A former Sunderland player is holding open trials this week for budding footballers.
Martin Scott is urging talented school-leavers not to give up on their dreams of becoming professional footballers and will be holding open trials for Sunderland College Football Development Centre on Wednesday.
It is all about keeping on believing and making the most of your talentMartin Scott
And, his message for gifted young players who have not been picked up by professional football clubs when they leave school is: “There’s still time.”
Martin, said: “I think there is this perception that if you are not part of a professional football club academy by the time you leave school, then you’ve missed the boat. But nothing could be further from the truth.
“There are so many examples of players who have been late developers physically, suddenly coming to the fore, or young players who suddenly find an extra gear in their mid-teens.
“The key is hard work and intensive training and that’s what we’ll offer good young prospects at Sunderland College this year.
“We know that over the next few years we are going to take talented young players with potential and set them on a path to a career in the game.”
Martin played for Sunderland from 1994-1999, making over 100 appearances for the club before going into a career in football coaching with Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.
He has been running Improtech Soccer coaching for the past five years and this year the company has taken over the education provision at Sunderland College.
And, having managed to get dozens of youngsters into professional clubs from its Kepier academy base in Houghton, Improtech is now looking to do the same for post-16 players.
Martin, said: “It is all about keeping on believing and making the most of your talent.”
John Rushworth, a curriculum director at Sunderland College, said: “We are delighted to have Martin and Improtech at the college and they have already had a massive impact on the young players.
“Players can choose to study professional and technical qualifications or study three A-level subjects alongside 10-12 hours of professional football coaching.”
Open trials for 16-year-old footballers, current Year 11s, will be held on the 3G pitch at Kepier academy in Dairy Lane, on Wednesday, February 15, from 4pm to 6pm for the chance of joining Sunderland College Elite Football Academy.
All talented young players are welcome to try out and for more information ring Improtech Soccer on 07717 707952.