ON the pitch, Brighton & Hove Albion have been banging in the goals as they soared to the top of the Championship table.
Off the pitch, one Eastbourne man is aiming for a personal goal at The Amex.
Gazette six-a-side League organiser Soroosh Simaei was recently appointed as Adult Sports Football Co-ordinator, with a key role in taking Albion In the Community, the football club’s charitable arm, to new heights.
“Our aim is to create another new era in the Community’s success story,” Soroosh told the Gazette. “It is an exciting project that expands Albion’s aim of becoming part of the community throughout the county.
“We want to be pioneers in running different leagues throughout Sussex and helping the community in the process.”
Soroosh, the former manager of the now demolished Wish Tower restaurant, has already made the Gazette six-a-side league the most successful in the Eastbourne area with top local players competing throughout the year in Thursday Night leagues (Premier) and Monday Night leagues (Division One). It is currently looking to expand with the possibility of Champions League on Sundays.
Now it is intended to merge these leagues with Albion In the Community to create a new brand of small side football leagues and tournaments.
Youth and street (one-touch) soccer in schools are on the agenda with ladies football an immediate priority with perhaps football for the unemployed at a later date as well as five-a-side and six-a-side leagues for players of mixed abilities.
A five-a-side street football league is already up and running at the University of Brighton with the first five-a-side league start imminent at Blatchington Mill School in Hove. Other projects are also on the agenda.
Various charities are likely to benefit from these expansions and developments.
Backing the scheme wholeheartedly is Albion manager Gus Poyet who told the Gazette, “I have been fortunate enough to coach and play at Premiership level and I am now at a club that in my opinion has one of the best, if not the best football community schemes in the country.”
Albion in the Community was established in 1995 by Steve Ford who is now the director. It was registered as a charity in 2005 and consists of six different departments. The award-winning scheme is widely regarded as the best among all English football clubs.
For more details and to find out about a league near you, contact Soroosh on 07506434270 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PICTURED: Soroosh (left) with Gus Poyet