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Aaron's story

Aaron was in recovery when he took part in The Street Football Association's training programme. He wasn't selected to play for Team England, but didn't let it hold him back.

It spurred him on to work harder at his ambition to become a coach. He coached Team England at the Homeless World Cup 2016.

Out of recovery, into football coaching

After starting his relationship with The Street Football Association as a player, Aaron has been Team England's inspirational head coach at the Homeless World Cup. 

‘I’ve always loved my football. I first learnt to communicate on the football field, after years of not communicating properly with people. 

'I had just come out of rehab and football was a foundation point of me getting well again.'

Like all Street Football Association players, Aaron trained at a professional football club.

'Training at a professional club was massive, but then so was finding out that football was a very small part of it. They were using football as a tool to draw people in, help better their lives.

'I didn’t get picked for Team England at first, I was happy for those who did but it rattled me, so I came out of that and started coaching even more. 

Aaron was determined to pass on the positivity he'd gained through the programme. He was signed up as a mentor and coach for new players. 

'If you’re not feeling good in yourself, go and help someone else, you’ll feel better. The Street Football Association helped me continue my amazing journey with them, learning more about myself than I could ever think possible. 

'I’m now a player development coach at the Southampton Foundation and I’m also working in football for people with disabilities.' 

He feels that he's come a long way since living with addiction. 

'I’ve gone from living in that pitiful despair, to having my Nike kit on, with ‘Street Football Association’ and ‘England’ written on it - people ask me about it on the street. I could never have dreamed of being there. 

'But the thing to remember is that there’s always someone coming up behind me, so I try to give them a hand up each step that I've left behind.’

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