By Rebecca Hawksworth

Since his time at UCFB began two years ago, BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance student Alex Claydon has been continuing to work for the FA Youth Council to help develop youth leadership programmes across various counties.

Alex had already completed some work for the Essex FA before his move up to Manchester in 2016, where he transferred over to work for the Manchester FA.

Alex explained some of roles that he carries out for The FA. He said: “When I moved up to Manchester and I got involved with the Manchester FA, I joined their Young Leaders Academy, becoming chairperson that year. The next year I applied to the National Youth Council and succeeded in getting a role as north west regional engagement officer.

“I am responsible for working with all of the counties in the north west to develop youth leadership programmes.”

Having now worked for the Manchester FA for almost two years, Alex has been able to take part in some incredible opportunities with the organisation. He went on to speak of just some of his highlights. He said: “There have been a lot of really amazing opportunities come up this year that I didn’t expect to have. I got the opportunity to work on the U17 European Championships in May, which were held in England, as a VIP host. This meant that I was looking after all of the VIP guests for the whole event, hosting the games and making everyone feel welcome whilst also networking.”

Alex added: “I also had the opportunity to go to Georgia recently through The FA’s ‘Changing Lives’ programme. It was an amazing experience to visit a beautiful country and deliver our leadership programme in a completely different culture. We made great relationships with the Georgian football federation, and gained so much experience delivering a complex programme to volunteers in a new environment.”

Alex went on to speak of how he hopes to continue to develop and progress with The FA even beyond UCFB. He said: “In the future I’d like to work either here in England full time for The FA, or abroad for another association. I have loved my time working in youth leadership and enjoy developing others.

“My time at The FA has given me so many skills, a lot of confidence, and a really broad network of contacts for the future. I’m not sure where I will end up working but I have enjoyed where this is taking me and I hope that it continues further.”