Under 18 players on the positives of living the 'host families'.
- Latics' Under 18s share their experiences with host families.
- Host families were guests at Latics' match against Southend United on Saturday.
- Nine players currently live with host families.
On Saturday afternoon the host families of our Academy apprentices were invited to the DW Stadium by the club and the players themselves to show gratitude for the work that the families do in supporting the team by providing a home from home environment for members of the Under 18 squad.
Nine members of the Under 18 squad are currently living across seven host families and share their experiences below:
Who? - Sarah & Graeme Topping and their three boys – Alastair 17, Jonathan 15, Nicholas 13
Where? – Standish
“It was a big thing leaving home, but I’ve settled in really well living with Sarah, Graeme and the boys.
“Alastair is my age so we’ve got a lot in common, and the whole family is sporty.
“I’ve been made to feel part of the family, whenever they go out for a meal with the grandparents I’m always invited, it’s a nice warm atmosphere.”
Jack White & Remell Fitton
Who? - Kirsten McPhee & Dave Jarrett, their son Jack, three, and newborn daughter Eva
Where? – Standish
Jack said: “It was daunting coming over from Northern Ireland at first and I knew I wouldn’t be able to go home very often, but I stayed with Kirsten and Dave twice when I was on trial, so coming back to live with them permanently was perfect for me.
“I go with Dave to take Jack to football on Sundays at the Soccerdome, and that’s really made me feel involved with the family, it’s nice to be included as much as I have been.”
Remell said: “Kirsten and Dave are really easy to get along with and have created a very comfortable environment for me and Jack.
“At first I found being away from home difficult, but it’s an experience I’ve got used to and now it’s second nature because we’ve been made to feel like we’re still at home.”
Who? - Shane & Denise Currie and their son Richie, 11
Where? – Shevington
“In Shevington I’m quite close to a lot of the other lads in Orrell and Standish so it’s easy to meet up with them, and that’s something we’ve got to thank the club for organising.
“Shane and Denise have been brilliant, they’re really into their football and they go to a lot of the away games, they’re proper Wigan Athletic supporters.
“They come to watch my games quite a lot too, and the support they’ve given me on and off the pitch has been perfect.
“It’s their first year doing this as well as mine and I think that’s helped us to create a connection.”
Who? - Laura Williams & Brian Kay, their son Finlay, three, and daughter Heidi, one
Where? – Orrell
“Brian used to work for the club as an Education Officer when I first started so I’d started to get to know him. When the option came up to live with him it was an easy choice because I’d already found out we had a lot in common.
“We watch the football together and he gives me advice on certain things to do with my education at the club. Laura is really nice too, and they’ve got two young children, so I’ve helped out at home when they’re crying or need some company.”
Who? - Gill & Tony Dillon and their son Tom, 15
Where? – Orrell
“It’s been nice living with Tom because he plays tennis at a high level, so we’ve got a lot in common in terms of the demands sport puts on us.
“Gill and Tony told me at the start to make it my home, they made it very easy for me to settle in and they live in a really nice area, so I feel safe living with them.
“I’m quite close to Luke (Burgess) and Josh (Beaumont) as well, so I see them most days, whether we’re watching football together, or going out for a walk around the area.”
Luke Burgess & Josh Beaumont
Who? - Cato Templeman
Where? - Orrell
Luke said: “It’s turned out to be a good decision moving in with Cato and with Josh as well because we all get along really well.
“Cato is there for us all the time, she’s a very down to earth lady and she helps us whenever we need her, in terms of offering us lifts to training and other places.”
Josh said: “Cato is lovely, she’s got two older children who have left home now, so we’re treated like two sons to be honest.
“She gives us lots of advice and likes to know what we’re up to at the club. She comes to the first team games and to most of our Under 18 matches as well, so it’s nice that she’s so interested in the club.”
Sam Cosgrove and Sam Stubbs
Who? - Kath & Simon Farnworth and their three children, Caitlan, Ella and Jack
Where? - Orrell
Kath and Simon, both of whom have strong links to the club, have been hosting young players for many years, providing an outstanding environment for them to grow as people and footballers.
They have been extremely welcoming and supportive to the club, especially since the formation of the Academy.
Most recently they have accommodated Development Squad forward Sam Cosgrove during his apprenticeship, as well as youth team defender Sam Stubbs and a number of prospective future signings.
If you are interested in becoming a host family or would like to find out more information, please contact Head of Education and Welfare, Mike Hurn or Head of HR/Safeguarding, Louise Kerrigan by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Host Family’.