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18-year-old Defender Signs for Semi-Pro Club

Published Monday 12th of March 2018 04:16 PM

Congratulations on your first semi-pro contract! How did it happen? 

“In February the scout contacted me and invited me in for a trial on the Wednesday with the reserve team and we did a bit of training and then 11-a-side for the last half an hour against the first team. The coach, Joe, said they’d like to sign me and I’m now part of the reserve team. I’ve played two games for them against Thurrock and Redbridge and so far it’s been pretty good."


How have you found the standard? 

“It’s a really good standard, fast paced football and it’s good for my development, getting into that level and having to handle that speed. It’s a big step up from what I’ve been playing the last few months, I think in my first training session it was a bit tough to get into at first but as I kept on training gradually I started to get used to it. I went training with the first team last week because they needed a couple of players to make up a game in training and yeah as I got into it I got more and more comfortable. Before this I’ve been playing in the Essex Alliance league with Chingford, so I’ve stepped up about fives leagues.”


What's a normal training routine for you? 

“Training has been a bit hard because we ground share so it’s been tough to get lots of training in, but I train probably once a week with Grays or Chingford and then I do individual training at least two or three times a week, working on technical ability, shooting, passing dribbling, first touch. And then I work on core, strength based stuff at the gym as well."


Have you got any experience at this level?

“I was part of the Leyton Orient College Trust programme before but this is my first proper, high-level experience."


You came to our 5 Day Camp in August, how did you find it? 

“I really liked the camp, just being in that sporting environment, spending five days learning from coaches who have been in the sport for many years. I definitely feel my game improved so much in those five days and I remember coming back to Chingford and a lot of the boys were saying I’d changed a lot. And it’s not only the football, the other things are great too like the psychology, the nutrition plans and gym training as well was really beneficial. I’ve brought what I’ve learnt from that camp into my games."


Everyone at UK Football Trials would like to congratulate Joel on being signed and tajing his first step on the ladder into professional football.