The sessions are hosted primarily at the U-Mix centre, but also take place at Sheffield United Football Academy, and are overseen by head coach Luis Silva. Luis has an excellent eye for talent, and has been largely regarded as the man who passed England defender Kyle Walker onto the Sheffield United Academy. All are welcome, most of the sessions are open; players of a high standard are referred to Sheffield United or Sheffield Wednesday, and could follow a similar path to Kyle.
A dedicated team of FA qualified FURD coaches run the sessions alongside Luis in order to further develop those who attend. Simon Hyacinth, FURD Co-CEO, says, ‘our sessions are good for the players, as they allow them to learn and develop, not only their football skills but their social skills, which further benefits them in their day-to-day life.’
Additionally, FURD delivers a number of adult sessions for sections of the community, including mature participants – through walking football, refugees & asylum seekers and adults who have experienced low-level mental health problems.
In addition to many U-Mix users running their own sessions and activities at the centre, FURD works in partnership with a number of groups and organisations, and both professional clubs, to deliver several joint sessions, initiatives or events. We also work closely with the local County Football Association (Sheffield & Hallamshire CFA) to provide football coaching and refereeing training opportunities and develop pathways into organised football. FURD also offers support to, and has good links with, many grass roots teams around the city; particularly those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.