Former Apprentice Ciaron Barton has swapped football for physiotherapy after being released by Championship Club Preston North End in the summer.
The youngster has started down the track to a new career by enrolling on a BSc in Physiotherapy at LFE Progression Partners Manchester Metropolitan University.
Having joined the hordes of undergraduates starting university life in the student capital of the UK, Barton insists he has no regrets but is happy to be embarking on a fresh new challenge after completing his Apprenticeship.
“I was understandably disappointed when I found out I wouldn’t be getting a contract to stay at the Club but thankfully other doors have opened for me because I’ve done the Apprenticeship at North End. This is very much an opportunity for me to carve out a new career that may or may not still see me involved in sport.”
Barton admits however that the origins for his choice of course come from his time spent at a Football Club and in particular on the treatment table;
“I was injured a lot when I was at Preston so you could say my interest developed from there – probably because I was in treatment room so much I’d ask questions about things and while some players aren’t that bothered about the intricacies of injuries I was fascinated by the rehabilitation process and management of injury.”
The youngster made his decision to apply for the course in May after learning he was not going to be offered a pro contract and quickly set about completing an additional six Btec units to convert his National Certificate in to a Diploma to meet entrance requirements.
With an invitation from Dean Ramsdale (Head of Youth) to link back into the Club to further his practical experience Barton seems ready for the challenges that lie ahead of him. He said:
“It’s early days but it’s already obvious that this course is a step up from what I was doing last year at college, that said, I feel confident that adapting won’t be a problem.”
“Dean has also been really supportive and told me that I can come back in at any time to do gain some practical experience at the Club which will help me out no end especially as there is a placement aspect to the course.”