PFA - 23rd April 2024 - AIMS Player Development Day hosted at Leicester City

PFA - 23rd April 2024 - AIMS Player Development Day hosted at Leicester City

April 2024

Players past and present involved in the PFA’s Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme (AIMS) attended the union’s fourth annual Player Development Day hosted at Leicester City FC’s training ground, the King Power Centre.

AIMS Player Development Days are designed to help young scholars grow their personal development skills off the pitch and a chance to connect with other players from across the AIMS network.

The latest Player Development Day was attended by Foxes first team players Arjan Raikhy and Hamza Choudhury, as well as Zesh Rehman, Portsmouth FC First Team Development Coach and the first British-South Asian to start a Premier League fixture.

Hosted by the Riz Rehman, PFA Player Inclusion Executive, and Ian Cawley, Leicester City’s Academy Manager, players were guided through football coaching sessions led by elite coach educators and talks from current and former professionals.

Riz Rehman, EDI Executive at the PFA, said:

“The AIMS network is growing year on year. It’s a real community, and these players feel like they’re part of something special.

“We’re just approaching the end of our fourth year of AIMS, and it’s been fantastic to see the buy-in from players and clubs.”

Ian Cawley, Academy Manager at Leicester City FC, said:

“We’re a one club city, so it’s important for us to represent our community. Hosting brilliant events like AIMS is one way we can do that.”

Zesh Rehman, First Team Development Coach, Portsmouth FC, said:

“It doesn’t matter what stage of the journey these players are at. Events like this help them realise there’s a community ready to support them throughout their football careers.”

Arjan Raikhy, Leicester City player, said:

“I was about 16 when I first got involved with the AIMS programme. Building this network has been so important for all of our careers, on and off the pitch.”

Hamza Choudhury, Leicester City player, said:

“The PFA’s AIMS programme helps inspire and guide South Asian players pursuing a career in the football league. It’s no surprise that Leicester City is at the heart of that.”

Launched in 2019, AIMS seeks to enhance the representation of Asian and South Asian players across football by providing an extensive support and mentorship network at all professional levels.

The scheme involves PFA-facilitated meetings and workshops where scholars, academy players and their parents/guardians can connect with senior Asian players.

AIMS forms part of a comprehensive, five-year PFA strategy to increase Asian representation within the game.