From Chiswick's Riverside Lands to the African Cup of Nations
In 2006 Albert Adomah was playing his football on Chiswick's Riverside Lands for Old Meadonians. In the last week he has become an ever-present in the Ghanaian side which has topped its group in the African Cup of Nations.
Albert played for Old Meads as a teenager in the Amateur Football Combination beginning in their fourth team before achieving the heady heights of the firsts. He helped the side go through the 2005/6 season unbeaten in open play.
Rory Vermeulen, Meads' joint coach and Albert's mentor, together with Paul Rumley, says the following: 'Albert Adomah is a lovely young man, always wanting to listen and learn. With his natural talent he was bound to go far and the whole club is proud of his achievements."
Albert scores for Old Meads
After his spell with Old Meads he progressed to the professional game after playing for Harrow Borough. He is currently playing for Bristol City.
Before departing for South Africa to represent his country he was being talked about as a million pound transfer target for some top championship clubs. Crystal Palace are reported to be considering him as a replacement for Wilfried Zaha who is set to leave the South London club in a big money deal with Manchester United.
Albert playing for his country
Albert told the BBC "Not long ago I was working and just playing in the park. I used to watch people like Asamoah Gyan on Match of the Day and now I'm actually playing in the same team as him." He used to play as Ghana on the FIFA computer game but in the latest version he can pick himself.
Congratulated by team mates after scoring for Old Meads
He has been given the prestigious number 10 shirt in his country's squad which was previously worn by Ghanaian legend Abedi Pele.
Ghana have progressed to the quarter final unbeaten in the group stage with Albert featuring in all three games. They are looking to end a thirty year drought in a competition that they used to dominate.
Old Meadonians manage and maintain their ground at Riverside Lands under an agreement from Hounslow Borough Council and are joint tenants with Thames Tradesmen Rowing Club of The Boathouse adjoining which provides changing facilities and a finely appointed hospitality suite. Here, in an idyllic setting overlooking the river, post match meals for 200 players and officials are regularly served on Saturdays in the season.
Meads’ first team has been in the premier division of the Old Boys League and its successsor the A.F.C. for over thirty years and it is their first team record in the years since the millennium which makes Old Meadonians arguably one of the most successful clubs in A.F.A. history. In this period the club as a whole won thirty-nine trophies. However, of these Meads’ flagship first team has won an impressive nineteen, including four A.F.A. Senior Cups and eight league titles, seven on the trot, seven London Old Boys Senior Cups and, in the process, two triples and three doubles.
Old Meadonians not only have an ample coaching base, with no fewer than fifteen members with coaching badges, but the newly appointed Head Teacher of Chiswick Community School, Tony Ryan, first played for Meads when he was eighteen. The club and the school are looking to work closely together to create more training and playing opportunities.
In the recent past their most productive source of young talent has been through Meads’ charismatic head coach, Jack Costello, head of PE at Shene School.
You don't need to be a potential international to play at Old Meads.
Recently a senior club member quietly asked a youngster why he liked playing for Meads. The percipient answer was, "Win, lose or draw, it’s a happy club!"
February 1, 2013