Another Premier League season looms, with the 2022/23 season set to kick off the first weekend of August.
Football fans will be excited, and so too is problem gambling awareness company EPIC Risk Management, but for other reasons.
EPIC is expected to visit all 72 of Football League’s member clubs during the course of the season, a part of a five year agreement to educate and raise awareness of gambling harm and EPIC’s sessions.
“It’s important that these lads are aware of being around it, the exposure from advertisements in the game itself, it’s everywhere,” said Marc Williams.
Williams, a former striker for Wrexham, suffered from gambling addiction from a young age. Williams sought help and rehabilitated, now working for EPIC as an consultant.
He continued: “To raise that awareness and to make sure they understand that there is help out there if someone is struggling, they can go and get help. More importantly if they are suffering, we’re here as well.”
Williams headed a session to Sheffield United’s Under 23 and 18 squads, detailing his life story, raising awareness of the harm and the opportunities for help.
“Mark explained his story really well. I think that’s relatable to the players and it’s important to hear it from somebody who’s come through the system and kind of relates to them so they can see the risks involved,” said Dominic Roma, Head of Academy Education at Sheffield United.
“It’s important when they leave us they are well-rounded people that can go and function in society, whether that’s in another job or workplace, it’s massive that we can have that kind of impact on players.”