Mentors

We are blessed with mentors who are currently playing in the Premier League, all divisions of the Football League, and the Conference National, considered English football’s 5th tier. They are players who receive expert care and support in all facets of their day to day life and this is where their knowledge and experience can be shared with released players through The Football Family.

Our team of mentors will be introduced over the course of the season in weekly updates as they share their passion and work in the scheme. Some of course ask to remain anonymous, and their work is celebrated and our gratitude is shown during workshops, meetings and events.

Our two original ‘mentors’ are the first to be introduced. It is true to say these players were ‘the football family’ project guinea pigs, and their openness and willingness gave us all the belief this initiative would be a success. Thank you Jack Stephens and Sam McQueen.

JACK STEPHENS

Southampton FC Defender. Jack began his career as a youth player with Plymouth Argyle, remaining with the club as a professional until 2011. Although starting his career as a right back, Jack has recently been converted into a centre back. He can also operate as a left back, or in a defensive midfielder role, and has played internationally for the England under-18, under-19 and under-20 sides.

"I've enjoyed meeting Connor and Curtis who are great lads. They have managed to find a non league team that believe in their ability and I have found a local side I can follow and watch with interest. Being part of the scheme is so easy, I don't see myself as a mentor, just a friend to boys who I'd not have met had I not got involved. I get to learn about a local team and go watch whenever I can". Jack.

SAM MCQUEEN

Southampton FC Defender. Sam joined the Southampton Academy at the age of eight years and has remained with the club ever since. Handed his senior debut for the club in 2014, he plays primarily as a left-sided full back or winger.

"You quickly realise this could have been me, we are all connected to each other as we share the same experiences, and of course some are happier experiences than others. So why not help? We have the time to take an interest in who we mentor, and we are able to talk to them on an equal footing. I've found at times the roles are reversed and their experiences help to alter my thoughts and ideas". Sam.