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“What makes me most proud of Greenhouse Sports FC”

Greenhouse Sports Football in Peckham, South London, UK. Tuesday, 20th September 2016. Picture by Ben Stevens

GSFC Club Manager Matthew Shobande shared with us why he is most proud of the work our programmes team is doing at the football club. The club has recently been shortlisted for a £25,000 award through the Aviva Community Fund, which would help us continue to deliver the community-building programmes that Matthew describes below. Vote here for Greenhouse Sports FC to win the vital funding. 

“What makes me proud of Greenhouse Sports Football Club  is the continuous work and dedication the staff members put in daily to ensure that the kids and parents that walk through our programme leave with a smile and a taste of what it feels like to be a part of a community.

I have been involved with Greenhouse Sports FC for over 10 years. There have been many proud moments during my time at the club. I have witnessed ex-players who have had zero experience in playing football or in how to be a part of a team grow to have the confidence to accept a trial with an academy team. I have watched them develop and want to come back and bring back to the club and community by being part of the coaching team.

There are many times I’ve received phone calls from parents expressing their delight in how they feel the club has helped with their child’s discipline at home and therefore have become helpful around the house and achieved more at school.

As a community based club, our work is more than engaging those who walk through our doors at GSFC. We represent stability, hope and inclusivity to many who don’t have these things to look forward to. Therefore, we engage with the surrounding area like local clubs or local businesses to help provide some incentives within the community to ensure a positive environment for those we have at our football club.

I am someone who started my journey growing up in the community. I was that boy that played with his friends then came back to the club as a volunteer, then an assistant coach before gaining enough experience to have a group of mine to team-manage. I then became a co-ordinator for half term programmes before taking on a role as a phase lead where I took on the responsibility of overseeing the development of age 8-12 years at the club.  My role now as a Club Manager is to oversee everything at the football club but also to work closely with other managers within the organisation to help support in the implementing of safety at Greenhouse Sports.

What I think the Club can be proud of is the opportunity it has provided and continues to provide to young people in the community. Majority of the club’s current team of staff are ex-players who are now leading sessions or departments in the club, or are parents of children we have coached in the past or currently coaching and have chosen to come back to help as volunteers.

The thing that stands out to me as the most proud thing is the unique sense of being a part of something bigger than any tangible reward that can be received. Loyalty, friendship, togetherness, support, ethic, passion and care. These are what make me most proud of Greenhouse Sports Football Club.”

Greenhouse Sports Football in Peckham, South London, UK. Tuesday, 20th September 2016. Picture by Ben Stevens


Greenhouse Sports Football Club (GSFC) is the largest of Greenhouse Sports’ community clubs, serving over 750 young people in the South London community of Peckham. Following the Greenhouse ethos, GSFC is an inclusive club, focussed on building community and developing well-rounded young people who are better equipped to live happy, healthy lives. There are no trials and players are selected based on their attendance, time keeping, attitude and effort. The majority of the GSFC coaches have grown up in the area and have many of the same life experiences as our participants, making them uniquely placed to act as meaningful and credible role models for the young people.