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Matt’s on the ball!
Monday 1st December 2014 @ 12:34 by Mark Phillip
Denton & Audenshaw Football Sports

St Thomas Moor Roman Catholic College were celebrating recently thanks to one devoted member of staff.

Matt (right) receiving award from Donald Townson.

Matt (right) receiving award from Donald Townson.

Matt Broadhead, who is the curriculum leader of PE at the Denton based school, found his tireless efforts rewarded last month when he received the English FA tie to mark ten years’ service to schools football.

The responsibilities Matt has undertaken to receive such an award include coordinating the running of Tameside representative teams at Under 12’s, Under 13’s, Under 14’s and Under 15’s level.

And if Matt’s footballing schedule wasn’t already hectic enough, then the recent birth of his daughter has certainly made things much busier – not that the Manchester City fan would have it any other way!

Speaking to reporter sport after receiving the award from Tameside Schools FA Chairman Martin Dunkerley, Matt detailed his delight on collecting the tie and stated “It was an absolute honour to receive the award and the ten years have absolutely flown by!”

Despite making the position his own over the course of ten years and nurturing some of Tameside finest young players, Matt had no idea of the task that lay ahead of him.

He added “When I first got the job I knew I would be interest in taking the position but I thought I would just be helping out here and there, but I received a phone call and was surprised when I was told I’d be in charge of it!”

Having played competitive football from a very young age, Matt attributed his success to the mentality and winning ethos teachers instilled in him. He was surprised however to see how things had changed when he entered the profession and made it his duty to reintroduce the thirst for success to the game.

He said “The teachers used to have a passion for teaching youngsters and I presumed the majority of teachers would still have that kind of ethos, but some of them don’t have the time for it anymore.”

Matt’s appetite to develop young players and mould them into respected footballers has certainly been rewarded, with several budding players forging their way into professional and international teams.

“There have been quite a few lads who have gone on to do well including Lewis Collins who is the Manchester United Under 15’s captain and England representative.

“There is also Danny Burns who plays for wales and Mo Rokundo who now plays for LA Galaxy.”

Matt alludes to the former Ashton Sixth Former who was recruited over summer to play for the Major Soccer League team who currently boast ex-premier league striker Robbie keane.

Although Matt has presided over years of silverware and respectability – such as winning North West Cup finals – he still upholds the belief that winning isn’t everything and the success attained has been a collective team effort.

He added “The most important thing for me is not the winning, but for the lads to go out there and enjoy their football and hopefully progress.

“I also have to mention other key figures that have been instrumental in Tameside football success and they include Shaun Higgins, Tony Corns, Carl Dorney, Neil Lucas and Dave Noble.”

Having won everything apart from the National Final in his ten year tenure, the Wythenshawe born teacher is hopeful to collect that silverware in the future.

He added “I have no plans to stop and hopefully I’ll be here in the next twenty years.

“If Tameside is still respected as the best footballing borough and we’re still providing quality football in the future, then in my eyes I’ve done my job”