I decided to do the Futsal Education Scholarship in 2013 for two years instead of going to college and studying the sports course that I already applied for and was ready to start in September. I think making that decision was definitely one of the best decisions I have made. Coming out of the Futsal Course with DMM was better than I was predicted by the college when I applied.
The two years I studied towards the BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport are definitely two years I wont forget. Studying down at Scunthorpe United with the other 15 lads near enough every day was certainly a huge laugh. I used to love going in to see everyone who were strangers at the start of the course and now most of the lads are very close friends. We were all on the course because we enjoy taking part and learning about sports. We had an excellent tutor (Bamber) and the course manager and coach (Gav) who was always around and still are if we need them, regardless of if they no longer have any connections with the Futsal Scholarship.
Obviously the education part is very important but travelling to Leeds every other Wednesday to play Futsal in a very competitive league was extremely enjoyable. Playing against so many different clubs and also the opportunity to play in different parts of the country with the National tournaments and the Futsal Soccer AM Cup.
I got the chance to go to Birmingham where we won the Nationals Cup, Wolverhampton for a tournament, Newcastle, St Georges Park (National Football Centre) where England train and finally got to play at London’s Olympic Copper Box Arena.
My best memories about the course are probably training three times a week with all the lads that was very competitive but a good laugh. Also travelling to Leeds on the mini bus to play every Wednesday against our rival clubs especially Grimsby, Doncaster and Sheffield United.
My proudest moment from the two years was representing the North of England two years in a row. That came from performing well on Wednesdays in Leeds and getting recognised by an England Coach and making my way through regional events.
Not only this but the grades I managed to achieved in the two years (DMM) enabled me to continue learning sports and study Community Football Coaching and Development at The University Of South Wales (USW) which was my chosen step after the Futsal Education Programme finished after the two years. This course which is an option after the Futsal course enables me to study at Scunthorpe United with online lectures having to go to Cardiff three times a year for practical assignments and learning about the university lifestyle.
Again, playing well on Wednesdays and in the Futsal games allowed me to be chosen for the University to play at the Copper Box in London against the Soccer AM crew (Max Rushden, Trev, etc…) which was definitely a day to remember!
Through my achievements on the Futsal Scholarship and also given the opportunity to qualify as a FA Level One Coach in both Football and Futsal I have been working with Gav as Assistant Coach with the Futsal Scholars. This has gave me an insight into how it feels not only to be a Futsal Scholar but also a coach. I feel I have been able to relate to the players really well as I was once in their Futsal shoes. Moving forward, I am looking forward to progressing as a coach and having a continued impact on the scholars passing on my knowledge and experience.
All in all, me and the other 15 lads studied hard, made memories, trained well and played well in tournaments and at the Leeds Futsal arena we all had a very successful 2 years and most lads are still in touch with each other today.