Ex-Leeds United player Neil Ross is offering young people in South Leeds an opportunity to combine football training with educational qualifications.
The Pathway2pro programme is designed for Year 11 leavers and includes full time football coaching alongside to chance to obtain a Level 3 Sports qualification as well as support with Maths and English.
Neil, whose professional career also included Stockport County and Bristol Rovers as well as a spell in China, is a UEFA B qualified coach. He has been leading the football coaching at Middleton Leisure Centre, whilst colleague Jon Alan delivers the education programme at Manorfield Hall in Belle Isle.
The first cohort of 19 students started in September and are now into their second term. Whilst currently all the students are young men, Neil is very keen to start a women’s programme if there is demand.
Jake Gibson told us how the programme had helped him:
“It’s good, it’s helped me a lot. I used to be involved with criminals and living with my brother. Now I’m living with my Nan and I’ve caught up with my education. You can talk to these guys about anything, they’ve been really supportive.
“I failed my Maths and English when I was at the PRU (Pupil Referral Unit) but now I’ve got the bug for education. Hopefully I’ll get scouted by a club, but if not I want to go to university.”
Pathway 2 Pro are holding trials for September 2018’s intake during the February half term. On Tuesday 13 February there will be a football trial at Middleton Leisure Centre from 9:30am followed by an education presentation, which parents are required to attend, from 1pm at Manorfield Hall. You can find full details at wearescl.co.uk/pathway2pro or www.facebook.com/events/916070351904296/