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17 year old football fan Sam attended the Melbourne City Young Leaders Week as part of the 2018 DCA Summer Holiday Program. The Young Leaders Program is an initiative set up by Melbourne City Football Club, and aims to educate and empower young people to use football as a sustainable force for social good in their communities. The training is provided by Melbourne-based Young Leaders and is supported by a Manchester City FC community coach, with a focus on leadership and practical planning skills.

We asked Sam about his experience and what he learned through his time:

How have you been involved in football?
I have played football since I was 7 (10 years). I have played for my local club since I started playing football. This year I am playing for the Seniors and Reserves side. In 2016 I was the Captain of the Under 16 team for the Leongatha Knights Football Club. My brother and I are coaching the under 8 junior team this season.

Why did you want to be involved in this Melbourne City program?
I wanted to be more involved with Melbourne City and to have more experience about Coaching, Social inclusion and Leadership. I wanted to improve my connections within Melbourne City FC.

What did you enjoy most about the Melbourne City experience?
The thing that I mostly enjoyed from the experience was the Coaching and Leadership. In the course I was taught different ways on how to manage people and some tips and tricks on how to coach football. Also meeting new people who were from different backgrounds in their life and who are from different places was another thing that I enjoyed mostly from the program.

What did you learn?
We learnt about Bullying and where you can get help, also I learnt about different disabilities. The main thing that we learnt about was coaching and leadership in football. Completing the course has given me more self-confidence in myself.

How did it help you with developing your strengths as a leader?
I was so glad I did the course because I have grown in confidence, which is an important thing that you need to have to be a leader. I feel that I have the tools to be able to stand up and help other people in need.

What are your goals for the future in terms of football?
My dream would be to work with Melbourne City FC, alternatively it would be great to get a job inside the Sporting industry (primarily Soccer) as a Coach or in Sports Management.

Do you already have other goals for your future and your career?
I am currently in year 11 at SEDA at Traralgon, which is a sports school. At SEDA, I am currently completing my Certificate 2 in Sport and Recreation. My goal would be to work in the Soccer industry and to do the best I can.

Learn more about the Young Leaders program on the Melbourne City FC website