Football at The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School has grown in popularity over the years as so many of the boys have a passion for the sport. The football programme at the School is led by ex-Fulham professional Julian Hails, and the boys are coached and encouraged to master technical skills by a handful of teaching staff also in charge of teams.
Although high levels of commitment are expected and achieved, the emphasis at Habs is more on participation and enjoyment. The highest values of sportsmanship are insisted upon by our experienced academic staff, who also share a love for the sport and value their time coaching the boys. The football coaching programme also benefits from our partnership with Watford FC Trust, who provide external FA qualified coaches to work alongside our teaching staff.
At Habs, we play competitive fixtures in the autumn term from Year 9 and up, running three teams at both U14 and U15 level while maintaining four teams at Senior age groups. Fixtures are played on Saturdays, with opposition names including Eton College, Highgate and Brentwood. We also play several midweek matches against local schools from both independent and state sectors. Our boys benefit from training on wonderfully maintained grass pitches, which are considered among the best in the county.
Thanks to numerous successful overseas tours over the years, including visits to Brazil, Portugal, Spain and Greece, the boys have widened their football experiences by witnessing a variety of different tactics and skills. Many of our students play to a high level outside of School, with several being with, or having been with, professional academies. One being Old Haberdasher Dilan Markanday, who was recently awarded a professional contract with Tottenham Hotspur.
Inter-House Competitions within the School include football, and these matches are always keenly contested and highly competitive. The desire to play and win for Houses is very clear to see and never has it been at the expense of fair play. This is the message all the boys get from football staff with Habs, and we aim to maintain this ethos as we continue to expand the sport within the School.