be available for the school to use for Physical Education lessons and Brentford Football Club Community Sports Trust will also run programmes on the site.
Ose added: “Our relationship with the school continues to be excellent.
“Our young players are getting in here regularly and I feel we are already seeing the benefits.
“The future is definitely bright in terms of our partnership and it will be a massive benefit to the Academy.
“It will also be a useful recruitment tool for us.
“The building will get a lot of good use by a lot of people, our young players at Uxbridge High School, evening sessions and the players on day release from their schools.
“We have a partnership with the school and it is important they use it too.”
Mark Devlin, Brentford FC Chief Executive, said: “It is very pleasing to see this wonderful new facility officially opened.
“A lot of hard work by many people has gone into the planning and building of the Indoor Centre and yesterday was the culmination of that hard work.
“As a club we have made a strategic decision to invest in Youth.
“Our aim is to have three or four, maybe more, players in our First Team squad within the next few years, whom will have been developed through our own Academy.
“Our facilities and coaches are first class and I believe that our young players can see a pathway through to the First Team if they have the talent and desire to make it.
“Partnering with Uxbridge High School means that not only are we working with an excellent educational partner but also provides the Club with an opportunity to develop our fan base in an area that we know has latent Brentford support and where the potential for growth is great.”
Cliff Crown, Brentford FC Chairman, added: “This is further proof of the Club and in particular its owner’s commitment to securing a viable future which is focused on developing our own talent.
“The building of this indoor facility was a pre-requisite for obtaining Category Two status under EPPP which we believe will enable the club to attract the best available youngsters and to compete at a level which will enable our youth to develop and produce the players of tomorrow.
“It’s a truly superb facility which shows what a progressive club Brentford has become over the last few years.”
Peter Lang, Principal of Uxbridge High School, said: “The official opening of the Brentford Academy at Uxbridge High School (‘UHS’) is an historic event for both the school and Brentford FC.
"I would like to thank all involved in having the vision for this project and for building and creating such a superb facility with a real wow factor which will benefit all students at UHS and at Brentford FC.
"It is an innovative partnership reflecting the values and ambitions of both UHS and Brentford FC.
"I would particularly like to thank the Brentford Board and Matthew Benham for his generosity and also the UHS governors for their financial support and commitment.
"We are all delighted that Greg Dyke, Chair of the Football Association, took the time to come and open the Academy.
"He was born and educated locally and has been a lifelong Bees supporter.
"Our school motto is “Making Success Happen”.
"This is an exciting and enormous investment in young people and young footballers and I am confident that we have created a fantastic legacy for the future.”