Delighted officials at Dulwich Hamlet say the Ryman Premier club is proud to have played a key role in the development of one of Europe’s youngest ever UEFA B coaches.
At the age of 18, former Dulwich Hamlet ASPIRE Academy coach Finn Roberts-Bond is now on a professional par with coaches at top pro clubs across Europe after passing his UEFA B exams.
A Dulwich Hamlet fan since seeing his first game at Champion Hill aged five, Brixton-based Roberts-Bond approached Hamlet boss Gavin Rose in March 2015 to secure his first role with the south London’s clubs academy. The young coach moved on to his first senior post as a first team coach at Whyteleafe in Ryman South before his securing current and first paid role coaching with Chelsea’s community scheme this season.
A Hamlet spokesman said: “He has never forgotten his roots and is a proud Dulwich Hamlet supporter. He also coaches at the St Matthews Project, where he manages their U11s team who play at Brockwell Park in their homes matches on Saturday mornings.”
Pictured alongside Leng Tangtrakoon, his joint manager at St Matthews and another Hamlet FA Levels One and Two coach who’s also studying for his UEFA B, Roberts-Bond said: “I realise I’ve achieved a lot already but in coaching terms I’m very much a young apprentice. I’ll never forget the early encouragement of Lee Dema at St Matthews and I was so proud to be able to say that Gavin and Peter were my bosses when I helped out at Dulwich!
“I will also be ever grateful to John [Fowler] for giving me my first senior opportunity at Whyteleafe. It was amazing to be part of a coaching team in the Ryman League and they had so much confidence in me they even took me as part of the official party when we flew to Guernsey!”
He added: “I’ve also done scouting for a few sides, offering detailed reports, and I love my work with the kids on Saturday mornings. But I do miss the involvement in senior football and I’d love a club out there to offer me a chance to work with them. I may be young but my track record and qualifications show that I am ready to learn and get my first UEFA B feet on the coaching ladder.”
Dulwich Hamlet committee chairman Liam Hickey had nothing but praise for the local lad done good this weekend ahead of club’s 1-1 draw at Folkestone Invicta on Saturday.
He said: “Finn has an amazing knowledge of the game, a wise head on very young shoulders. But even when not in ‘football-mode’ he’s always willing to muck in at The Hamlet, be it helping in the boardroom, operating a turnstile, searching for new sponsors, or whatever.
“I’ve no doubt he will go all the way and in a decade or two when he is rich and famous I hope he won’t forget his roots with a smile on his face!”