Midfielder Alex Gilliead has been awarded the Trust’s PFA Community Champion of the Year award for 2019-20, sponsored by the PFA, in his debut campaign at the club.
The accolade comes after his hard work and dedication both on and off the pitch, with the Community Champion aspect of the award focusing on what professional footballers do in partnership with the SUFC Trust.
The 24-year-old took an immediate interest in making a difference in the community since arriving at Scunthorpe United from Shrewsbury Town in the summer and has got involved in a number of visits and schemes to aid the progression of the Trust.
Gilliead has provided a key motivation to this year’s Futsal scholars who began with us in September, visiting a training session in 2019 to learn the technical side of the indoor sport and discover the differences between that and the professional game.
He even returned to visit them early in 2020 to experience the other side of the course. He entered the classroom to see how the scholars were progressing with their NCFE Level Three Extended Diploma in Sport & Physical Activity (Sports Coaching) with Futsal programme and to provide further inspiration for the students.
Gilliead was also one of the players who volunteered to visit the Disney Ward of Scunthorpe General Hospital prior to Christmas, handing out presents to those on the ward.
Education Manager Gav Cooper said: “We’re very grateful that a number of the Iron’s first team players got involved with our numerous visits up until the COVID-19 pandemic halted both the season and our activities in March – either to the Futsal scholars, to our soccer camps, the hospital visit or to local schools.
“We feel that Alex has gone above and beyond with that during season and he’s taken a keen interest in the progression of our Futsal scholars, not only visiting them while training, but also in the classroom too. Nothing is too much trouble for Alex, he is always willing to come along and he has a positive attitude both on and off the pitch, that rubs off onto our students and drives them to continue to work hard.
“As well as that, Alex also visited the hospital in December. While a number of players could be nominated for our player of the year award, we feel that Alex edges it with the level of commitment and determination he shows towards us as a Trust and that has also been echoed by his performances for the first team, culminating in a brilliant first season at Scunthorpe United individually, both on and off the pitch.”
SUFC Trust, who are based in the Legends Lounge of the Sands Venue Stadium, have in recent years had two academic waves of Futsal scholars. From September 2020, the course is modifying slightly in partnership with North Lindsey College and the club’s academy, giving the next wave of scholars another chance to potentially make it as a professional footballer.