Amateur FA Board of Directors

Meet the Amateur FA Inclusion Advisory Group and Youth Advisory Group.

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inclusion advisory group

 Charlotte Lawrence

Charlotte is the Strategy & Performance Manager within the Grassroots Division at The FA. Prior to this, Charlotte spent the previous decade working in Government across various departments, including the Home Office, The Cabinet Office and finally the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, where she spent five years as the Head of Sport Participation.  


Charlotte is the Vice-Chair of the IAG and is a passionate advocate for equality and inclusion. She hopes to use her role in the group to support the Amateur FA’s efforts in delivering football for all.


Charlotte has a huge passion for football and the important role it can play in delivering social good. She is a FA Level 1 coach and a regular player. Charlotte is a massive Arsenal fan and can regularly be found at the Emirates, Borehamwood and on the road, supporting both the men’s and women’s teams.

Stephen Obeto

• Name: Stephen Obeto.
• Age: 42.
• Home Life: I’ve been married for 5 years Brenda. We have 1 lovely and pleasant child: Eva.
• Where I’ve lived: I grew up in Benin City and later lived in Abuja and Lagos. I moved to London after Nigeria's 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
• School: I attended Ambrose Alli University (Psychology, B.Sc) and University Football Business Campus (International Sports Management, M.Sc), and FA Talent Identification Level 1: An Introduction to Scouting.
• Work: I’ve worked in sport most of my career, and I currently work as an international friendly football match agent (FIFA licensed).
• Amateur FA Involvement: I am the current chairman of the IAG and I also serve in a subcommittee of the group. I am passionate about grassroots football development.

Natalie is a commercial contracts solicitor. Natalie has always been passionate about making a difference, specifically, Natalie has championed Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives since she was at sixth form. She is a mentor for young people; was a dedicated, active member of the D&I networks at both her previous law firms, has been an organiser and panellist at D&I events aiming to give inspiration and support to future ethnic minorities lawyers. Natalie has also sat on the UK Diversity Legal Awards organisation committee.


As a member of the Amateur FA Inclusion Advisory Group Natalie is on hand to offer her passion, knowledge and aspirations for D&I in a sport she loves, because she believes that football should truly be accessible to all at the grass roots level and beyond. She is committed to doing all she can to help achieve this.  Natalie admits that, as a member of this unique forum, she also takes the opportunity to share her ‘expertise’ on the intricacies of the beautiful game whenever she can!


Natalie is a devoted Gooner, likes to travel and is an enthusiastic foodie. Natalie is currently studying for an International Sports Management MSc at UCFB.  


Neal Hickey

I work for the West Ham United Foundation managing a Mental Health referral project in partnership with the NHS. I manage the relationship with a number of Club Charitable Organisations across the country to ensure they are empowering young people to build and develop life skills in order to thrive.

In January of 2008 I started to volunteer with my local Special Olympics Club in Dublin, Ireland. I did that for a number of years before taking on a full time role with Special Olympics in the United States of America. In that role I was focused on increasing participation for athletes with an intellectual disability through local clubs and through Project Unify partnering disabled and non disabled athletes together in sporting competitions.

Since moving to London in 2017 I have worked with the Chelsea Foundation coaching disabled athletes, and coaching a women's club in my local community. I also work as a training consultant with Student Minds supporting staff in Higher Education to deliver mental health training to young people. I joined Honourable Artillery Company in a playing capacity before having to retire with lovely arthritis in my knee.

I am a big believer in the power that football has to support individuals and communities and similarly, to use community clubs as a vehicle for social inclusion. 

I hope to be able to add value to the IAG board by helping and assisting where possible to ensure inclusion is at the heart of every club.

Sak Rafique

Sak Rafique is the founder and lead mental fitness coach at ORANGE BALL. He has over 20 years of experience supporting individuals and teams as a mental fitness performance and leadership coach.


He is an accredited Level 7 Executive Coach and Mentor and an Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology practitioner.


Sak is currently delivering his mental fitness coaching programmes on behalf of Middlesex FA and is a member of the expert affiliate panel at The Surrey Football Coaches Association. 


He is passionate about education, inclusion, equity and supporting individuals and groups to cultivate mental fitness. 

Harminder Kaur Behal

I’m passionate about talent identification and coaching in football. Currently working as a scout for an agency in London, I’m also restarting my coaching journey as a 100 FC coach.

As a female football scout, I want to inspire and champion other females and under-represented groups. I’d like them to explore all pathways within the sport. I believe it’s possible for anyone with a love of the game to succeed through inclusive behaviours and access to opportunities. These will help them build up confidence to reach their goals, knowing the change they make will reshape the industry for the better.

Professionally, I’ve gained an FA Level 1 in Coaching Football, as well as Level 1 and 2 Talent Identification in Football with the Professional Football Scouts Association.

I’m looking to continue my professional development in talent ID and coaching. My interests apart from sports include all things travel-related. I love living in different countries, learning languages and immersing myself in other cultures.

Brian Silk

Brian has been involved in LGBTQ+ friendly football since 2004. He has been a player for Leftfooters FC, Stonewall FC and Bexley Invicta FC, playing in matches and tournaments all over the UK and in Europe, North America and South America.

He is the Founder and ex-Chair of Bexley Invicta FC (now Charlton Invicta FC). He is now Chair of the London Unity League, the capital’s only LGBTQ+ friendly football league. Brian was part of the team that brought the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association to London in 2008. He was the Vice Chair of Kent FA’s Equality Advisory Group from 2011 to 2016.

HR Director (Independent)

Nominated Director

Chief Executive Officer of the Amateur FA

Steve has been a Board Director for the AFA since 2019 and is keen to bring his experience of amateur football at both club and League level, and particularly his football administration skills and wide knowledge of FA systems, to the role, as well as his experience in Risk and Finance.  He sits on the Audit and Risk Committee, and more recently has been involved in the Board Communication workstream.

Now retired, Steve is an experienced Commercial Banker, who worked in a wide variety of roles in Lloyds Banking Group in its various guises over many years. In recent times, Steve has been involved in Portfolio Analytics, Bank of England and Scenario Stress Testing, Economic Profit, and more recently worked with the frontline business in evaluating and pricing new and existing business.

Outside of the AFA, Steve is a member of the Southern Amateur League Management Committee (as Registration Officer and Development Committee Chair), as well as Chairman of The Warren FC.

Steve is a supporter and life member of Chesterfield FC, a town where he spent his formative childhood years, and a keen golfer.

Commercial Director (Independent)