FRINTON'S Alfie Davidson was among a record 60 ‘Young Leaders’ from across England and Europe who joined the FA Leadership Academy at St George’s Park.

Their year-long training began with four days of workshops designed to improve their leadership skills so that both now, and in the future, they can make an impact on the organisation of football in this country.

Forty-five of the attendees were nominated by their county FAs, with the rest invited by UEFA.

Davidson, from Frinton and Walton Youth Football Club, who is also a referee, was thrilled to have represented his county in Burton-upon-Trent.

“I’m very grateful to have been given this very special opportunity," he said.

"I was lucky enough to be nominated by the Essex County FA to take part in the FA Leadership Academy and was then selected by the national FA Youth Council.

“I thought the facilities were world-class at St George’s Park and I was very lucky to stay there.

"I loved the experience.

"I learnt from my fellow young leaders but also the mentors leading the workshops, as the vast majority of them had been in our shoes at the academy too.

“Most of the days were taken up by workshops which were interesting, engaging and beneficial.

"I really enjoyed active reflection, where we would be in small groups discussing further about the day, but also our thoughts and feelings which we took out from the workshops.

“I took away lots of different things which will help me for the future.

"They ranged from what I can do to help others, how to get others involved with football and how I can develop myself.

"All of this was extremely interesting and important as this is what will help football grow positively.”

A feature of the FA Leadership Academy is the graduation ceremony whereby leaders from the previous year return to receive recognition for the work that they’ve undertaken since. Many graduates had impressive stories to tell about the impact that they’ve subsequently made on football in their communities.