Gabi: “I thought it might be difficult being one of few girls on the team – but everyone is treated exactly the same.”

To mark International Women’s Day 2018, EFL Trust have highlighted the efforts of motivated teenager Gabrielle Richardson, who has ambitions of becoming a full-time PE teacher.

Gabrielle, who is a current student on the EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme with Mansfield Town in the Community, says the support she has received from the club on her education pathway has been second to none.

After undertaking her GCSE’s and not getting the grades she had initially hoped for, the 16-year-old was unsure of what route to take next.

However an opportunity to go on the Traineeship programme with Mansfield Town helped to set her on a career pathway.

The EFL Trust Traineeship programme is designed to help those struggling academically to gain work experience and learn new skills based at a professional football club.

For 3 months, students spend 3 days a week shadowing professional members of club staff and community football coaches whilst obtaining valuable insight into working in the variety of opportunities in sport and leisure.

It was during her time as a trainee when Gabrielle realised her career aspiration – to become a full-time PE teacher.

She commented: “The Traineeship programme was brilliant for me and the staff at the club have been so supportive from day one.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to coach young children the most. It’s so fulfilling as I was in their position once and to pass on your knowledge and experience is the best.

“Coaching and inspiring young people has made me realise I would really love to one day become a PE teacher.’’

After completing the Traineeship, Gabrielle enjoyed her time with Mansfield Town that much, she continued onto the club’s BTEC Futsal and Education Programme.

Gabrielle is one of three females out of 13 students on the programme and admits she felt a little reluctant about this at first.

She continued: “At first, I thought it might be quite difficult being one of few girls on the team, but it’s never been an issue.

“You see no difference in training and the lads really accepted us from day one – we’re all treated exactly the same.

“I would highly recommend the Futsal and Education Programme to anyone.’’

Looking forward, as well as achieving the results she wants, Gabrielle is also hoping to become a female role model at a local school next year, working alongside the school’s female football development coach.

Elizabeth Regan, Education Officer at Mansfield Town in the Community, has been supporting Gabrielle throughout her time as a trainee and on the Futsal programme.

Elizabeth commented: “When Gabrielle first started with us, she was very quiet and wasn’t really sure what she wanted to do.

“It was clear from day one that she is very pro-active in getting involved with everything and is brilliant at coaching the young children, she is a fantastic female role model.

“She has really developed her confidence and I have no doubt that if she continues to work hard, she would one day make a fantastic PE teacher.’’

To find out more about the EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme visit:


International Women’s Day – 8th March

March 8 sees the annual International Women’s Day campaign kick-off for the year ahead, with this year’s theme focusing around #PressforProgress.

Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

International Women’s Day is not country, group or organisation specific. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. So together, let’s all be tenacious in accelerating gender parity. Collectively, let’s all Press for Progress.

To find out more visit:


95% of staff at Walsall FC CP have progressed through an Apprenticeship

For over 25 years Walsall FC Community Programme has run a very successful Apprenticeship Programme, in its varying guises since 1989.

95% of staff, including the current Community Director Adam Davy who joined the Club in 1994, have progressed through an Apprenticeship programme. Walsall FC Community Programme currently employ 8 Full time Coaches and have one 1st Year Apprentice and two 2nd Year Apprentices who are on an Advanced Apprenticeship.

Apprentices complete the most up to date industry standard qualifications and staff deliver Health, Education, Engagement and Sport programmes through a diverse and inclusive range of activities.

In Year 1 the Apprentices complete;

  • AfPE Level 2
  • Level 2 NVQ in Activity Leadership
  • Key Skills Maths and English. (if Required)

In Year 2 the Apprentices complete;

  • AfPE Level 3

Apprentices also complete their FA Coaching Badges during their time at the Club. The experiences and qualifications gained enable Apprentices to apply for full time jobs with our Community Programme or within the Sports Industry.   Over the years we have seen many Young People who have completed the Apprenticeship programme and have gone on to progress themselves further, these include;

Harry Rogers – 3 years apprenticeship – 2 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Sports coach at a local Primary School.

James Sellman – 2 years apprenticeship – 6 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Sports coach at a local Primary School.

Simon Bailey – 2 years apprenticeship – 4 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Sports coach at a local Primary School.

Dan Johns – 2 years apprenticeship – 4 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Sports coach at a local Primary School.

Adam Haywood – 2 years apprenticeship – 3 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Sports coach at a local Primary School.

Christopher Hearsey – 2 years apprenticeship – 3 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Learning mentor and teacher qualified status.

Jamie Hawkins – 2 years apprenticeship – 10 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Community Manager at a High School.

Jamie Edwards – 2 years apprenticeship – 6 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Coaching for New York Red Bulls and running his own sports business in the State of New York USA.

James Fryer – 2 years apprenticeship – 2 years employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Strength and Conditioning Coach at Local Sports Centre.

James Holland – 2 years apprenticeship – Progressed to Coaching at WBA Community Trust.

John Hunter-Barret – 2 years apprenticeship – 2 year’s employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Lead Foundation Coach at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.

Katie Grainger – 2 years apprenticeship – 2 year’s employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Coaching WBA Community Trust.

Jon Letford – 3 years apprenticeship – 2 year’s employment with WFCCP – Progressed to Sports coach in local Primary Schools.

Luke Tisdale – 1 years apprenticeship – Progressed to Foundation degree at university and Lead Youth phase Coach at Coventry City.

Scott Sumner – James Sellman – 2 years apprenticeship – 4 years employment with WFCCP- Progressed to Sports coach at a local Primary School.

Community Manager for Education, Paul Larvin, said: “It’s going really well.

“Our programme has up-skilled a large number of 16 to 18-year-olds, who had no previous experience in the industry or coaching qualifications, and they’ve been employed by schools and other organisations.

“We’re really pleased with our apprenticeship programme as it helps us grow as a Department and Charity. We will be advertising for new Apprentices in the next month and look forward to seeing the next generation of Apprentices joining us”

Joe Roberts, Assistant Community Officer at Walsall FC Community Programme

Assistant Community Officer, Joe Roberts, added: “I really enjoyed my time as an Apprentice.

“I joined the Scheme in 2016 and worked hard to gain experience and pass my Qualifications. When a position within the Department became available, this year, I was eager to apply and really pleased to be given the opportunity to begin Full Time employment at Walsall FC. I am enjoying the role and I would encourage Young People to consider Apprenticeships if they enjoy practical learning and want to work in the Sports Industry.”

More details regarding Walsall FC Community Programme can be seen on, Facebook (Walsall FC Community Programme) and Twitter (@WFCCP)

Education side face refugee team in memorable occasion

Barnsley FC’s education team faced a side made up of refugees in a what was a memorable occasion at Reds in the Community yesterday.

Jaber Abdullah created the African Tigers team in 2015 and his amazing work has seen them form two football sides with players from several different countries.

Abdullah’s team came from behind to win 3-2, with Josh Lovell scoring a fantastic volley and Tom Lambert also netting for the education side.

Both sets of players were awarded certificates and medals post-match whilst posing for plenty of pictures.

Social Inclusion Officer Hannah Phillips hailed Abdullah’s ‘brilliant’ work and said it was a great experience for the Tigers players.

She said: “I thought it was really successful. Both teams got really into it. Obviously, the refugee team won but the education lads did really well. It was nice to see them at the end all having pictures together. I thought it brought them all together.

“Jaber came with us about two years ago now. There was only him and about six mates. They started with us and had a training session every week with one of our coaches. It grew from Jaber just going out and spreading the word. He’s done brilliantly to form a team out of it.

“Getting to play at a professional football club on a fairly new pitch was great for them as well. I think they enjoyed it. You could tell at the end with all the photos and the mixing with each other, it was really good to see.

“We really want to get other clubs involved as well. Maybe we could take the Tigers team to face some Sheffield teams or just other teams in the county. It’s definitely something that we want to continue to support.”

Sudanese-born Abdullah was thankful for the support of Barnsley Football Club and Reds in the Community whilst being understandably proud of his Tigers.

He said: “Barnsley has changed. Asylum seekers love English people and English people love asylum seekers. It’s for everybody.

“In 2015 I created this team in a local park in Barnsley. It’s a very long story about how I created the team. It’s a team of all asylum seekers.

“The football club supports me. They give me shirts and anything else I want. This is the next team. The first team has gone to many different towns. The first team has gone to Manchester and London.

“The players are all from different countries. It was difficult how to play with 15 guys from different countries, different traditions, different languages and different religions. I am really proud of the team because it has been a success.”


Link to original piece:

Link to Facebook gallery of event:



EFL Footballers take on NCS Grads

Over the next 2 months, footballers from the EFL will be going toe-to-toe with NCS Graduates to take on the YES/NO game and find out more about NCS.

NCS (National Citizen Service) is a flagship government initiative that has provided 400,000 young people aged 16-17 the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and develop vital skills that will support them later in life.

The first footballer in the firing line is Rotherham United defender Ben Purrington who met Casey Holmes, a current member of EFL Trust’s Regional Youth board, and NCS Graduate from Rotherham.

Ben said: “It’s been a pleasure to meet Casey and learn more about NCS and her experience. The opportunities that NCS and Rotherham United offer are great for young people and I urge more to get involved.”

Talking about the YES/NO game, Ben continued: “It’s a lot harder than you think, but it was great fun and I did okay!”

The EFL Trust have been delivering the NCS programme since its pilot year in 2011 and now have a network of over 40,000 graduates. Using the power of football, EFL Trust are in a unique position to publicise the work that NCS are doing during the programme and after. Last year, the social media campaign #NCSMatchDay reached over three million people.

On 15th March, NCS Graduate and now professional footballer Louis Jones at Doncaster Rovers will take on fellow NCS Graduate Holly Dennis. To keep up to date, follow #SayYestoNCS.

To get £15* off NCS this Summer, click here.

EFL Kids Cup finalists in safe hands at Rovers

Blackburn Rovers goalkeepers David Raya and Jayson Leutwiler offered their support to the club’s EFL Kids Cup finalists Whitefield Primary by hosting a special hour long training session with the school.

The training session, which was held on the 4G surface at Priory Academy in Penwortham, Preston, was in preparation for the regional finals of the competition next month.

Raya and Leutwiler held a variety of different sessions including passing, dribbling and of course, their speciality, goalkeeping, for the primary schools young shot stoppers.

The children finished off with a mini game between themselves, which provided Raya and Leutwiler the opportunity to observe and offer any advice leading up to Whitefield’s EFL Kids Cup showdown in March at Wigan Athletic’s Robin Park Arena.

A win for Whitefield and Rovers will see the South Ribble based primary school don the famous blue and white jersey at Wembley Stadium in May in the EFL Kids Cup final ahead of the League One Play-Off final.

Leutwiler, who lives less than a mile away from Whitefield, hopes they can go all the way and reach the EFL Kids Cup final at the home of English football.

“We were there to offer advice and help Whitefield prepare for their matches coming up,” admitted the Canadian international.

“They all seemed to enjoy the training session we put on and straight away we could tell how much they love football.

“They are now playing for a chance to reach Wembley and I am sure it will be a dream come true for them if they can go all the way. I really hope they do well and I wish them all the best in the regional finals.”

To find out more information about the EFL Kids Cup visit:

Charlton Athletic mark Football v Homophobia Month with unique training session

Charlton Athletic’s management team took time out of their EFL League One promotion race on Thursday [22nd February 2018] to run a one-off training session for Charlton Athletic Community Trust Invicta FC. 

CACT Invicta FC are the first LGBTQI+ friendly team to be affiliated to a professional football club, as a part of February’s Football v Homophobia Month of Action.

Demonstrating Charlton’s commitment to supporting CACT Invicta’s aims to raise awareness of LGBT issues and tackle homophobia, CAFC First Team Manager Karl Robinson was joined by his Assistant Lee Bowyer and First Team Coach/Club Captain Johnnie Jackson.

The trio put the team through their paces with a punishing session at the Club’s Sparrows Lane training ground in New Eltham during a chilly lunchtime.

CACT Invicta FC is open to all players, regardless of their background. In their inaugural season in Charlton’s colours, Invicta are sitting top of the London Unity League, 6 points clear, with 4 games to play.

CACT Invicta Player/Manager Gary Ginnaw reflected on the nature of the ground breaking work his team were undertaking saying: “All we want to do is come down, play football, work hard and be successful.

“Hopefully we will have something to look back on in years to come that we achieved together and made a difference.”

Football v Homophobia is a grassroots campaign that exists to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression at all levels in football.

Charlton Athletic dedicated their home game against Oxford at the beginning of February to tackling homophobia, the second annual themed match-day of this kind at The Valley.

Speaking at the event, CACT Chief Executive Officer Jason Morgan MBE spoke about how Charlton Athletic has always led the way in fighting discrimination: ”There are certainly echoes of the work we undertook to combat racism in football back in the 1990’s. Those projects were picked up and taken to a national level.

”Similarly, it’s now great to see other clubs across the country now affiliating LGBTQI+ friendly teams and taking positive steps to promote inclusion and supporting this within club and community projects.”


To find out more about Football v Homophobia visit:

Ex EFL Trust Futsal and Education graduate represents England

Alex Turfrey, a former Leeds United Foundation EFL Trust Futsal scholar, is a prime example of how the programme can open up life changing opportunities and experiences.

Not only did he make his England Futsal debut in December last year, but he also became a national champion as he helped his side win the Four Nations Tournament in Edinburgh.

The 21-year-old joined another student at Leeds United Foundation, Joe Kenny, in representing the national team in futsal.

He said: “It’s an honour to represent my country – I’m so happy to have made my family and friends proud.

“There’s so much I’ve learned already and the experience has been incredible. I feel it’s only going to make me develop even further being in a team full of experienced and talented players.”

Alex, who describes himself as an ‘Andrea Pirlo’ type of futsal player playing in the ‘back man’ role, believes if it wasn’t for the programme at Leeds United Foundation he may have never found out about his underlying talent in the sport.

He continued: “I first found out about the EFL Trust Futsal games programme at Leeds United when a friend I knew was going for a trial and he asked me if I wanted to go.

“I went and as soon as I started playing, that was it, I was hooked.

“If it wasn’t for that decision to give it a go, who knows what I’d be doing now – I certainly wouldn’t be the person and player I am today.’’

Since graduating from the programme in 2015, Alex progressed to study at university level at Loughborough University where he is currently undertaking his third year studying sports coaching.

He now represents Loughborough Futsal Club in the National Super League – the highest level of futsal in England.

He insists his progression in the sport all stems from his time around the coaches at Leeds United.

“My time at Leeds was a massive stepping stone for me. The coaches at Leeds are so knowledgeable and know exactly how to help you develop and reach your potential.

“I’d recommend the BTEC programme to anyone. It really is a fantastic chance to represent your club, wear the badge and not only play futsal but get an education too.’’

Looking to the future, Alex hopes to not only keep his place in the England Futsal side but develop as a coach and inspire others.

He even wishes to help out at a place he feels he owes so much to.

“One day I hope to go back to Leeds United Foundation to help out and coach, I feel I want to give something back to a place that did so much for me.

“It’s a great feeling inspiring others and coaching people of different ages, helping them to improve their sporting life and then maybe even seeing them pass on their knowledge and help someone else.’’

To find out more about the EFL Trust Futsal visit:

EFL Trust celebrates 10 year anniversary

2018 sees the EFL’s official charity, EFL Trust celebrate ten years of positively impacting people’s lives through the power of football.

The special anniversary was officially celebrated on Monday 12th February, with a multitude of special guests across football in attendance at EFL House in Preston.

Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen hosted the afternoon, and she was joined by former Manchester United Assistant Manager Mike Phelan, EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey and many others, including a number of EFL Trust staff, key partners and participants who went on to share their stories showcasing the successful work of EFL Clubs in their communities.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Currie/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9374618ax)
Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen at 10th Anniversary of the EFL Trust
EFL Trust 10th Anniversary, EFL House, Preston, UK, 12 February 2018

“To hear some of the stories today of the participants that have benefitted from the EFL Trust programmes has been amazing,” McQueen said.

“Working in football all these years allows you to see the massive impact Clubs can have on communities and individuals. Football clubs are at the heart of the community and that’s why days like today, celebrating the EFL Trust, are hugely important – so you can see the work that goes on behind the scenes to change lives.

“Players on the pitch often create the headlines but there are so many more success stories going on that are helping the greater good.”

Based in the heart of communities up and down the country, EFL Clubs are at the forefront of helping to tackle some of the biggest issues in society from reducing crime, improving health and inspiring education, and they continue to deliver programmes that benefit the lives of hundreds of people, using the magnetism of the Club badge to make a difference.


Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Currie/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9374618ds)
Carol Bates from Crawley COGS and Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen at 10th Anniversary of the EFL Trust
EFL Trust 10th Anniversary, EFL House, Preston, UK, 12 February 2018


Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Currie/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9374618o)
Corbin Davies aged 9 and dad Darren at 10th Anniversary of the EFL Trust
EFL Trust 10th Anniversary, EFL House, Preston, UK, 12 February 2018

During the event, four participants shared their inspirational stories about how the EFL Trust network has significantly changed their lives. Their inspirational stories show the massive breath of the Trust’s work – Marek Hyde, a young man getting off drugs and into employment; Carol Bates, a lady that started a movement for older women to play football; Cheyenne Van Den Berg, a teenager who gained the belief to take on a world of opportunities and Darren Davies, father of Corbin Davies, a young boy who found the confidence not to be defined by his disability.


Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Currie/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9374618dx)
Marek Hyde and Cheyenne Van Den Berg at 10th Anniversary of the EFL Trust
EFL Trust 10th Anniversary, EFL House, Preston, UK, 12 February 2018

One of the standout stories of the day was Marek Hyde of Derby County’s Active Choices Programme.

Marek endured a turbulent past through substance addiction and after making steps to change his life, got involved with Derby County’s Active Choices Programme – a healthy lifestyle and behavioural change programme.

Marek joined the programme in 2016 and has since turned his life around. With the help and support of the Club, he found full-time employment and completed a Sports Leadership qualification in partnership with the Street Football Association. He also received an England call-up to the Street Football World Cup in Oslo.

Hyde said: “I was in prison when I realised something needed to change, and in a way I was relieved to be there because my life outside of prison was so bad.

“When it had sunk in I sat there and thought ‘do I want this?’ I knew I had an opportunity to make a change. I got in touch with Derby County Community Trust through my rehab programme and once I was involved with them they helped me fill my days with football, activities and positive things. It gave me something to look forward to and really helped sustain my recovery.”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Currie/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9374618aj)
Mike Evans Director of Operations of the EFL Trust at 10th Anniversary of the EFL Trust
EFL Trust 10th Anniversary, EFL House, Preston, UK, 12 February 2018

The EFL Trust was established in 2008 to support EFL Clubs and the growing amount of community work that was being carried out. Since its inception, the EFL Trust has secured and distributed a significant amount of funding to help deliver a range of national projects within the 72 EFL Clubs and EFL Trust Director of Operations Mike Evans says the future for EFL Club Community Trusts is exciting:

“As we enter our tenth year, we will shortly be making a distribution that takes us over the one million pound mark, which is a phenomenal amount of money to support the great community work that our Clubs are delivering,” he said.  

“We’re excited about the future and with good reason,” he continued.

“Our biggest thank you goes to the Club Trusts themselves, as without them we don’t exist. We now have over 2,400 staff working on community programmes across the country and I never cease to be amazed by the people we have delivering our programmes and wearing their club badge with pride.”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Currie/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9374618cb)
Free style footballer John Farnworth at the 10th Anniversary of the EFL Trust
EFL Trust 10th Anniversary, EFL House, Preston, UK, 12 February 2018


Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Currie/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9374618e)
The EFL Trust 10th anniversary birthday cake
EFL Trust 10th Anniversary, EFL House, Preston, UK, 12 February 2018


Home office based scheme to benefit hundreds of Wigan youngsters

Young people in Wigan are set to learn about the dangers of knife crime as part of a Home Office backed initiative from Wigan Athletic Community Trust.

Delivered in partnership with Wigan Council, the Trust have received funding of £2,440 to deliver workshops to over 300 youngsters aged 12-19 years old across the borough to raise awareness of the subject and to help prevent knife crime.

Rachel Scott, Inclusion Officer at Wigan Athletic Community Trust, said: “The project encourages young people to consider the impact and challenges that knife crime can have on their local communities and the wider society, including how to deal with conflict and staying safe.

She added: “We’ll be engaging with a number of young people through open discussions and workshops so they have a better understanding of the consequences associated with carrying a knife and its impact on them and their families.”

The Knife Crime Community Fund, launched by the Home Office, supports projects that reduce knife crime and have a positive impact on young people at risk of carrying a knife and committing a crime.

Victoria Atkins, Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, said: “I’m pleased that we were able to announce this funding for Wigan Athletic Community Trust, which will help them to continue to support young people in Wigan to make the right choices about knives.

She added: “The Knife Crime Community Fund is another important step towards stamping out this scourge and keeping our communities safe.”

Latics club captain Dan Burn, said: “The workshops will benefit so many young people in Wigan and credit must go to the Community Trust once again for the launch of such a fantastic initiative.”

For more information about the Knife Crime workshops, please call 01942 318090 or email Inclusion Officer Rachel Scott on [email protected].