Listen to Gabby Logan’s new show on Radio Five Live; on Sunday Gabby was joined by ex-Arsenal Academy player Taff Islam who was recently forced to quit the game through injury. Taff is an advocate of the great work of LFE and the Progression ’08 initiative.
As a schoolboy Taff spent time at QPR and Luton Town before joining Arsenal in 1996. Whilst with the Academy he was one of ten boys at the age of 13 who were chosen to attend the Arsenal School of Excellence at Highams Park School – giving him the chance to combine his education and training. Taff represented Arsenal in the Academy Youth and Reserve teams and also played in prestigious international tournaments in France and Holland against some of the best in Europe including Ajax, PSV, Lyon and PSG.
Released by Arsenal at the end of 2002/03 season, Taff went on to play for the Atlanta Silverbacks in the States before returning to the UK for trials with Bristol City and Rusden and Diamonds. Taff is a founding and active team member of the Protouch Soccer Academy.
At present he is the head of coaching and mentor at pro touch soccer academy, coaching and mentoring young players into the professional game and supporting and advising the unfortunate ones who exit the game into new career pathways and education. Taff is also studying sport science and coaching at Roehampton University and will shortly complete his level 3 UEFA B coaching badge.