FUTSAL AND EDUCATION: ‘From not knowing what to do in life, to representing my country in front of thousands’

EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme scholars, Morgan Pratt and Momodou Touray, are two prime examples of how the course can open the door to life changing pathways and experiences.

After approaching the end of secondary school, both boys were hesitant of what to do next in their lives. Never could they imagine that two years later, they would be playing for their home country in front of thousands of fans.

The boys were chosen to represent Wales at under-18 school boy level and played in international fixtures against England, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

“I wish I could relive the experience,” said Morgan. “From not knowing what to do with my life two years ago after finishing school, to then singing the Welsh national anthem away in Scotland in front of over a thousand people was unbelievable.”

Momodou commented: “I’ve always dreamed of playing for the Wales team. The atmosphere whilst coming on against Northern Ireland was phenomenal, it will be a moment I will never forget. It brought me to the realisation that this is only the beginning for me.”

The EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme specialises in offering a platform to young people who love sport but aren’t motivated by the classroom environment, presenting a different way to learn and progress in their careers.

Unlike regular college courses, students are able to combine studying sport, gaining qualifications that will enable progression into university, and play football and futsal with regular coaching to develop their technical, tactical and physical ability.

Morgan added: “I was unsure what to do next when I finished school. Then I came across an opportunity to go on the programme. At first I was worried about leaving my comfort zone and leaving my old school and friends – but it turned out to be the best decision I ever made.”

“I’ve always been interested in learning how the body works with nutrition, in different situations of exercise and activity,” Momodou said, “I’m so glad I chose to join the programme as I now realise it has helped me to understand nutritional information as a footballer and the best food and meals appropriate to contain a healthy diet.”

After representing Wales and going into his second year of the programme, Momodou has since signed a two year scholarship with Newport County AFC’s academy team.

He has already been named five times on the substitute bench for the first team, something that Newport County’s Futsal and Education Programme co-coordinator Dave Lewis is proud of.

He said: “It was fantastic to see Momodou offered a two year scholarship with the academy team and I am immensely proud to have played a part in his development.

“Both individuals [Momodou and Morgan] have showed a fantastic attitude towards their studies and consistently performed to an excellent standard during both futsal and football 11v11 games programmes.

“They both had unforgettable and outstanding experiences during their international fixtures which wouldn’t have been made possible if they weren’t part of the programme.”

The two scholars were also keen to encourage others with an interest in studying and playing sport to sign up to the programme.

“Anyone should consider signing up to the programme as it gives you the opportunity to not only study sport and get good qualifications, but also travel to different cities within the UK and play against experienced players,” Momodou said.

“You should sign up to the programme if you want to get a good education behind you,” added Morgan. “It gives you the tools to go to university and you get the chance to play lots of football and futsal which will definitely improve you as a player as the coaching is second to none.”

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

Active Choices participant set to represent England

Marek Hyde, a participant from Derby County Community Trust’s Active Choices programme has been chosen to represent his country in the upcoming Street Football World Cup.

The tournament takes place in Oslo between the 28th August – 6th September,seeing 64 teams, representing 52 countries, come together to celebrate and highlight the life changing work of the Street Football Partner Network.

Following his involvement in the Active Choices programme, Marek, aged 26, from Spondon will be one of 500 players at the competition, each with their own individual story.

Active Choices is a healthy lifestyle and behavioral change programme which helps people who have struggled with substance misuse issues. It has now helped over 500 people with drug and alcohol problems to turn their lives around, giving them the opportunity to receive one-to-one support and take part in worthwhile activities at a critical point in their recovery.

Marek joined the programme back in April 2016 following a referral from Jericho House, a residential addiction recovery project which works closely with Derby County Community Trust, supporting service users in achieving the highest quality of life and in realising their full potential.

Since joining, Marek has become fitter, more active and has stopped smoking. The support and exit routes have even allowed him to find full time employment and complete a Sports Leadership qualification in partnership with the Street Football Association, which led to the England call-up.

Following the news, Marek said:

 “I feel brilliant, it’s such an honor which I thought would never happen to me. It’s something I didn’t think would happen because it’s so unrealistic to think of playing for my country. It’s given me time to reflect on my achievements in recovery.

 “I’m really looking forward to getting out there, meeting my teammates and pulling on the shirt to represent England.”

 On the involvement of the Derby County Community Trust and the Active Choices programme he said:

“They have been there for guidance and support on my exercise and nutrition. The programme has helped me make new friends, given me the opportunity to play at professional football grounds and gain a sport leader qualification, helping me to further myself.”

Marek’s call-up comes following a long line of successes between the Active Choices programme and the Street Football Association. Over the past three years nine participants have made trips to Scotland, Chile, Portugal and Holland for the tournament.

Adam Rowley from Derby County Community Trust said:

“We are delighted for Marek. The opportunity is a reward for his engagement in the programme and the positive lifestyle changes that he has made. We have no doubts that he will do DCCT, Jericho House and his country proud throughout the tournament in August.’’


To find out more about Derby County Community Trust’s Active Choices programme visit –