Bede's Pupils Celebrate ISFA Successes


Tom Collins, Nahje Smith, Tom Howard and Toby Brown have been accepted into the Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA), among other high-profile external teams, and have seen milestone successes on the pitch.

As well as playing for the Bede’s 1st XI, Tom Collins and Nahje Smith (both Lower Sixth) play for ISFA’s U17 team. Tom, who also plays for Sussex U18s, says, “I love football – I have been playing since I started walking! It’s fantastic to be able to play for these amazing teams and gain such valuable experience. We are also seeing a lot of younger players coming through the Bede’s teams, and seeing them develop as players and become more confident on the pitch is really great. I plan to pursue football as a career after school, and am currently applying for football scholarships at universities in the US.”

Nahje, who also plays for the Bermuda U17 National team, moved to the UK from Bermuda on a Bede’s Football Scholarship. He says, “It’s great to have the opportunity to play football in the UK and Bermuda – although the climates are very different! I have grandparents here, so it’s lovely to be able to spend time with them while I’m in the UK. I travel back to Bermuda for training with the National team every school break – we are currently working towards the World Cup qualifiers in May. My ambition is to become a professional international footballer.”

Tom Howard, Upper Fifth, has played for ISFA since he was 14 years old and currently plays for the U16 team. He was also signed to Sussex this year after being recommended by Bede’s Director of Sport, Mr David Caryer. Tom says, “I started playing for my local club at the age of 5, and have been playing football pretty much non-stop ever since. At school, I am part of the Bede’s 1st XI and really enjoy training with my friends. The coaches are really great and push us to achieve the best we can, and the facilities are also brilliant. I would love to pursue football as a career, and am currently looking into American university scholarships.”

Toby Brown, First Year, plays for the Bede’s U14As and is celebrating his first year in ISFA following a successful trial at the ISFA Regional Representative Festival in Shrewsbury last year. Toby says, “It’s fantastic being able to train at this level, both in school and at ISFA. My highlights so far have been taking part in the ISFA training camps and being part of the winning team against Chelsea at a recent match. I’m looking forward to continuing with my training and playing in more matches.”


Toby at the ISFA Camp in Guildford

Mr Caryer adds, “At Bede’s, we encourage a love of sport at all levels and offer as many opportunities as we possibly can, and it is wonderful to see that Tom, Nahje, Tom and Toby are fully engaged in our programme and taking advantage of our links with prominent external associations. They all work incredibly hard and are fully deserving of all that they have accomplished in their young careers so far. I look forward to seeing them continue to develop into exceptional athletes, and am sure that they will accomplish many more great things in the future.”

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