Find out how Alfie has been able to find inspiration through our free PL Kicks sessions and how they have helped him find a focus throughout lockdown.

Alfie started attending PL Kicks in Harlescott every Friday night when the sessions first began in October 2019. Through the sessions he was able to engage with his friends in a safe and supportive environment which allowed him to develop his technical skills and grow in confidence. As a result of his commitment Alfie was invited to become one of our regular ball retrievers at Montgomery Waters Meadow, giving him further opportunities to engage with the football club and experience as a volunteer.

In March when the country was put into lockdown, like many others Alfie struggled with not being able to see his family and friends and play football. However with our weekly PL Kicks Zoom calls Alfie was given an opportunity to engage with his friends regularly and meant that he had ‘something to look forward to each week’. During these sessions the group was joined with Shrewsbury Town FC players who took part in quizzes and offered advice to participants as well as talking about how the situation was affecting everybody. Thanks to these sessions Alfie eventually gained confidence and asked if he could lead one of the sessions himself and run a quiz for other participants. The session went down really well with other participants and demonstrated how Alfie’s public speaking and presentation skills had improved.

He later took part in a referee’s workshop ran by the PLFC and hosted by Chris Foy where Alfie’s enthusiasm made him stand out. After being impressed by his inquisitive attitude the PLFC then picked Alfie to interview current Premier League referee Chris Kavanagh. During the interview Alfie asked questions he had written himself along with a select few from other PL Kicks clubs across the country and showed great interview technique, always asking follow-up questions and being able to adjust questions on the fly.

Alfie told us about how much the virtual sessions have helped him grow.

“Before lockdown I started coming to PL Kicks and they really helped me to get better at football and gave me something fun to do. When lockdown started I was disappointed that couldn’t go to the sessions anymore but then I heard they were doing zoom calls and there would be some Shrewsbury Town players in them. This made me really happy because it gave me people to talk to during these crazy times. I also got to interview Premier League referee Chris Kavanagh, this was my favourite thing because I’ve never done anything like that before and it was great to speak to a really good person that I look up to. I’m really happy that PL Kicks is starting to come back again because it makes things feel a bit more normal and I’ve got a routine again.”

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