Friday 25th August 2017 saw the first IH Manchester independent showcase event, where all the players registered with the programme, along with some invited players from a local non-league side, got to show their ability to scouts and representatives from clubs around the northwest.
The afternoon kicked off with a guest session from Leicester City player Richie Wellens. Richie has been to the international academy on a number of occasions for guest coaching sessions, however on Friday it was an opportunity for him to prepare them for the up and coming showcase event, sharing with them his experiences of similar events when he was breaking into the professional game.
The session with Richie was a great opportunity in itself for the players. Richie is an English former professional footballer who primarily played as a central midfielder. He is currently a first-team coach at Oldham Athletic so able to relay the professional game to the players from every aspect.
Beginning his career at Manchester United, Richie has played at Blackpool, winning promotion with them in 2001, with Oldham making 87 appearances, Doncaster rovers once again winning promotion with them and Leicester City. After a short loan spell at Ipswich Richie re-joined Doncaster in 2013 for a season before moving to Shrewsbury then Salford City. After finishing his playing career, Richie took up coaching through the PFA coach education scheme and is now first team coach at Oldham Athletic.
After the guest session from Richie, the boys were then put into a showcase game, under the watchful eye of one of the Oldham Athletic academy head coaches, Professional Football Scouts association (PFSA) representation Adam, one of the Manchester City academy coaches and the Radcliffe Borough head coach. In a very competitive game the players showed great ability, impressing the on looking representatives with some real success.
The PFSA have requested the details of one of our players, hoping to take him to some of the semi-professional and lower league clubs in the northwest for trials. Oldham Athletic have offered for a number of the players to be invited into the academy during September to train with the teams to see what a club training environment is like and test their ability against some of the best in the area. This will give those players a real opportunity to level themselves against players who have been signed by a professional club and enable the boys to sample first-hand what level they need to get to, to compete.
Overall the showcase event was a great success for the IH Manchester Academy enabling players to have an opportunity to showcase their ability and from it 5 positive results of players progressing on for further trials or training opportunities.
Follow the news and Facebook updates in the coming weeks to see more about those who are taking these opportunities
If you’d like to join us here in Manchester for the next showcase in October contact us now to book!