Former professional footballers coach teenage hopefuls in Redcar

Darlington and Stockton Times: The three coaches working at the college, from left, are Willie Boland, Andy Dorchell and Andy Collett. The three coaches working at the college, from left, are Willie Boland, Andy Dorchell and Andy Collett.

TEENAGE football hopefuls are being put through their paces by a team of ex-professionals.

Redcar and Cleveland College teamed up with Premier Player Football Academy to help the youngsters improve their skills.

The college has launched its Football Development Centre to provide full-time sports students who have a talent in soccer at least six hours of dedicated coaching each week.

Led by director Andy Collett, who played in goal for a number of clubs, including Middlesbrough, Bristol Rovers and Darlington, the academy’s team of coaches is working with students to open doors to career opportunities, including scholarships in the US.

As well as opportunities to play in high level competitions, the students receive one-to-one guidance on their fitness, training programmes and diet, and also have the chance to work with the college’s massage students.

Former Northern Ireland international Willie Boland is one of the Premier Player coaches at the college, bringing his experience from Cardiff, Coventry and Hartlepool football clubs. Andy Dorchell, who is a UEFA B licensed coach and is head coach at Middlesbrough FC’s Development Centre, is also working with the students.

Mr Collett said: “Many of our coaches are ex-professional footballers and between us we have more than 2,000 league games, so we understand what it takes to become a professional footballer and how important it is to have the right coaching."

College principal Gary Groom said he was eager to further develop the Football Development Centre, with perhaps the launch of a female team next year.

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