As part of International Women’s Day, we are celebrating the fantastic transformation of participants who believe that working with our Community Trusts have given them incredibly valuable experiences as they look to progress in their careers and studies.
After quickly impressing coaches on the EFL Trust Futsal games programme with Albion in the Community (AITC), Faye Williams, aged 16, was subsequently accepted onto the FA Disability National Emerging Talent Programme aimed at identifying future England internationals.
She believes the support she has received from AITC has been pivotal to her achievements.
She said: “AITC have been very supportive and they have really helped me improve my confidence as a player. I’m so proud to represent the Club I support and wear the badge.
“During my time with AITC, I have learned the importance of reaction time, developing more intelligence in the game, the importance of communication and I have more interest in my personal fitness levels too.
“The high level of coaching has really enabled me to achieve my dream of playing for England.”
The teenager, who has a hearing and language impairment, signed up to play with AITC having been involved with the Club Community Organisation for five years.
She was spotted by AITC’s Futsal Coach Chris Day, at the age of 12 during a school football tournament in 2014.
Currently, alongside playing for AITC’s EFL Trust Futsal team, Faye plays for AITC’s under-18’s disability team and the AITC Talent Hub.
Faye is the only girl among 80 students currently studying on AITC’s two full-time sports diploma courses, which combine academic study with daily futsal training and competitive fixtures.
Talking about her experience of being the only girl on the course, she said:
“When I heard I was going to be the only girl I was nervous, but I chose not to let it stand in my way.
“I’ve grown up playing football with boys and even my school was 75% boys so I’ve been used to it.
“My advice to any other girls interested in playing football or futsal would be to give it a try and if you’re passionate about it don’t let anything hold you back.
“It’s challenging, fast paced and very technical so it can really improve your game.”
Faye is a fantastic example of someone who won’t let anything stand in their way of achieving their goals.
Looking forwards, her dream is to represent England Women and her coach Chris Day has no doubt that if she keeps on putting in the hard work, her goal isn’t too far on the horizon.
“I truly believe Faye has the potential to become an international futsal player, and a very good coach within the game at some point if she wants.
“She recently impressed the International Futsal Academy at Loughborough University, when we took a group of students there, and I’d love to see her move there after she finishes with us in two years.
“She has been an absolute please to teach and is a great example of the benefits of having joined-up the pathway within the Albion in the Community scheme from aged 11 to 16 and beyond. The EFL Trust Futsal programme has been key to her development.”
Sarah McAdam, AITC’s BTEC Programme Manager added: “Faye is an incredibly resilient and committed individual who has impressed everyone with her determination to overcome barriers in order to succeed.”