Youth Football in Lancashire
By Allan Smart
Professional footballer Allan Smart examines what is being done in the county to encourage kids to play football and whether it is enough...
Smart speaks to unsung heroes who help youngsters of all ages to play the great game, looks at new initiatives for developing youth football and he gets tips for up and coming players from a Blackpool player who graduated from the notorious Manchester United Academy.
He discovers that children can now get top coaching for just a £1...
Peter Glynn is a qualified FA coach working on the FA Skills Programme which has been set up to help, educate and promote football for the 5-11 years olds.
Glynn explained: "The FA did some research and found out that there are loads of children out there who wanted to access expert coaching and find out how to join local teams.
"All Skills Centres are open to anybody who wants to get involved in the game and enjoy an introduction to football which is free from adult pressures get to enjoy the game itself."
First team coach at PNE Billy Barr offers youngsters tips on what makes a great player - with dedication top of his list. Barr gives an insight to life at Preston but the former Crewe player also explains why Dario Grady was probably the best man at producing young professionals.
Billy Barr on PNE stars including David Nugent
He tells a few stories about several stars that the local fans may remember: David Nugent, Trevor Sinclair and his ultimate professional - Chris Lucketti.
There are a few up and coming players at Deepdale but there is one that excites all the staff more than most and the PNE 1st team coach reveals all...
Graeme Atkinson is currently working at Myerscough College tutoring the Blackburn Rovers apprentices. His role involves working with the young professional footballers and also the full time students embarking on their careers within the football academy provided for non-professionals.
Myerscough College is notorious for agriculture, however, they offer students state of the art facilities with option at pursuing their dream of becoming professional footballers, rugby players and golfers.
The football students get coached from ex professionals - like Atkinson - with UEFA qualifications and they get to spend more time training than their professional counterparts. The students also qualify in academic fields relevant to a career in sport. Phil tells of ex students who are now operating in the professional game both as players and researchers.
Graeme compares the benefits of studying while playing professionally and tells of his experiences at working within development centres at the professional clubs.
Head of Myerscough's Football Academy Phil Brown talks about ex students who have gone on to become professional footballers, the college leagues and how the College is attracting scouts from all levels of the game.
This is a very informative interview for any young players not sure where to make the next turn...
Burscough Chairman Chris Lloyd talks about building his community Football Academy with the FA's Trevor Brooking and Bryan Robson.
He mentions a project in South Africa regarding community programs with the Kaizer Chiefs...and how he is setting up five centres over there.
Paul Rachubka has been groomed at arguably the biggest club in the world and been involved in and around Manchester United's first team during their most successful spells.
Rachubka has played for Alex Ferguson and Alan Curbishley during his spells in the Premiership with both Manchester United and Charlton respectively. He highlights some of the differences that youngsters may face today compared to growing up at Manchester United.
The goalkeeper - who grew up in California before moving to England - tells the story of how he became a professional footballer and the ups and downs of the game. He also gives insight into the mental toughness required to play professionally and how most of his schoolboy colleagues fell by the wayside.
He goes on to tell of his last minute surprise inclusion to the Manchester United squad that travelled to Brazil to play in the Club World Championships. A squad, which included star players: Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, Sheringham, Cole, Yorke and many more.
Rachubka also gave words of wisdom for youngsters contemplating a career in professional football...
last updated: 08/04/2008 at 09:54
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