LFE’s Assessment Trials kick-off tonight (Thursday 2 May) at Rochdale Football Club in a bid to help hundreds of talented young players stay in the game.
The regional events, which will also take place at Staines Town and the Football Association’s, St George’s Park facility in Burton upon Trent between 7 – 9 May, are aimed at first-year professionals and Apprentice players who have recently been told that they will be released by their clubs at the end of this season.
With over 150 scouts from all levels of the game at last year’s trials – the players in attendance this time around know that it may be their last chance to keep their football dreams alive.
Each year hundreds of young players undertake an Apprenticeship at Football Clubs across the country each hoping to fulfil their ambitions of reaching the promised land of becoming a first-team player. However, while an Apprenticeship is designed to offer the best opportunity to build and maintain a career as a professional footballer, research has shown up to 60 per cent of young players will not be offered a professional contract at the end of the Apprenticeship.
To ensure their talent is not lost to the game, the Assessment Trials provide the opportunity for the 18 and 19-year-old footballers to impress in front of a captive audience of scouts from the English and International game, as well as those from higher education institutions in the UK and abroad.
Alan Sykes, LFE’s Chief Executive, says: “Just to earn an Apprenticeship means you have considerable talent. Unfortunately, not everyone who comes through the programme is offered a professional contract.”
“Those who are released by their clubs are in many instances very unfortunate – and that’s where Assessment Trials fit in.”
He continued: “The trials remain core to our Progression work and are a great chance for the players to show they have what it takes to continue in the game. Their dedication and work ethic is exemplary, and this gives other clubs and universities the chance to utilise this talent.”
The trials follow on from LFE’s other main Progression initiative ‘Create Your Legacy’ – a careers event, which was held on 20 March at St George’s Park. That day attracted close to 1,000 young players from 70 Football Clubs and forms part of LFE’s strategy to help football Apprentices successfully move into alternative careers after they leave the game.