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Moulsham High School

Dominic F appointed Head Student and Academy Clarets Captain!



Dominic Forbes is a true leader and he now has much more than an armband to back that up!

The 17-year-old Academy Captain’s leadership qualities have been recognised by Moulsham High School with his recent appointment of Head Student.

Dominic’s success in the very first year of the Chelmsford City Academy has made all involved in the project proud and none more so than Robbie Simpson.

Beaming with pride, the First Team Manager said: “It kind of justifies the whole change that the Club is going through at the minute and over the course of the last 12 months, it symbolises what we’re all about and Dom symbolises what it’s all about; creating better people and giving youngsters a chance to develop both with their football and education, and personal development as well.”

Reacting to Dominic’s news, the CEO of Bridge Academy, which runs Moulsham High School, says staff at the Club have worked miracles to take the ‘wonderful partnership’ this far. 

What makes Dominic’s achievement in his first year at the school even more impressive is the fact he has to wake up at 5am just to get to lessons on time. The former Cambridge United youth player admits it may be tiring but playing football on the back of it makes the long commute worth it. 

He told us: “I have to travel two hours and get up at 5 in the morning; it does show my commitment. It’s very tough, sometimes I’m just drained but it’s one of those things I don’t mind doing. 

“There’s nothing better than waking up and having football that day, so even when I am tired I just think, ‘I've got football today,’ which gets me through.” 

So what is it that makes Dominic Head Student material? If he holds himself at sixth form anyway like he does on the pitch, Head of Academy, Mickey Spillane believes it’s his desire to bring the best out of those around him. 

Not surprised by the accolade, Mickey said: “He’s a brilliant captain, he leads by example, encourages the others and helps them when they need help. He talks well and on the pitch he plays like a captain. It’s probably why he’s been named Head Student really because he needs all them traits to be named Head Student.” 

To land the prestigious role, Dominic from Edmonton, North London had to explain what made him fit to speak on behalf of the school’s students and lead a 43-student strong committee.

He highlighted his passion to create a safe and equal environment which is necessary for a team to fulfil its collective potential. 

Dominic: “I used my experience from Chelmsford being Captain there and said because I lead my team as a captain I feel like I can take that into my role as Head Student.

“I just said that I motivate my group very well at training and in games, everyone’s trying to improve. I feel like that’s also important at school, making sure everyone is motivated and working hard. 

“I don’t want people to feel like I’m on top and they’re just below me, so I feel like making sure everyone feels equal to me is very important.”

He added: “All eleven of us, our subs, our coach are as important as the next person. We’re a team, there’s no individual person in our team - we come together and become better players.

“To get the best out of someone, they have to be happy. I know for a fact if me personally I’m not happy in a place I’m in, or if I’m not being treated equal to everyone else, I’m not going to work as hard. Everyone as a team has to be happy and that’s the only way we’re going to get anywhere.”

It is little wonder Faye Engelbrecht, head of Moulsham High School’s Sixth Form, was impressed by Dominic’s pitch and has hailed him as a ‘role model’ for his peers. 

Ms Engelbrecht said: “He will represent the voice of the students and work alongside the school’s Senior Leadership Team to ensure that Moulsham High School continues to be a school that nurtures every aspect of our school community. 

“Dominic started at the school in Year 12 through the Chelmsford City Football Academy Scheme. 

“He is a role model for our students both on and off the pitch with his blend of athletic ability, exceptional attitude to learning, humility and academic achievements. We are extremely excited to have Dominic lead the team and look forward to seeing him continue his journey into Year 13.”

The teenager drew direct comparisons between captaining a side for 90 minutes and his future responsibilities as Head Student. 

When asked if teachers were the school version of referees, Dominic instead politely suggested they were more like a coach. 

He said: “If someone has a problem they can come to me and I’ll pass it on so we’re all on the same wavelength, there’s so many things I take from being a captain. Being a good leader on a football pitch is so important in life and I feel like it’s more than just football to be a leader - it’s all over the place and I think implementing that into life is very important. 

“Sometimes it’s a bit difficult when you have a problem to talk to a teacher straight away because it can be daunting, having someone their own age in me makes it much easier. It’s just liaising between teachers and students, making sure everyone’s happy and making it a safe environment for everyone to feel equal, that’s my role as a leader.” 

Since joining the Academy, the bright defender has been studying psychology, biology and PE. 

Refusing to let academia fall by the wayside as he sets his sights firmly on making it in football has made Dominic’s mum Denise Denney especially proud. 

“With Dominic, he’s always been really focused on both the education side of things and football,” Denise said.

“So although football is the thing he wants to pursue more than anything, he knows how important it is to have an education as well, so he’s really managed to get a good balance,” she added. 

Robbie Simpson believes Denise and Dominic’s dad Gary Forbes demonstrated real faith and support for their son by allowing him to sign up to a brand new academy.

And the big picture of Dominic’s appointment is yet more evidence - if any was needed - that the Football Club was right to partner with a local school, Robbie adds. 

“I’m proud of the Football Club for training an academy and partnering with a school like Moulsham - an amazing school.

He continued: “At a school like Moulsham to become Head Student when Dom’s only been there for a year - he must’ve made an amazing impression.

“It reflects so well on the Football Club and what we’re trying to achieve as a whole and I couldn’t be more proud of the Football Club, of Mickey and Wardy, of Dom and obviously Dom’s family as well for allowing him to do something not local to them after the disappointment of being released from Cambridge United, Dom’s made us all very, very proud people.”

The sentiment is very much echoed by Mark Farmer of Bridge Academy Trust, who credits Robbie in his own list of mentions.

He said: “Having worked very hard over the past 18 months to set up this wonderful partnership between the Trust, Moulsham High School and Chelmsford City FC, I was delighted to hear that one of the founder students of the Academy has been appointed to the position of Head Student. 

“Dominic is a fantastic student who has settled in very well to life at Moulsham High School, and I am confident he, alongside fellow Head Student, Molly, will lead the student body excellently. 

“Dominic clearly possesses great leadership qualities as a person, which will serve him well as he progresses with his sporting and academic future.”

Mark added: “As a trust, these opportunities are only possible because of true collaboration and partnership working. Steve Shore, as Chairman, Robbie, Mickey and Elliott have worked miracles to get the Academy thriving, and the school, under the leadership of Julia Mead, as Headteacher, and Faye Engelbrecht, as Head of Sixth Form, have ensured the boys receive first-class academic provision, in an outstanding sixth form, with excellent football provision combined. 

“The students’ futures are in excellent hands, and I couldn’t be prouder. The core values of our trust are around the journey of the child and of ‘community’. The success of Dominic’s appointment and of the Academy are excellent examples of how this is working really well in the Chelmsford area now and for the future.”


Bridge Academy Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 07663795.

Registered Office: Community Building, Bridge Academy Trust, Brian Close, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 9DZ.

Tel: 01245 202 937