An inspiring group of current and former Academy players from Premier League, English Football League, and Women's Super League clubs have recently joined the second cohort of the Premier League Futures programme, which is helping them to prepare for future roles in the game beyond the football pitch.
The programme is tailored to the 18–24-year-olds, supporting them with both their personal and professional development.
The course covers areas such as leadership, life skills and behaviours essential for preparing the group for future leadership roles within football. The programme also offers those taking part the opportunity to engage in sessions featuring inspiring guest speakers from various Premier League partners and agencies across a range of different industries.
One recent standout event on the journey of these aspiring footballers and Academy graduates was their visit to the Electronic Arts (EA) UK HQ. This experience provided them with insights into an organisation which is a leader in the world of entertainment and innovation.
While there, the cohort was tasked with designing a football kit showcasing what the sport means to them, enabling the young people to combine their flair for both the game and design.
The winning football kit, judged by Premier League and EA SPORTS staff, was from Eric Ameyaw, former Fulham, now at Hayes and Yeading, Kasom Shah, former Accrington Stanley, now studying to become a teacher, Charlie Hayes-Green, former Liverpool, now at Bolton Wanderers and Iyiola Adebayo, former West Ham United, currently studying for a UCFB Degree scholarship, which the Premier League have supported, titled ‘Faith in Footsteps.’
It demonstrates the team members’ individual journeys through the Academy system and their time in football so far, as well as being reflective of their different backgrounds.
The victorious team's "Faith in Footsteps" kit will be released in-game to EA FC 24 in early 2024.
Fulham Academy graduate Eric Ameyaw said: “Visiting EA's headquarters was a fantastic experience for me. It wasn't just about designing a kit; it was a glimpse into the intersection of creativity and sports. Learning from industry leaders showed me that there's a whole world beyond the pitch where passion and innovation collide. It's not just about playing the game; it's about creating new dimensions within it.”
James Taylor, Director, FC Brand Activation - Football Partnerships, said: “We were delighted to be able to support the Premier League Futures programme, knowing just how important it is for academy players to prepare for opportunities beyond the pitch.
"We were blown away by their engagement throughout the day, including the amazing concepts that the groups prepared and presented back to us, and I’m excited to soon see the ‘Faith in Footsteps’ kit immortalised in EA SPORTS FC 24 – congratulations to the winning team! We hope everyone left feeling inspired about a host of potential career disciplines that are closely related to football, even if not on the physical pitch.”
The Premier League Futures programme will continue to provide the current and former Academy players with access to exciting opportunities across football as part of their involvement over the next nine months.