UCFB’s Sean Addley recently secured much sought-after experience at the state-of-the-art National Football Centre at St George’s Park, working as Team Liaison Officer for an International tournament between the Turkey, Portugal, England and Italy U17 teams. We caught up with the BA (Hons) International Football Business student to find out about his fantastic placement opportunity.

How did the work experience at St George’s Park come about?

“I was on holiday when I first heard of the opportunity at St George’s Park and I just knew it was something that I had to get involved in. I began working there soon after I found out about the opportunity as a Team Liaison Officer for the Italian U17 team. My role as a Team Liaison Officer was to be there for all the needs of the Italian team and whatever the team needed. I was on hand to make sure they were happy at all times.”

What sort of things were you involved in while working for Italy U17s?

“I arrived at St George’s Park on the Monday and was given a tour from the Tournament Director before heading off to Birmingham Airport to welcome the Italian team. The Tuesday was spent preparing for their first match vs England on the Wednesday and I got to watch them train first-hand, which demonstrated how technically gifted the team were.

“When match day arrived the team gave me my very own ‘Italia’ coat and for the first time in my life I felt Italian. I felt even more Italian when the staff asked me to sit with them in the dugout during the game but unfortunately I had no idea what they were singing during their national anthem. England, who were extremely strong, won the game 3-0. Italy’s next game was on the Friday against an even stronger Portuguese team who won the game 6-0. They were frighteningly fast and skilful. 

“By the time Saturday arrived, West Brom were staying at the hotel before their match against Stoke in the Premier League, and the Italian team and I managed to get tickets to watch the game. Once we returned from Stoke, the team Physio, the team’s Head of Delegation and I went to the official dinner for the tournament and were given a lovely barbeque dinner whilst gifts from the four nations were exchanged.

On the final day Italy played Turkey, the fourth team in their group. Italy pulled it out of the bag and beat Turkey 2-0 with a very solid performance.”

What did you enjoy most about your time at St George’s Park?

“I was able to meet some fantastic people, and the Italian team and staff were so kind and welcoming which made the whole experience extremely enjoyable. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity at St George’s Park through UCFB and I absolutely loved every minute of it.”