A former homeless football coach has netted a dream job in the USA teaching American youngsters how to play ‘the beautiful game.’
Teenage soccer maestro Scott Woodford says his time at Raglan Housing’s Quay Foyer hostel did him ‘the world of good’ as he now embarks on a 12-week trip of a lifetime coaching football in Oaklahoma state.
The 19-year-old former AFC Bournemouth apprentice coach came to the care of Raglan Housing when he was forced to leave his family home after a family dispute. This left his confidence and self-belief shattered – having no where to turn but the 50-bed Quay Foyer.
Scott, who spent two years at Quay Foyer in Poole, says his new job with soccer camp operator Challenger Sports could lead to a whirlwind tour of the United States teaching football skills to scores of boys and girls along the way.
Quay Foyer offers temporary accommodation to young men and women aged 16 to 25 years who find themselves homeless and may have been in contact with social services, the probation service or, in Scott’s case, a breakdown in family relations.
Now, thanks to a comprehensive support package which includes help with literacy and numeracy skills, applying for jobs, learning to cook and budgeting, Scott is one example of a resident who has renewed confidence and has moved on in life.
Scott, now living independently in his own home, said: ‘I came to Quay Foyer at a real low point in my life. My mum had kicked me out of the house after not liking my ex-girlfriend and I didn’t know where to go or what to do.
‘I was referred to Quay Foyer and soon found it was a nice place to live. I managed to make friends with my project worker Nigel Short, who’s also into football, and he became like a mentor for me. I also had a lot of support from my key worker Christine Jackson throughout my stay here.
‘I managed to complete an apprenticeship coaching course with AFC Bournemouth, find my own place to live and get this job teaching football in America. It’s my first trip abroad but I’m looking forward to the adventure.’
Scott also gained his level 1 and level 2 coaching certificates while a resident at Quay Foyer and played football for the hostel team which plays in the Football Unity League – a social inclusion and disability league featuring players who have been excluded from the local Saturday and Sunday football leagues.
Nigel Short, Scott’s former project worker, said: ‘Scott is just one example of a young person who has come to Quay Foyer and has been determined to change his life. He has sacrificed a lot of his time coaching football in local schools and working hard to do well with his apprenticeship at AFC Bournemouth.
‘I’m delighted he has taken the initiative in applying for this job in the USA and succeeding in getting it. His time abroad will have a real positive impact on him.’