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PFA teams up with Football Manager for AIMS player experience day

Football Manager

Scholars involved in the PFA’s Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme (AIMS) were welcomed to Football Manager’s HQ in East London as part of a Player Experience Day programme. 

Launched in 2019, AIMS seeks to enhance representation across football by providing an extensive support and mentorship network to Asian footballers across the professional levels.  

AIMS Player Experience Days offer young Scholars the opportunity to network and grow their personal development skills outside of football club environments by exploring relevant organisations and careers across the industry.  

12 players visited the East London HQ of Sports Interactive, a British video game developer best known for creating Football Manager. Players were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the studio, lunch in the Football Manager lounge and took part in Q&A sessions with staff.   

Players also spent time with Matt Carroll, Chief Operating Officer at Sports Interactive, who discussed his career journey and offered practical advice to the young Scholars around honing their professional skills. He said: 

“It was great to welcome the AIMS team and Scholars to the Sports Interactive studio to show how Football Manager is made and how important input from fans, players, coaches and managers is into making the game.  

“By providing the opportunity to see how things are done, the studio hopes to inspire more young people from many diverse backgrounds to consider and explore opportunities in interactive entertainment alongside applying their passion for football.” 

Riz Rehman, PFA Player Inclusion Executive and AIMS programme lead, said:  

“We know how competitive it can be for Scholars to gain a professional contract and have a playing career. So, exposing young players to these relevant networks and opportunities outside of their day-to-day club environment is extremely valuable, especially those from typically underrepresented backgrounds.  

 “We had a fantastic turnout in East London, with parents and club representatives also in attendance, and I want to extend my thanks to the whole Football Manager team for their generosity and hospitality.” 

Amar Sanghrajka, 17-year-old Watford Scholar, attended the Football Manager Player Experience Day. He said: 

“People always talk about how important it is to have a back-up plan, but I just see it as having options. Today’s visit was interesting because we got to see how our football knowledge and skills could be applied in a new context.  

“The underlining message of the day was that there are more strands to the football industry than just playing. It’s great to be able to have these new experiences and also make friends with players in the AIMS network from other clubs.”  

The PFA’s AIMS programme facilitates year-round meetings and workshops where scholars, academy players, and their parents/guardians can engage with senior Asian players.  

Other Player Experience Days have been facilitated this year by the PFA at Sky Sports News and the PFA HQ in London, with more planned for 2024.  

Click here to read more about the work of the PFA’s AIMS programme.

PFA AIMS visit to Football Manager

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