Students from Brentford FC Community Sports Trust's Post-16 Education programme are among those to have their games cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The EFL confirmed at the start of the month that the Academy Games Programme for the 2019/20 season had been terminated. That included games in the Community and Education Football Alliance (CEFA), which features Brentford.
As a football competition run for EFL Club Community Organisations, who represent Premier League and EFL Clubs across the country, including Brentford the CEFA league offers playing opportunities for young people of all abilities, with most teams comprising of students from further education. The 4 teams representing The Bees are run by the Trust from students within their Post-16 programme at West Thames College, Willaim Perkin School and Chiswick Community School. With the ongoing uncertainty in respect of logistics and timing of the academic year for schools, colleges and universities, this competition has been ended for this academic year.
The Bees reached the CEFA Regional Cup Final last year and got to play at Griffin Park. They were, unfortunately, beaten by West Bromwich Albion, but had an unforgettable experience. This year Brentford had again progressed to the final and were due to play this month against Swindon Town.
The Trust’s Post-16 education programme enables students to study for a BTEC Level Three sports diploma or A-Levels while enhancing their football skills. It is run by former Brentford player Ryan Peters, who now works for the Trust.
Luke Skelhorn, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust Operations Director said “The current pandemic has made finishing this season impossible. Instead Ryan and his coaching staff will concentrate on recruiting young players that want to combine their education with a comprehensive football programme. We are developing a new partnership with Richmond Park Academy to enhance the offer that we already have with our current education partners whilst looking forward to moving to new state of the art training and match day facilities at Gunnersbury Park.”
Over the last five years, the programme has seen ten boys sign professional contracts with teams such as Leeds United, AFC Bournemouth, Stevenage and Brentford. Other students – after completing their studies – have successfully progressed into employment while signing semi-professional terms with clubs such as Maidenhead United, CB Hounslow and Hendon. Some students have embarked on 100 per cent scholarships at American colleges. If you’re interested in joining the programme, please contact Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0208 326 7030.