Footballing apprentices are helping football club to stay ahead of the competition
Five apprentices at Middlesborough Football Club have impresses their bosses so much that they’ve been offered full-time positions.
The successful apprentices are part of the second-year cohort of League Football Education apprentices at the club.
Marcus Tavenier, Ben Liddle, Liam Hegarty, Mitchell Curry and James Cook have been offered contracts on professional terms with the club, thanks to their hard work. Their training is run through Middlesborough FC’s established academy, which aims to cultivate the top players of tomorrow, with support from League Football Education and Northern Skills Group – the apprenticeship and training arm of Middlesbrough College, which provides the BTEC qualification studied by the apprentices.
Barry Dawson, head of education and welfare at the academy, explained: “Our boys undertake a two-year apprenticeship through the Football League or Premier League – depending on which division the club is in at the time.
“Their training is made up of a football programme, in which they play in an under-18s league against the likes of Liverpool, Everton, Manchester City and Manchester United.
“They also study a Level 3 BTEC in Sport (Performance & Excellence), an NVQ in Football (Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance) and a Level 2 Coaching Award through the Football Association.
“On top of that they’re part of an extensive player care programme that deals with aspects such as mental health, preventing addiction, managing money and alternative careers.”
The five budding stars will now combine their passion on the pitch with skills training that can set them up for a career in the game.
“Football has a responsibility to develop the next generation of talented and aspiring young players,” added Dawson. “Middlesbrough FC has an outstanding reputation within the sport for developing and fostering new talent.
“The Academy provides the ideal environment for this to happen as its foundation is built upon respect, integrity and humility.”