Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Grenadian Beckles appointed new PFA chair

Published:Friday | February 10, 2023 | 1:51 AM

LONDON, England (CMC):

Grenada international Omar Beckles said he hopes to help improve the image of England’s Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) after being elected chair of the organisation.

The defender, 31, who made his debut for the Caribbean island’s Spice Boys four years ago and plays for English League Two leaders Leyton Orient, has replaced John Mousinho.

“Sometimes there is a bit of a stigma or a bad perception of the PFA and what they do for players,’ he said.

“Hopefully, I can change that narrative and really help the level of engagement to grow in my time, especially from younger ages.”

Mousinho had to stand down from his role at the PFA after being appointed manager of League One side Portsmouth last month.

Last week, centre back Beckles was elected as Mousinho’s successor by fellow members of the PFA’s players’ board, a 12-member group comprising elected PFA members from the Premier League, Women’s Super League, and English Football League.

“It’s an absolute privilege and honour to be elected by my fellow professionals and represent them,” United Kingdom-born Beckles said.

“It’s vital that players have a voice and their voice is heard. I’ll be doing my utmost to try and make sure the union really represents our members. I am looking forward to the challenge.”

Former Millwall trainee Beckles had spells at Aldershot Town, Accrington Stanley, Shrewsbury Town, and Crewe Alexandra before joining Orient in the summer of 2021. He has scored twice in 30 appearances for Orient this season.

He will work alongside PFA chief executive Maheta Molango to ensure players’ views are communicated and represented in the running of the union.

“I am going to be the link between the dressing room and the boardroom,” Beckles added.

“It could be all sorts of conversations – anything from players and their interactions with fans, and pitch invasions, down to racism or matters pertaining to women’s football.”