Budding young footballers in the Mansfield region are being offered the chance to sign up for a two-year football scholarship with SR Education that could be a stepping-stone for a career in the game.
The SR Elite Football Scholarship Programme being launched in Clipstone, in partnership with Clipstone Parish Council, mixes high quality football coaching with the opportunity to study for a range of sport-based qualifications.
Paul Holland, the former Mansfield Town, Chesterfield, and Sheffield United midfielder, is among those running the programme and he said: “I’m a big believer in making sure that youngsters look to the future when they get involved in football.
“I had to retire at the age of 27 because of a serious knee injury and although I wasn’t happy as a youngster that my parents insisted I stay at school to get my A-Levels. I’m now so glad they did.
“It meant I had something to fall back on when I finished in professional football and when I was offered the chance to join the team at SR Education, that instantly appealed because it’s a subject close to my heart.
“I’m passionate about helping talented young footballers to fulfil their potential but, at the same time, I want to do all that I can to ensure that they get the qualifications needed to set them up for life outside the game.”
There are vacancies for up to 30 youngsters with suitable football and academic skills to take part in the new venture, which will be launched in September.
SR Elite have developed a network of exit routes with many professional and semi-professional football clubs, and universities in both the UK and USA, for outstanding performers on the scheme.
The obvious success story is Tyrell Waite, who has just signed a professional contract at Notts County after being on an SR Education scheme at Ilkeston FC.
And three members from this year’s group at Southglade - Jordan Knight, Tom Dudley and Korey Craig - have represented Ilkeston FC, the Evo-Stik League club who are owned by SR Education.
Anyone aged 16 to 18 interested in gaining a place on a Football Scholarship Programme at Brampton Manor should contact Debbie Farnsworth, SR Education’s sports based administrator on 0115 932 8265 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.