Outgoing Head of SJFC

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On Thursday, 22nd September 2022 I officially stepped down from my term as Head of Stanmore Jafferys Football Club (SJFC) and formally pass on the mantle of our fantastic football club to Raza Jaffrey.

I have had the pleasure to be involved with SJFC for 5 years starting out as a coach before becoming Club Assistant Secretary and then taking on the Head of SJFC in April 2020. It has been an honour to serve the community over the last 5 years and inshallah I hope to continue to serve on as a coach for SJFC.

When we took on the helm of SJFC we had several objectives of which stability was critical for our community club and this became the critical part of our strategy as COVID hit the world.

Lockdowns were introduced and we began the cessation of all group activities. As you can imagine this hit football very hard. However, credit to the SJFC coaches and in particular Jamil Merali who kicked off remote Zoom training sessions with the boys on a weekly basis. This was closely followed by Sabir Datoo, Mustafa Muraj, Kumail Jaffer and Fuad Musa all running sessions for boys in their tiers. These sessions kept the boys not just training but also maintained the relationships the boys have with each other, it was a pleasure to see the boys enjoying football regardless of what was happening in the world around them.

As we exited our first lockdown and began the new world of stop – start lockdowns the government began to allow team sports to restart but in a much more constrained and regulated environment with new rules and procedures.

SJFC was one of the few SJ sports that recommenced activities as soon as the lockdowns were lifted and it was amazing to see the efforts from the team at Hujjat, SJ and SJFC coming together to introduce the processes we needed to bring football back. An amazing effort from everyone involved that minimised the impact to our members throughout the 18 months.

At the start of last season, we were also allowed to begin league matches after the curtailment of the previous season and it was wonderful to see 5 SJFC Youth teams as well as our Adults restart competitive matches against other clubs. I cannot thank the league managers & teams enough for all their efforts through this period of uncertainty.

Last season also brought our partnership programme to a new level with Brentford FC being introduced to SJFC and I thank Brentford FC for giving SJFC the opportunity to engage with a Premiership Club.

We also maintained the SJFC website, regular newsletters and our social media through this period to ensure we reach as many people as possible, the highlight of this has been the introduction of the Veo Camera system for the Adults. The Veo system is designed as a training aid for teams and this has given the adults a fantastic ability to review their matches and training, enabling the Adults to develop even further. It has also allowed us to post videos of matches that capture all the action for our members and Inshallah we will continue to use the system over the coming seasons.

I would like to express a huge Thank You from the bottom of my heart to everyone involved in SJFC and without all of you we would not have managed to keep football and the club running through the difficult times we faced.

Our Sponsors; your partnership and contributions have been amazing and I can only pray the Allah (SWT) grants you his bounty for the assistance you have given the community.

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Our foundations are Hujjat EC and the SJ Board. I cannot thank them enough for all the support, trust and assistance they have provided over the years. A club is only as strong as its foundations and without their assistance the last couple of seasons would have been much harder.

Lockdown life has been difficult for everyone, but the core of the club is our coaches and with everything that was happening in the world as well as personal circumstances. I am so proud of the commitment of our Coaches & Managers. We would not have managed to run sessions throughout the season without them and personally I would like to call out their support, guidance and patience with me and my team over the last few seasons.

To all our Players, Parents / Guardians the continuous engagement and involvement has been a pleasure to see and Inshallah may it continue, I look forward to seeing the players back on the pitch very soon and those smiles as they enjoy the beautiful game.

Finally, I would like to thank my Management Team – namely Abbas Khatau, Mohammed Valjy, Hussein Pirbhai, Afzal Merali, Mazaheer Gulamhussein, Hassan Rashid, Safraz Valjy & Arif Govani.

It has been a true pleasure to serve with them and their unwavering support, engagement, direction and guidance has been my rock, without them none of what we have done in the last two seasons and previously would have been possible. They kept me sane during our review of lockdown regulations, as we brough football back to the community and through the difficult season that Covid brought.

I now formally pass the mantle to Raza. I know he has a clear vision with his new team to bring the club forward with his experience as a coach and manager. I am confident that the club will now restart the journey to growth and strengthen its foundations in a post COVID world.

Finally, before I sign off, please accept my personal apologies, as well as on behalf of my team, for anything we have said or done which has caused any inconvenience or hurt and I pray for your forgiveness.

With Salaams & Duas

Nazir Rajvani (Outgoing Head of SJFC)