Eleven young players have headed out to Sweden this month courtesy of LFE’s Player Placement programme.
Former York City apprentice Jamie Hopcutt is perhaps the biggest success story of the programme. Hopcutt is one of the leading lights in the Ostersunds FK side that has twice earned promotion and will start this season in the Swedish Premier League alongside the likes of Champions League qualifiers Malmo and two-time UEFA Cup winners IFK Gothenberg during 2016.
The story now continues with eleven more hopefuls who will spend the next 13 weeks in Sweden – courtesy of Erasmus+ – trying to earn a professional deal.
Ange IF is the destination for Tyrell Mitford (QPR), Taylor Roles (Wimbledon), Billy Bishop (Wimbledon) and Ioan Evans (Sheffield United). Meanwhile Bodens BK will run the rule over Dean Billingsley (Exeter City), Adam Johnson, pictured above, (Rotherham United) and Patrick Weaver (Scunthorpe United). The footballing outpost of Ytterhogdals welcomes Lewis Moynes (Tranmere Rovers) and Sheiden Rodgers (Huddersfield Town).
Rogers, 19 is hoping the move can help kick-start his playing career. The youngster jetted out to Sweden yesterday leaving a bar job and the climax to the English non- league season behind.
The youngster who was released by Huddersfield has admitted he is relishing this opportunity after injuries hampered his prospects with the Terriers.
“I had a triple break and dislocation of my ankle in the pre-season ahead of the second year of my scholarship,” Rogers told the Huddersfield Examiner. “It came at just the wrong time and I spent the season that I should have been working to win my professional contract trying to recover and get fit.”
“I really didn’t get to play much and it worked against my chances of becoming a professional. Once I left time Town I did give up hope a little, but I did look at trying to get started again in semi-professional football,” he added.
“I also was thinking about maybe looking at other options and perhaps becoming a personal trainer, but I also had the chance to play for Brighouse Town and then I moved to AFC Emley where I am now.”
However, Rogers then received a call from LFE and decided he had nothing to lose.
“It was great to get the call and it is just a fantastic opportunity,” said Rogers. “You are working out there from Monday to Friday training at the club and then playing as well.”
“The trip is all paid for and then I actually get paid on top for the work that I do with the club. It is going to be very different and probably a different way of playing. With trials in England you often only get six weeks, but 13 weeks is a really good opportunity.”
“It gives you time to get to know the club and it gives them time to get to know you. Initially it is just the 13 weeks and then you have to hope the club want you to stay or another club shows an interest, but it is just great to have the chance and have a fresh start.”
“I go there with no preconceptions and they will have none about me, and I am totally confident that the ankle is strong and that problem is behind me. I have got my international clearance now so I can’t play in England at the moment, so I am really looking forward to getting to Sweden and playing a few games.”