'As a Player and Coach I have been involved with the beautiful game for most of my life except a 12 year hiatus as a Firefighter. I've played and coached at all levels at home and abroad.
Through life's experience and travelling, I have noticed a tick box culture with no real depth, meaning or follow through for the forgotten groups in society.
I am often asked why I do what I do and I can only say that it is a deep affinity and affection I feel, a real heart-felt yearning to help people that need it.
Maybe it's because I am one of those people'.
Allan was a Professional Footballer for 17 years playing notably for Tottenham Hotspur as well as Brentford FC where he featured in over 120 matches scoring 18 goals where his long hair and infamous 'Wiggle-It' goal celebration is still remembered fondly by supporters of the hallowed turf of Griffin Park. He was also the Manager of St. Albans City FC and Chertsey Town FC.
After a career as a London Fire Fighter, Allan hopped across the pond to the USA in 2011 where he founded an innovative training programme called Soccer Sounds and Urban cage Soccer which achieved US national attention with its unique approach of motivating and challenging the youth player. Later he became the Technical Specialist of the Philadelphia Union Academy and Head Coach of the Metropolitan Oval Academy in New York.
He has completed 3 very successful and award winning years as Head Coach of University College London, 2 years as Head Coach at Cambridge University and is now Head Coach of GKT FC (St Thomas', Guy's and King's College Hospitals).
Victoria is our Manager and she has been with us from the very start. She is an incredible support to the Club and is the person behind the day to day running of it.
Victoria is very much an all-rounder – she is the one at the end of the computer answering all enquiries, arranging events, sending out comms as well as taking photos and videos for Social Media and our website.
In between all this she also assists in the Coaching on training days. She’s kept extremely busy and does all of this on top of her work in the media industry but she absolutely loves it!
'Hey! My name’s Eshan and I’m really happy to be joining the gang as a volunteer! Brentford FC has played a big role in my life- I took part in one of the Brentford Trust’s schemes in Year 5 and instantly fell in love with the club. I have been volunteering with the Penguins for 3 years now! I’m also a Brentford fan and have been going since the League Two days-oh how things have changed!! I’m always happy to try new activities in the community and am really enjoying the family orientated vibe that Brentford Penguins FC has'.
'Hey I’m Zach! I work full time as a multimedia technician, but use a lot of my free time to get involved in SEN childrens work, I have always grown up working with and loving people with additional needs. I’m so pleased to be part of the Brentford Penguins Family.'
'BIG D' BALFE
Otherwise known as ‘Big D’, his involvement in the Brentford Penguins is a real breakthrough in expectations for DS achievers. His status as a Coach has pushed the boundaries of expectations by becoming a role model to our players and has raised the bar for other DS youngsters wanting to succeed. He has a great understanding that football is a technical game that requires intuition as well as skill to make the game enjoyable and accessible. From the offset Allan knew that Douglas had the ability to make the training ground a realistic football environment where special needs players could express their talents and feel comfortable doing football drills, footwork exercises, team races and competition games. Big D has challenged himself this year by learning from his mentor, Allan, and by developing a coaching diary/workbook which is a blue print of how DS football training can be implemented up and down the country. He is a wonderful asset to the team.
'Hey! Deborah here and I’m really happy to be volunteering with the gang at Brentford Penguins FC. I've lived near Brentford FC for over 20 years and watched the highs and lows of the main team! Working with all the DS kids and watching them progress and learn new things, be that physically or improving their verbal skills is so rewarding! The kids love being part of Brentford FC and they LOVE Allan, who is absolutely hilarious and really gets all the kids to engage and take part, or calms them down when they get stressed/upset. Allan and his wife Vickie have made a brilliant community for the kids and they continue to strive to make the club better and better. I look forward to meeting you!'
Hi I'm Werwin! Supporting both Brentford FC and children with special needs are two of my biggest passions in life, so joining the Penguins as a volunteer seemed a natural fit! Having had a little sister with DS, I have also seen first-hand just how much these amazing young people can achieve with love and support. I feel extremely privileged to be involved with the Penguins, coaching the kids and also speaking with their families.