“It’s getting harder by the year” – Runner’s World Championship dream
BEACONSFIELD The former Reading academy manager introduced a similar link between the FAB Academy, based in Bisham Abbey and which he founded, and Southern League Central side SYCOB three years ago. Forged with the aim of giving the academy’s youngsters a taste of men’s football, the project got off to a difficult start in its first season with SYCOB flirting with relegation before eventually scraping clear of danger to finish 20th. There were signs of improvement with last season’s ninth-place finish, and SYCOB currently sit ninth once more after shrugging off a poor start to the season.
But although staying in the Southern League is crucial, league positions come second to player development, and four players signed to pro clubs since the linkup proves something is working.
Bashir said: “The project is going well, and it’s ongoing. We’ve got a lot of good young players coming through and the philopsophy is to try and develop players who can play at a higher level, which is why we play a certain way at Beaconsfield. It might not be winning football all the time, but it’s development football.
“My biggest disappoitment is not yet getting a link up with Wycombe Wanderers and getting players through to that level. It would be nice to get a link-up there as all the lads at the academy are local lads who want to play for their local pro club.
“Hopefully we can get something in place in the future. We’ve got loads of players coming through which is why I would like to link up with Wycombe. With no youth set-up there, we’d love to be their feeder. I’m hoping to arrange a meeting. To me it’s a no-brainer.
“If not, my priority is to develop young players at Beaconsfield. The transtiton is tough but you have to give them time and we can do that here. If they improve and show a level of potential, we know there’s an opportunity to push them on to a further level.
“It’s about the 18-year-olds learning about senior football and the ones who pick it up will hopefully be the ones who go on to play at pro level.”
A good week for SYCOB saw them beat both Histon and Petersfield Town 3-2. Charlie Lossaso bagged an injury time winner at Histon – his second of the game – following a Callum Mapley strike, while Guri Demuria, Jack McKnight and Aaron Berry netted against Beaconsfield. SYCOB host Aylesbury on Saturday.