Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BFA Awards Night Celebrates Grassroots Football

Emdad Rahman: Football development and progress was the main point of discussion as the annual Bangladesh Football Association Awards night took place to celebrate all things great about grassroots football. 

The Troxy in London's east end was full to capacity as an audience averaging 1000 and consisting of players, managers, officials and guests turned out to celebrate another year of great achievements by the local teams as well as Sporting Bengal FC. 

Kevin Coleman from the F.A, officials from West Ham United, and Dagenham & Redbridge attended. The Premier League and F. A Cup were both on display and fans were allowed to pose with both trophies and take pictures throughout the evening. 

BFA Chair Aroz Miah started proceedings. "We have fire in our belly and we will do whatever it takes in terms of endeavour, until mainstream football recognise and recruit from our community."

The event was hosted by BFA vice chair Imrul Gazi. He said: "Football unites our community. It brings all races and faiths together and I'm proud of the way the BFA has worked so hard to achieve so much. 

"The road is long and we will continue to strive hard until our leagues become a hotbed of talent from which professional teams come to scout and recruit. It is the dream the team at the BFA aspire to achieve."

Lutfur Rahman, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets pledged his support to football in the borough. He said: "Another brilliant year has passed for the BFA and it is a wonder how so many volunteers come together to make it all happen. This is what makes things so special. We will work hard and I'm unison to support the tremendous work you do say in and day out."

Shahel Ali from sponsors Hunter & Bloomfield added: "I echo the Mayor's sentiments. The BFA do a tremendous job and what is evident tonight is the shiny, happy and young faces in attendance. 

"And it is with this mutual benefit of the community in mind that Hunter & Bloomfield are delighted and proud to continue with their support of the BFA."

Guest Mohsin Ahmed was greatly impressed: " The F.A Cup, Premier League, great speakers, delicious food. What more can one ask for Congratulations to the BFA for such great achievements. I haven't seen so many young people as well as trophies in one place for a very long time."

The inspirational Manisha Tailor, an F.A Tutor and Kick it Out Ambassador spoke about leadership in football. She added: "The most important aspect of football is not winning, but having fun. This in itself will lead to unity, togetherness, understanding and the development of greater skill levels. 

"I have really enjoyed this evening and I hope we can work in collaboration in the future to deliver great community football programmes."

Sporting Bengal manager Mamun Chowdhury MBE selected officials and players for individual awards. He offered his own assessment: "I feel pride in managing this great team and long may it continue."

There was a special moment when Bangladesh's record goalscorer took to the stage. All time great Sheikh Mohammad Aslam said: "Our tour of London has been tremendous and we are impressed with the level of grassroots football. It will be a dream come true to see a Bangladeshi play in the Premiership."

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