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BYSA Testimonials

From Former BYSA Members


I am very proud to and lucky to say that i was one of the first members of BYSA. Being a young man coming from a single parent home, finding my feet in a community on the right side of the law was always going to be difficult., not to mention my mixed heritage where you either get the best of both worlds or rejected by both.

Just as i was starting to lose my way i joined a very modest football camp which was easily affordable at £1per person and held at Small Heath leisure centre which was also local to me. Here i met kids my age and from all different backgrounds and we were all bonded by the beautiful game that is, football!

Confidence boosted and networks strengthened due to all my new friends, I began to relax in my new environment and not only did it make me a pretty decent footballer I also excelled at school.

I now have a degree in psychology, i have my own small drone business shooting weddings, and i am a medical devices rep. Although i am not a millionaire footballer, what I am is a very confident young man, with a smile on my face and even now i cant go anywhere without bumping into old friends from BYSA, and the one thing we always talk about is the good old days at that modest football camp which has now become an award winning football academy and changed many kids lives, for the better.

Thank you to Anwar and the BYSA team for everything they did for me!


I started BYSA not long after its inception where it was just a place a few friends and relatives could meet once a week to enjoy a common passion of football. The organisation instilled core skills and attributes that have benefited me through my educational and social life. One of the main things the coaches instilled was confidence.

The demographic of attendees were usually children from low socio-economic backgrounds whom aspired to little, however when they attended the association, the coaches would provide support to any and all, using both life skills and professional advice to do so. This constant revaluation and assistance fostered growth and perseverance in myself, allowing me to represent local and university teams.

BYSA helped me to build character and allowed me to maintain a high level of discipline and integrity. They ensured that I was able to achieve the best both on and off the pitch, of which transpired into my professional life allowing me to attend a Russell University achieving a second class upper classification; something I proudly associate with the skills learnt at the academy.

The work BYSA has done over the years has helped transform thousands of children’s lives, whom otherwise wouldn’t have been upholding citizens of society. Now offering various mentoring programs, opportunity to represent the club in local leagues and working with local apprentice schemes can now offer and provide avenues to which a child can learn, strive and prosper where they otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do so.

Thank you to Anwar and the BYSA team for everything they did for me!


My name is Amer Kahriman and I’m 23 years old. I am a university graduate and now an occupational therapist for the NHS. I attended BYSA for approximately 6 years. I attended with some friends from school and others who lived locally, but it enabled me to meet new people through participation in football.

BYSA was a regular commitment for me which brought the community together to play football both for fun and competitively. It allowed me to practice my skills and improve as a young footballer, as well as teach and support others to improve themselves. This motivated me to play football at a higher level and move towards the semi-professional level which I played for 2 years thanks to BYSA.

The organisation and support throughout the sessions was really good, as it provided a good structured football session consisting of drills and a football match at the end. BYSA brought together the multi-cultural community and provided many opportunities for football related excursions. I had the opportunity to play an 11 a side football match at

Derby County Football Club and we received trophies, which was a great experience. Other benefits included regular fitness, social interaction with others, and meeting new people.

I would gladly recommend BYSA to anyone and everyone as I have seen and witnessed the great work it has continued to do for the community.


socialise and meet new people outside of school, I was also able to take part in sports which helped me keep fit and stay disciplined. Along with keeping fit and active the coaches at BYSA taught me many skills which I believe have helped me achieve what I have. Some of those skills were things like confidence, discipline, respect and education, all of which I believe are key skills needed to achieve all types of success in life.

I am now employed at a Construction Consultancy and would definitely recommend BYSA to others. As a matter of fact, my nephews now attend

BYSA and thoroughly enjoy it. The thing I enjoyed the most about BYSA was the support and encouragement I received from the staff. It is an amazing setup which has grown over the years and has recently been awarded the Pride of

Birmingham award, which I believe is thoroughly deserved and couldn’t have gone to a better organisation that does so much for the community.


I was at BYSA for just over 12 years, One of the first to join when the institute started, It enabled me to appreciate the strong ethos of teamwork and how excellent results can be achieved by working together and coherently. Having spent several years at the academy, i developed leadership skills which were used to motivate and nurture new and inexperienced team members to appreciate their respective roles and how they could have an impact on and off the field.

I am an Engineer working within the Transport sector, and i would definitely recommend BYSA to all individuals regardless of ethnicity or upbringing – as being involved in a ‘grassroots’ movement can definitely have a lasting benefit on ones life. Most importantly, you will appreciate and understand real life problems, people and scenarios and develop a wide ranging skill set to help you for years to come.

The ‘family’ environment and emphasis on improving every child’s attributes regardless of their capabilities is something that i really appreciated from the academy. There were times where new and inexperienced kids who were getting their first exposure to the ‘beautiful’ game were finding it difficult to get involved with other talented members. But the professionalism and wide ranging efforts by the coaching staff delved into the detail to help lesser skilled individuals – who would later be from amongst the best graduates to come out the academy. This is a testament to Anwar, Riaz and his team for the great service they put in and may it continue.


Being at BYSA from the age of 10 it taught me many life lessons in various disciplines of life, it taught me the importance of respect towards different backgrounds, religions and ethnicities.

The importance of education and the help I received during busy exams periods from the mentors/coaches and the regular assistance and advice that was available to me both on and off the pitch. Coming out of University with a law degree and becoming a graduate was always one of many dreams and I can only dedicate this to the skills honed at the academy I cannot be more appreciative of the constant learning and schooling we received which inturn helped me build the necessary skills to develop both as an Individual and as a team player, Having the mindset of working hard and being motivated to be the best.

I can only be thankful to Anwar because he was the one Coach/mentor that stood out constantly offering me advice experience and always willing to listen if I had issues.

I remember very joyful years at the academy memories I can only cherish and people that will always be part of my life from where it started to what it is doing now it is incredible and I think the sky is the limit for an academy like this where giving kids the opportunities and giving adults the chance to volunteer and really give back to the community is paramount in making a change. I can only be thankful and find it an honour to be associated with this academy as it has made me the man I am today.


I can say with confidence that being a part of the original contingent of BYSA over 15 years ago laid the foundations for me to achieve what I set out from an academic and professional standpoint.

During my tenure at the club, from 2002-2005, I felt the organisation was about more than just playing football and attending weekly training sessions but the emphasis on what I could do for my peers and the opportunities available to me.

The nature of playing a competitive sport with talented individuals was demanding at times but the support given by the coaches, led by Anwar Khattak, was reassuring to say the least.

The skills I have attained from BYSA continues to be an invaluable asset and will allow me to progress further in my career. I can only speak highly of the organisation, Anwar Khattak and his dedicated team who have taken a selfless approach to ensure the longevity of BYSA, and I have no doubts they will continue to flourish as I have seen over the years.


BYSA gave me something to look forward to on my weekends. I became occupied with football rather than hanging out with the local lads in Alum Rock where I lived. It also gave me a network of friends that I am still in touch with including the BYSA coaches.

I graduated from Coventry University in 2012 with a degree in Forensic and Investigative Studies, and I am currently a Police Constable and have been for over 2 years, meaning I regularly have to be on the opposite side to defence lawyer Mr. Khattak when dealing with people in custody. I would often recommend BYSA to all of my friends when I was younger and still do, I also used to take my brothers along with me and get them involved in playing football.

I loved having something to look forward to on my weekends and seeing the coaches there, Anwar, Iqbal, Riaz and Omar all taught me life lessons more than just football. Whenever I see them now and people ask how I know them, even my police colleagues, I tell them they’re family to me. To see where BYSA has come when it started as a little youth football group

at Small Heath Academy is amazing and I pray it continues to Grow and

have the impact on others that it did for me.