Dulwich Hamlet’s Farouk Menia was crowned Grassroots Coach of the Year at the FA & McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards 2020.
The virtual awards ceremony took place last week.
The awards celebrate the efforts of volunteers across England who go the extra mile to support their local communities and are normally presented at Wembley Stadium, before the winners are guests of honour at the curtain raiser for the football season – the Community Shield.
Soon after arriving in the UK, Menia became the coach of AFC Phoenix, a women’s team that eventually merged with Dulwich Hamlet during his seven-year tenure.
A passionate man with all the qualities you could want in a coach, his impact and effect on the team culture was huge and immediate. He brought the players together not only as a team, but as an extended family.
On a tiny budget, the team thrived against big clubs including QPR Ladies and Fulham Women, succeeding thanks to Farouk’s dedication and coaching abilities.
Despite battling cancer over recent years, he continued to coach and encourage his players, often in the rain and freezing cold. Sadly, just prior to lockdown and in the middle of the season, Farouk Menia passed away. He will be forever remembered for all he gave to his club.
Nominations are now open for the 2021 FA & McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards. To nominate a grassroots hero, go to www.mcdonalds.co.uk/awards.
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