In celebration of Refugee Week, St Albans City Youth FC played a friendly match against a group of young refugees now living in St Albans
St Albans City Youth FC’s Community and Apprentice Manger, Chris Samways, has been coaching the group for the past 6 weeks after originally meeting the group earlier in the year at the Herts Welcome Syrian Families Youth Group meeting.
He said: “Having met the group and identified what they wanted to gain, we as Club felt that we could provide a great opportunity for them to be coached in football and engaged in the local and club community”.
The match was a great opportunity to raise awareness of refugees and share a passion of football that bridges communities and backgrounds. With the World Cup and Refugee Week happening at the same time it was the perfect time to stage the match, which ended with a 3-1 win for the Refugee team.
Hertfordshire FA Football Development Office Beatrice Thirkettle said: “This event shows the power of football to bring people together. No matter how different their backgrounds, people can unite around a shared passion for the game and in doing so build positive relationships that benefit all concerned”.
The senior football club have also been supporting the refugee group by providing free tickets to watch St Albans City FC play in the National League.
Chris says the refugee players have further football aspirations that the club will look to support: "St Albans City Youth FC is proud to be a community club and this work is needed for us to be representative and supportive of our diverse local community. The group have desires to continue to be coached and hope to join a league in the near future, with even a few hoping to gain qualifications to become coaches".
The work in the community carried out in partnership by St Albans City Youth FC and St Albans City FC is supported by a grant from the National League Trust.