“An Exciting Prospect”

By Kevin Affleck

Dion Pereira drew plaudits last week, inspiring the Hornets' Under-18 side to glory in Japan and being named among the best XI players at the international tournament.

Sixteen teams took part in Fukuoka, and Pereira got enough votes from opposition coaches to be named in the Team of the Tournament.

The 17-year-old scored twice during an intense period of games – the Hornets played six games in four days – as the young Golden Boys won the Global Arena Cup, the second-tier competition.

“He did very well,” said Head of Academy Chris McGuane. 

“He was recognised in front of the crowd at the end, which was nice for him.”

Pereira has been with the club since the age of nine and progressed through the ranks to earn a scholarship on the back of his wand of a left foot. He's been a regular in the Under-23 side this season as he bids to earn a pro deal.

“When he attacks players and takes players on he can be devastating,” added McGuane. 

“He’s got a sweet left foot and glides across the pitch. Get him in the right areas and he can thread little balls in, create chances and he showed out there he can finish. He got himself a couple of goals.

“He’s an exciting prospect, but he's still got a lot of hard work to do.”


Kick It Out | Tackling Discrimination

Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, has partnered with the Home Office and True Vision to release a series of informative and engaging resources that raise awareness of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) discrimination within football stadia.

Forming part of Kick It Out’s ‘Call Full Time On Hate’ initiative for the 2016/17 season, which is urging the collective force of football to encourage inclusion and deter hate from the game, the resources were launched on the same day (March 22) that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) hosted a round-table meeting on homophobia in sport.

A short film raising awareness of LGB&T inclusion in the game has been created in partnership with Doodle Films and can be watched below. The film follows five individuals from the LGB&T community as they reflect on the impact of HBT behaviour on their lives and the importance of reporting discrimination in football.

A comprehensive booklet and small pocket guide have also been designed to assist stewards and safety officers in their understanding of HBT discrimination and how to effectively challenge this behaviour.

Following the recent publication of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee report on homophobia in sport, which stated that stewards and all staff at all levels must be supported when confronting and reporting homophobia, these new materials will equip matchday stewards and safety officers with the confidence to report HBT discrimination at football matches.

‘Tackling Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Behaviour at Football Stadia’ is a 12-page booklet which has been produced with support from Just A Ball Game? and Inside Inclusion. The booklet includes information on what HBT discrimination is and the role stewards and safety officers can play in reporting and challenging this behaviour.

Ten key steps to tackling HBT discrimination have been included in the small pocket guide accompanying the booklet. 10,000 pocket guides have been produced and distributed to stewards and safety officers across Premier League and English Football League clubs. Discrimination reports relating to sexual orientation made up 17% of reports to Kick It Out in 2015/16, a rise of 4% on the previous season.

All these resources will be available to download digitally for free on the Kick It Out website – www.kickitout.org