A footballer returned to his former school this week to speak to pupils about becoming a professional.
Mansfield Town striker, Dan Fletcher, told his story to a packed assembly of more than 200 students .
Eighteen-year-old Fletcher, who is now in the second year of his contract with Mansfield Town, left Quarrydale Academy in 2013 to pursue his football career.
He now accesses further studies through the club’s education program, in conjunction with his playing and training commitments.
Having made his first team debut off the subs’ bench earlier this season in the Stags’ FA Cup tie against Cambridge United, Fletcher spoke to students about the importance of leading healthy lifestyles and the requirement for a strong work ethic in order to achieve their goals.
He said: “It was pretty emotional because I got to see a lot of my old teachers who had taught me for the whole time I was at Quarrydale.
“My best memories were of all the sport I did. I enjoyed being involved in the sports days and playing for the school football and rugby teams.
“I obviously also liked the lessons and teachers that I met as well.”
Quarrydale were pleased to welcome him back to the school for the day and have him displayed as a key role model.
Dan’s headteacher during his time at Quarrydale, Mr Jon Crone, highlighted how important it is for prominent people in the community, such as Fletcher, to set a positive example for his students.
He said: “The fact that Dan is ‘one of our own’ and playing for the local side gives students something to aim for.
“He has given a fantastic message of working hard with everything that you do, whether that be as a footballer or anything else.
“I was really pleased that he was willing to speak to over 200 students in a room and that he was happy to voice the fact that the students need to look after their bodies, work hard in their lessons and hopefully they will reach their goals, as he has.
“As a school, if you get a student who has been successful in getting a professional contract you are immensely proud of them.”