Three Fleetwood Town academy players attended the PFA's Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme Development Day at St George's Park on Sunday 29 January 2023.
The PFA Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme (AIMS) has made significant progress in its third year of a five-year strategy aimed at nurturing South Asian footballers and increasing representation in elite football.
Three members from Fleetwood Town's academy, Jake (Under-11s), Rayhaan (Under-13s) and Adam (Under-15s) all made the trip to Burton-Upon-Trent to take part in the day at St. George's Park - the home of England's National Teams.
Led by Riz Rehman, Player Inclusion Executive at the PFA, the scheme has resulted in a record number of players within the Professional Development Phase and 15 professional players across the Premier League and EFL. One in two professional club academies now has at least one player with South Asian heritage.
Riz Rehman said: "I am extremely proud of the ground-breaking work we have achieved over the last two and a half years – the AIMS network has grown considerably, and it's important to focus on the progress that has been made.
"We are now seeing more players progress from the youth development phase into the professional development phase. This will give confidence to academy players and their families that there is a pathway for them in football."
He added: "We are continuing to work closely with clubs to boost representation across the younger age groups and have facilitated talent identification events nationwide with Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City and Manchester United FC.
"Although there will always be issues and statistics we need to continue working to improve, the important thing is to begin working towards them, and that's what we are doing".
The AIMS programme recently held its second annual 'Player Development Day' at St Georges Park, attended by over 100 players. The day included presentations for parents, a workshop on building resilience, and opportunities for players to connect with peers and receive coaching from professional club and academy coaches.
The club would like to thank all those invovled for their hospitality.