Welcome to my first blog of the season. Firstly I will introduce myself. My name is Dan Pringle and I am currently a first year apprentice at Crystal Palace Football Club.
I am a central defender, and have just left Riddlesdown High School after completing my GCSE’s at the end of the last academic year. I managed to get 2 A grades, 4 grade B’s and 3 grade C’s which I am extremely pleased with.
My blog will hopefully give you an insight into life as an Apprentice and the personal experiences an Apprentice goes through.
I began playing football for my Sunday team, Purley Panthers in the Tandridge League at the age of 6. I played up a year and played for Purley for two seasons before I was scouted for West Ham Utd at the age of 7. I played for the Hammers for the next five years, although after I left Ridgeway Primary school and joined Riddlesdown High school, it became impossible for me to keep on top of school work as well as make the 90 minute journey to Chadwell Heath three times a week.
I loved my time at West Ham and had many great moments. It’s where I learnt the game of Football and worked with some great coaches such as Jimmy Frith and Stuart Slater. Jimmy is still at West Ham now and has been at the club for well over 30 years. He has worked with some of the best English players to play the game. Lampard, Johnson, Ferdinand, J Cole, Carrick and Defoe. the list could go on and on. He’s also worked with Freddie Sears who is currently on loan from West Ham to us at the moment.
He taught you how to play football the right way and to play it with a smile on your face. From the team I left as an under 12, only one player still remains at West Ham. One player is now a scholar at Motherwell, others can be found at Tottenham and Southend Utd while some don’t even play football anymore.
I reluctantly left West Ham and spent a few months at Fulham FC before I joined Palace as an under 12. A Palace fan all my life, it was great to sign for the club my family and I support. The day I actually signed my Apprenticeship was quite a sentimental one.
It was 30 years ago to the day that Palace beat Burnley 2-0 to gain promotion into the old First Division. My dad went to that game with his dad, and now it was me joining the club with my dad in tow.