Eastwood Athletic FC
Our fifth unsung football hero is 43 year old Gianfranco Formosa. Italian born Gianfranco has lived in the East Midlands since he was 15 and has been an avid Forest Fan for 25 years.
In 2013 he and his partner Domenica set up Eastwood Athletic FC
to meet the high demand for local football teams in Eastwood, and the club has grown ever since. They now have four teams including U18s managed by our second unsung hero, Ben Saxton
At Eastwood Athletic the focus is on having fun as well as scoring goals, and Gianfranco certainly puts in the hours, working for the club five days a week.
We visited him to present his signed football to him and ask him a few questions.
Name: Gianfranco Formosa
Club: Eastwood Athletic FC
Q: How did you get involved in coaching?
Gianfranco: I started coaching with a guy that had set up his own club in the community and was struggling to recruit players. I coached every night of the week for all age groups to help bring players in before taking on my son’s team.
Q: What was your proudest moment with Eastwood Athletic FC?
Gianfranco: My proudest moment with Eastwood Athletic FC was taking my under 9's Cobras team in to their first league game after only four months of training. Watching these boys kick the ball for the first time as a team was the greatest reward a coach could receive.
Q: What has been your biggest personal achievement with the club?
Gianfranco: As chairman of the club my biggest achievement has been growing from one team to four teams in just two seasons.
There’s never a shortage of children who would like to play football. We have been really careful about how many kids we take in our teams as we don’t want to have too many players, which would mean some children wouldn’t to play for more than ten minutes on a match day.
Q: Do your family get involved in football too?
Gianfranco: My whole family are football obsessed! My wife formed the club with me and is secretary and welfare officer. She also coaches a team. Both our sons play for teams in the club. Eastwood Athletic is our life.
Q: As part of your prize you can take three friends to experience watching a Forest home game from the Nottingham Building Society Executive box. Who are you planning to take?
Gianfranco: I will be taking my wife and my two sons. We do everything together as a family, including football.