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Football Academies: Make or Break

Many dream of being a pro footballer, but how hard is it to turn that dream in to reality? BBC Radio 1's Dev follows Nathan and Olivia at crucial moments in their young career.

Many dream of being a pro footballer, but how hard is it to turn that dream in to reality? BBC Radio 1's Dev follows Nathan and Olivia at crucial moments in their young career.

Nathan is 18 and has been at Middlesbrough’s famous academy for ten years. He’s made it all the way through the incredibly competitive system, and has now reached the end of his professional scholarship. The money and glamour of the footballer’s life is so close now, but he still has one final meeting with his manager, when he’ll find out if he’s done enough to earn a full professional contract. All those years of hard work and sacrifices have been building up to this...

Olivia is 15 and captain of Birmingham City Ladies under-16s. She has always imagined playing for England one day and now that ambition is almost within reach. Dev joins her as she nervously waits for the big news from the selectors, at the same time as making a huge decision about her future: will she throw herself into football full time or prioritise her academic studies? Going for a career in football would be a massive risk and there’s no guarantee she will make it.

We also meet Zach - a close friend of Nathan's at Middlesbrough and one of the country's most promising young goalkeepers - and Shameek, a former Tottenham Hostspur academy player who was released aged 18.

Release date:

19 minutes

Credits

Role Contributor
Director / Edit Jack Hextall
Producer Dave Anderson
Additional shots Jack Lawrence
Sound Matt Peaty
Production Manager Kerry Luter
Executive Producer Matt Willis
Executive Producer for BBC Sam Bailey
Camera Operator Rick Sims