LFE’s Progression strategy moved through the gears last week as ‘Progression 09 – The Assessment Trials’ rolled into Brentford’s Griffin Park, Walsall’s Banks’ Stadium and Bradford City’s Valley Parade.
The regionally held events saw over 250 released 2nd Year Apprentices and 1st Year Professional players from Premier League and Football League Clubs showcase their talents in front of a multitude of scouts from The English & Scottish Premier Leagues, The Football League & Non League Clubs and Further and Higher Education Institutions from the UK and abroad.
Day One at Brentford set the tone for a pulsating week, matches coming thick and fast, played at a break neck speed but with no shortage of quality on show.
With night one in full swing Colchester United’s, Mitchell Nelson’s comments to LFE Online could have echoed the wishes of all his fellow trialists when explaining his ideal night would be
“…to play with some finesse, do the simple things well and show that I’ve got what it takes to be a player.”
Walsall and Bradford continued in the same vein with scores of players eager to bounce back from recent disappointments to show scouts and Club managers what they were capable of.
Watching on home turf from one of the executive boxes above the main stand was Walsall Assistant Manager, Martyn O’Connor (pictured below) who spoke to LFE to give his viewpoint on the evening’s attraction;
“It’s my first experience of these trials and while every Clubs specifications are different my philosophy is that if they’re good enough they’re good enough, that’s it. Age, height, weight doesn’t come into the equation, obviously a lot of people look at these factors especially in the division we operate in (League One) but there is no substitute for quality.”
(Image courtesy of David Linney Photography/Walsall FC)
“Obviously it’s a bit hectic out there as everyone is trying to impress, but the organisation of the event has been first class and 50 minute matches gives me ample opportunity to see what a players got in his locker.”
The 2009 trials boasted record numbers of players who attracted a great deal of attention with many of the scouts registering interest on over 190 players.
The Clubs/Scouts that expressed an interest in Apprentices at the trials have been provided with contact details and will contact players directly.
The Scouting Network official reports will be available here next week along with a link to the Assessment Trial video footage provided by E-Scout.
LFE would like to extend its thanks to all the Players, Parents, Club Representatives and staff at each venue for their assistance in ensuring that the trials were run in professional manner.
LFE will also be tracking and monitoring the progress of all Apprentices who attended the trials as part of our Exit and Progression support programme.