School’s in for summer
By Owen Bradley, BBC Blast sport reporter
The summer holidays provide a great opportunity for football clubs to train up promising young players - and hopefully uncover a few gems!
Coach Anthony Pringle coaches another youngster
It is only a few weeks in to the summer holidays, but already hundreds of children across Derbyshire are going back to school.
They aren’t heading for the classrooms though, because with the new football season just around the corner, clubs across the country are branching out into the local community with their Summer Soccer Schools programmes.
Nottingham Forest are no exception, having recently cast their net as far as Wilsthorpe Community College – a Derbyshire school nearly two miles closer to Pride Park than the City Ground.
“We are here to promote the football club in various areas,” said Community Officer Anthony Pringle.
“Our job is to make sure we get lots of children on the course to take part in the activities”.
But Pringle, who has also worked as a scout for the Reds for the last three years, concedes that the prospect of unearthing a footballing gem is also part of the club’s motivation.
“We get players who are not very good, we get players who are very good, and if we do see a very good player we get them in the development centre.”
With top clubs such as Manchester United signing younger and younger talent, notably nine-year-old wonderkid Rhain Davis, there is a case to be made that schemes like this could become redundant when it comes to finding the next generation of players.
It is impossible to argue though that young fans aspiring to become professional footballers themselves idolise local players above all others.
Budding youngster Jake, a Forest fan, is testament to this view.
“My favourite player is probably Lewis McGugan. He has got a lot of skill,” said Jake.
last updated: 04/08/2009 at 12:09