Over the past few months, Access’ Multicultural Sports Club (MSC) has been working with Logan Metro Football Club to develop ways of supporting young people to participate in mainstream football. Whilst constantly working towards finding sustainable strategies for all young people involved with the MSC, Abel Gezaw’s story is a particularly encouraging one for the team.

Abel has been engaged with the MSC for some time by attending weekly soccer training and completing his Coaching and Officiating course through the MSC pathway program. As part of the pathway program, the MSC supports young people who have shown ongoing interest and skill in the sport and helps link them with local and registered football clubs.

In late 2017, MSC Casual Coach Samuel Neihkhup supported a number of youth to attend the trials at Logan Metro Football Club (LMFC). One of these students was Abel, whose talent and commitment was identified by Sam. Abel was then selected to join Logan Metro’s most skilled division for the 2018 season. Although thrilled for the opportunity, Abel struggled to fund the fees associated with becoming a member of LMFC.

Access’ Youth Transitions program was able to develop a system for Abel to secure his membership, by providing him with work experience at the MSC on Tuesday nights and other events. Not only is Abel excited and motivated to secure his membership through this employment opportunity, he is learning valuable skills from the experience, which will assist him to secure ongoing employment for the future.

LMFC Head Coach, Luis Melgar sings Abel’s praises, saying, “He is a good kid and has settled really well with the senior team. Everyone loves him, not just because of his football skills but his personality. It shows there is much talent in Logan, we just need to discover and guide them in the right path.”

The MSC team are thrilled to have had this outcome with one of their own young people. They are continuing to work closely with Football Brisbane to register more players as referees with local clubs and to build the capacity of other clubs to support more young people on their journey to mainstream sport.