We are delighted to hear that Aymen Tahar, who signed for Sheffield United after being recommended by FURD coaches, has joined Romanian champions Steaua Bucharest, where he has made his Champions League debut.
Aymen attended FURD's coaching scheme for a year, where FURD's head coach Luis Silva helped him develop and recommended him to Sheffield United, who signed him in 2005 at the age of 15.
'We invited Ayman to join in our coaching sessions at United's Academy after spotting him at a half-term tournament FURD organised in Netherthorpe', said FURD's Luis Silva at the time. 'His confidence has grown and he is a great listener, who is willing to accept both criticism and praise'.
After impressing in United's youth team alongside fellow FURD referrals Kyle Walker and Liban Abdi, Aymen made just one first team appearance for the Blades, in 2009, before joining their then sister club Ferencvaros of Hungary in 2010. He returned to England for a brief spell with Staveley Miners Welfare, before joining top flight Romanian outfit Gaz Metan Medias in 2012.
The Algeria under-20 international moved to Romanian champions Steaua Bucharest in the summer of 2015, where he has already helped them through to the 3rd qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. Their third round first leg tie against Partizan Belgrade takes place on Weds 29th July 2015.
FURD trustee Howard Holmes commented, 'Aymen was a hero to young people at FURD coaching sessions even before United took him to their Academy on Luis Silva's recommendation. He starred in the Blades FA Youth Cup side that included Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton, but unfortunately the manager Kevin Blackwell decided he was not going to make it at the professional level.
'We are so proud that Aymen has become the first FURD protege to play in the Champions League, but as a Sheffield United fan, I am disappointed that he wasn't able to star for the Blades'.
With the assistance of a grant from Children in Need, FURD is still running coaching schemes for young people, with opportunities for talented youngsters to progress in football. Sessions are now held at the U-Mix Centre on Saturdays from 2-4pm for 10-15 year olds, Mondays and Wednesdays from 4.30-6pm for 10-16 year olds, and Tuesdays from 6-7pm for women and girls aged 10 upwards. These are all currently FREE and open to all in the age group.
Sessions are also held at Sheffield United's Academy in Shirecliffe on Sundays, with a charge of Â£1 a session. The times are 2.30-3.30 for 5-12 year olds and 3.30-4.30 for 13-16 year olds.