Jason Evans, 17, has been shortlisted for the Community Education Football Alliance (CEFA) Player of the Season at Sunday's prestigious English Football League Awards. The youngster, who is part of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s football BTEC programme with West Thames College, was recognised for his footballing talent in the newly formed league.
Jason is part of an elite shortlist, which also includes Sky Bet Championship Player of the Year and EA Sports Young Player of the Season.
Introduced ahead of the 2018/19 season, the CEFA is a competition representing EFL Clubs’ Community Organisations (CCO)’s in regional leagues. Any players registered on a post-16 education pathway with Brentford FC Community Sports Trust is eligible to play in the league. The competition provides playing opportunities for young people, regardless of ability, as well as the opportunity to participate in a football competition governed professionally by the EFL.
A male and a female participant will be crowned CEFA Player of the Season at the 2019 EFL Awards ceremony on Sunday, 7 April. Jason will be up against a youngster representing Portsmouth and one from Wigan for the male prize on the night.
Speaking about his nomination, Jason said: “It felt very good to be nominated for the award and it will definitely help build my confidence while helping to prove to myself that my hard work is paying off. I think it will help me gain more respect from other players and it will also give me a chance to be recognised for my ability and hard work throughout the season.”
Jason is part of the Trust’s football and education programme with West Thames College, which offers students the opportunity to study for a BTEC Level 3 sports diploma while enhancing their football skills. Along with a host of experienced coaches, former Brentford Player, Ryan Peters, coaches the students and mentors them on a career path in the sporting world.
So far, ten students have signed professional contracts with teams such as Leeds, Bournemouth, Stevenage and Brentford. Other students have signed semi-professional with clubs such as Maidenhead, CB Hounslow, Hendon or even embarked on 100% scholarships in America.
Amrit Sandhu, Curriculum Manager at West Thames College, said: “It is fantastic to have one of our students nominated for this award. At West Thames College, we are committed to ensure that the students enjoy a high-quality experience in both education and football. Jason being nominated demonstrates the success of his commitment to both his studies and training.”