Brixton-based winger Trey Small shining for Fisher – and his mum is an enthusiastic backer of his talents

BY YANN TEAR
yann@slpmedia.co.uk

Fisher fans may already be aware of her. She is turns up at every home match and gets particularly animated when the team’s flying winger Trey Small finds the net – which is proving to be quite often.

But the enthusiasm and devotion to one of the team’s stand-out players this season is understandable. She is proud mum Claudette, and right now she has much to relish.

The 19-year-old’s recent double in a 3-0 win over Rusthall was described by the club’s website as “two delightful finishes [which] lit up St Paul’s”.

That brace put Small on 10 goals for the campaign, halfway to his target of 20. He bagged 15 last season, despite not being there from the start.

His strikes have helped Fisher to the top of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division, and the club are eyeing back-to-back promotions.

Small is in a good place right now. He is enjoying the backing, not only of his doting mother, but of a father-figure manager in Dean Harrison.

“Yes, they are both really important to me,” Small told the South London Press.

“From day one, mum’s been my biggest fan, encouraging me when I was taking up the game at a very early age. She always comes to home matches and it’s great to have her there cheering us on. And the boss is a really good guy, as well as a great coach. He always has faith in me.

“If I’m not playing well, he’ll take me aside and give me advice. He’s not like that just with me though, he’s like that with everyone.

“I like to express myself on the pitch and he encourages me. When I joined last season, I came straight into the side and kept my place. At times, it was a bit up and down, but I always tried hard, and got more consistent, as we finished third to get promoted.

“It’s been even better this year. I love laying on chances for others, but if I see a chance myself, I go for it.”

Small grew up in Bromley before moving to Crystal Palace and now Brixton. He had trials with three league teams – Crystal Palace, Millwall and Brentford – and although nothing came of that, he feels he is now better placed to draw the attention of scouts and break into the professional game.

“I definitely feel I’m good enough to play at higher levels in the game,” he said.

“I know what I can do. I have a lot of pace, but skills too, and enjoy those one-v-one situations. But most of all, I just love to get into the box and shoot at goal.

“I’m inspired by my hero Lionel Messi. He’s someone I’d love to go and see play one day, although there may not be much time to do it, because he’s nearer the end of his great career now.”

Harrison is full of praise for his young star.

“He’s doing really well and improving all the time – understanding the game more,” Harrison said. “He’s still got work to do when it comes to adapting to different formations, but he’s got bags of natural talent.

“Trey could definitely play up a couple of levels at least. Kids like that will inevitably play higher, but at least he will be here for the rest of the season.

“He needs an arm around the shoulder at times, but he’s a lovely, quiet kid, from a good family, not afraid of making the odd practical joke. The nutmegs on me in training need to stop, but apart from that, he’s okay!

“He plays out wide for us, but I can also see him as a number 10 behind the strikers. He’s got pace, can shoot from distance and has good strength. He’s deceptive because he is small, but he holds defenders off well and is good at winning back the ball.”

Small’s success mirrors that of the team as a whole, who continue to punch above their collective weight in a division full of clubs with greater resources. They are back on top of the table after a 1-0 win at Sheppey last weekend.

“Our remit was just to stay up this year after being promoted last season,” Harrison said. “We were one of the relegation favourites before the season started, as we have one of the smallest budgets in the league.

“While we have injuries and suspensions, teams around us are buying players and working to a budget of £2-3k, whereas we operate on £300 a week.

“Obviously we are in with a great chance of going up again, but we really just want to enjoy the season and stay together as a team.”

Harrison believes that in spite of the financial constraints, the club can one day reach the same level in the fifth tier of English football as forerunners Fisher Athletic.

But he says it will take a bit of cash help from local businesses and maybe Millwall, who lease them the ground they play and train on.

“We are operating on a shoestring but we have crowds of 150-200 and I know the numbers will rise again if we can go up higher in the leagues,” he said. “But we need the help of local businesses, who might be able to sponsor us.

“We could also use some help from Millwall. We are currently paying them £15k a year to play and train were we are, as they manage the ground, and that’s too much for us.

“One hundred per cent, we can get back to where the old Fisher were, but only if we get help with our budget.”

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