Meet our Next 25 scholars who will help transform the football industry into a more diverse, equal place.


Name: Maria Angelica Fernandes

Course: MSc Football Coaching and Analysis, Etihad Campus

Bio: “I’m passionate about equality and diversity, because I believe everyone is unique, and has a valuable contribution to make to society. We should respect each other, support and learn from one another, to help make this world a better place.

"I’d like to continue working in the football industry, keep learning and continue supporting people to develop their skills and achieve their goals.”


Name: Huxley Barnacle-Best

Course: Football Coaching and Management, Wembley Campus

Bio: “My passion for equality and diversity derives from early interactions with people from all different walks of life. From this I have gained an appreciation for the differences which make us who we are. I believe individuality should not be feared nor discriminated against, but instead encouraged and celebrated.

"My aspirations for the future are to coach elite academy level football, helping bring through the generation of tomorrow.”


Name: Charlie Tom Dawson

Course: Football Coaching and Analysis, Etihad Campus

Bio: “I’m passionate about equality and diversity, as I see football as a leveller between all people. Football is a game that can bring people together from all walks of life, that can be played with the simplest of tools from tee shirts as goal posts and socks as a ball, to high end stadiums, parks, beaches and everything in between. Football can unite us and spread positivity in the game and life as a whole.

"I’d like to move forward with coaching as a whole, at the highest level I can. Work in media promoting positivity and creativity and challenging myself to beat my limits.”


Name: Finley Walker

Course: Football Business and Media, Etihad Campus

Bio: “Coming from a diverse Background and living in such a diverse city like Manchester it has allowed me to respect everyone’s beliefs and understand more about many different backgrounds. Football is a brilliant way for anyone to feel as though they can be a part of a team and have equal opportunities. 

"In the future I hope to be working in the industry and making a difference in people’s lives.”


Name: Conor Ogilvie-Davidson

Course: MSc International Sport Management

Bio: “I have been working in football for just over two years now as Somerset FA’s Marketing Officer. I have experienced both the good and bad within the game; seeing how the game can bring cohesion to communities but also how it can leave those from under-represented groups feeling left out and excluded. I feel that there is so much great work that happens in the realm of football, and sport more widely, to combat this and generate more inclusivity. I want to play my part both now and into the future in helping sport become a passion for all. 

"My aspirations for the future are to work up through the ranks within sport and work in a strategic Marketing and Communications role. In such a role I will aim to help bring more inclusivity to sport for all to enjoy and be a part of in all aspects of the game.”


Name: Ediong Udom

Course: MSc Sports Management, Wembley Campus

Bio: “I am passionate about equality and diversity because it gives us the opportunity to leave the world better than we found it. 

"My future aspirations are to climb the footballing corporate ladder, whilst exploring how football can help improve social issues within various communities.”


Name: Jenna Henry

Course: MSc Sports Management, Wembley Campus 

Bio: "I graduated with a 2.1 in Television Production and began to forge a thriving career as a television professional. I have worked in different organisations in which I witnessed and experienced a lack of equality and diversity and I tried to advocate for change.

"I would like to empower individuals from diverse groups to pursue their dreams. The #Next25 opportunity will put me in a great place to break the barriers of discrimination for others like me. 

"My long term goal is to have an opportunity to support sports campaigns that address equality and diversity issues for future generations.”


Name: Ilias Pajoheshfar

Course: Football Coaching & Management BA (Hons), Wembley Campus.

Bio: “I believe that everybody should get to experience the beauty of football. Football had a big influence on me as a child, and still does now; if I was told that I couldn't take part, especially if it was due to my ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality or beliefs, I would be distraught, yet it happens on a daily basis around the world.

"I want to become the best football manager in the world. I would like to positively impact as many people as I can. I want to create lasting, positive, change in the world and help to shape our future into a better one, for all.”


Name: Jair Mauricio Grajales

Course: MSc International Sport Management, Wembley Campus

Bio: "Equality and diversity initiatives have created opportunities for people with different backgrounds and genders to develop managerial and leadership careers at elite levels. Campaigning and development need to continue to be able to achieve positive behaviours in the workplace and change negative  perceptions to positive ones.

"First I would like to concentrate on my education currently doing the MSc and UEFA B. After this I would like to focus on the development of my football club, human resources, create a bigger network and aim for investment/loan/sponsorship to be able to compete in the national league system and upwards. Along the way the project will support coaches, players and the community.”


Name: Adeodatus Ronie Twumasi

Course: MSc Sports Management, Wembley Campus

Bio: “Studies have shown that more diverse organisations achieve better results. I feel that it is unjust that many groups are underrepresented at managerial and executive levels in the game.

"I aspire to add value in the boardroom, promote equality and diversity and challenge discrimination in all its forms.”


Name: Çiğdem Türkân

Course: MSc International Sports Management, Wembley Campus

Bio: “E&D is important to me as it should be a celebration and awareness of the characteristics, experiences and backgrounds which makes each individual unique. Unfortunately this isn’t always the approach, and the things which makes us all different can also be the barriers we face. Personally, I feel I’ve learnt to see such barriers as developmental-challenges and drivers for change.

"I hope to support the inclusion, celebration and nurturing of future generations within the wider industry. I’d like to continue developing in my roles at Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC; eventually I hope to lead and influence meaningful and innovative CSR and E&D work in top flight football.”  


Name: Lekan Odushola

Course: MSc Football Coaching and Analysis, Etihad Campus

Bio: “For me sport and football specifically is a great way to inspire others, and equality and diversity is such an important way of showing people what the identity of England is and affect other things that are even bigger than football. Inspiring more diverse backgrounds will definitely help build effective workforces and football.

"Long-term I would like to be in a position to continue to inspire others and future leaders in football. Hopefully as a head of recruitment and operations within a football club or Director of Football.”


Name: Michael Knox

Course: Football Coaching and Management

Bio: “My passion for equality and diversity stem from personal experience as a child. I loved football as a child, but the lack of understanding of children with difficulties during that era was somewhat different than today. Watching my son play the game, I see how valuable and beneficial it is to him, and how important it can be for others.

"My aspirations for the future are to gain as much knowledge and understanding of not only the game but the needs and adaptations needed for people within the game. To also have an influential part in coaching, life skills and to make a difference to peoples lives in a positive way using football as the tool.”


Name: Joshua Brimacombe-Wiard

Course: MSc Football Coaching & Analysis, Etihad Campus

Bio: "I'm passionate about equality and diversity as I have been brought up in an area where not everyone is given the same opportunities as others. In many communities I've been surrounded by, the wealth of a child’s family often determined whether or not they were able to participate in the same activities as their peers. I feel that football is something that everyone should have easy access to and people should never be restricted from being included in the sport.

"I aspire to coach at the top level of world football, I want to compete in the Premier League and the Champions League whilst also having a strong impact on youth development on my journey.”


Name: Karthik Shyamsundar

Course: Football Coaching and Management, Etihad Campus

Bio: “I'm extremely passionate about equality and diversity because it can only be seen as a good thing. In any environment, the different perspectives we could gain from different cultures and backgrounds would be so beneficial to the way we work. This is why we must give everyone an equal chance to bring these perspectives, ideas and talents forward.

"My future aspirations are to become a football manager in the professional game. I want to get to the highest level, and stay there.”


Name: Beth Powney 

Course: Football Coaching and Management, Etihad Campus

Bio: “As I've grown older and as a person, I've become more and more aware and motivated to make an impact and contribution towards tackling and breaking down discriminatory barriers within football and society. I personally believe nobody should be judged based on gender, sexuality, class, disability or cultural background and I am determined to stand up for what I believe in. 

"My current aspirations for the future are to make a positive impact wherever I go, travel and to be successful within the football industry, whatever career path I choose to go down.”


Name: Sheriff Tajudeen

Course: MSc Football Coaching & Analysis, Etihad Campus

Bio: “It is important that people are treated fairly and equally; and diversity within a group of people always yields a better result than that of a non-diverse group.

"I have experienced first hand the invisible barriers that exist for people of minority ethnicity.  Having challenged the status quo, with some results, I want to be involved in lifting those barriers especially in this exciting industry of football which was made for all.

"I aspire to manage at the highest level in football for both club and country.”


Name: Shakeel Mira

Course: MSc Football Coaching and Analysis, Etihad Campus 

Bio: “I am passionate about equality and diversity because I am a strong believer in everybody having the equal right and opportunity to work in whichever field they aspire to make a difference in. Working together, from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities provides a broader range of skills, experiences and perspective on life which can only cause benefit to the world in which we live in.

"My aspirations for the future are to work in the football industry; coaching at the elite level. I hope I can break barriers that are in place for myself and for future generations to come."


Name: João Paulo Grilo Romão Félix

Course: International Football Business, Etihad Campus

Bio: “I believe sports need equality and diversity to thrive. Sports are not just about performance, but also about culture and respect, both synonyms of diversity and equality. Where would football, my greatest passion, be without the range of skills that players from all over the world bring to the game.  It's called the beautiful game for a reason, and for me, that reason has two names: equality and diversity!

"My biggest desire is to help develop Portuguese football to be one of the best in the world.”


Name: Sabiha Jamal

Course: MSc Football Coaching and Analysis, Etihad Campus

Bio: “I feel like I’ve been very lucky with the things that have come my way through football. I would like to be a role model for my community, for boys and especially  for girls to realise that they can do anything they want, for me it is football. Also I’d like to show them that everyone has a place in football.

"My aspirations would be to have a long term career in football. Firstly in terms of playing at the highest level I can reach. Secondly, in terms of coaching I’d like to get to a B license and coach in the women’s game.”


Name: Moaz Awadelkarim

Course: MSc International Sport Management, Online

Bio: “Diversity is an essential part of everyday life and critical to a flourishing society. We must continue to work towards a world where there is fairness in opportunities for all regardless of differences.

"We are all born with & possess different talents but without equality and diversity in opportunities we cannot develop those talents into extraordinary qualities that lead to the enrichment of our societies.

"I would love to be a leader for equality and diversity within the sports management industry, using knowledge and experience along with openness of mind to ensure opportunities are provided to as many different people as possible.”


Name: Uthman Akitoye

Course: Football Coaching and Management

Bio: “I am passionate about equality and diversity because I believe that if we keep challenging for equality and diversity then slowly but surely equality and diversity will be present in our lives and community and not only on the pitch.

"I aspire to become a coach at an academy.”


Name: Julen Beer Ayo

Course: MSc International Sport Management, Wembley Campus

Bio: "As someone with an international background and as a firm believer in of opportunity for all; equality and diversity has always been a part of my life. I believe that the best way for society to develop and progress is by focusing on what we share and not what separates us from each other. Embracing diversity and inclusion with a positive attitude is how I strive to lead my personal and professional life.

My aspirations are to work in a governing body within football, focusing on building the community aspect of the game or to be involved in player recruitment at club level, building sustainable and long-term transfer policies.”


Name: Mohamed Jama

Course: International Football Business, Wembley Campus

Bio: “My passion is to help infuse the Western school of thought with different traditional and cultural practices, to create a newer, dynamic way of thinking.  As I am an ethnic minority, racist remarks in this country inspire me to help others and give them a chance to achieve and prove they have talent. There is an endless cycle of discrimination in society, which does not need to just stop in the sports industry, but altogether, throughout every business and corporation.

"I believe cohesively we can create a great change in society for the good of everybody. I aspire to be a scout, agent or an individual who is an integral part of a big European club, such as an executive.”  


Name: Asad Farooq

Course: Stadium and Events Management, Wembley Campus

Bio: “Everyone has a right to be treated equally and fairly. So why should someone be excluded based on their age, race or disability. Even In the year 2018 we are still finding issues with equality and diversity, its time to change that. 

"My aspirations are to manage a variety of events and work my way up to be a director of a football stadium.”