International House Manchester (IHM) Football Academy recently hosted a squad of young Yr 6 players from Prestfelde School in Shrewsbury at the Ellesmere College Football Academy. The keen players visited the Academy as part of a drive from IHM & Ellesmere College to raise awareness in the local area of the Football Academy set up and to reach out to local schools to support them.
The Prestfelde team came along in the morning for a talk, delivered by David Raven, former Liverpool player and IHM Head Coach at Ellesmere College, followed by a coaching session and lunch. The young team have performed well this season, reaching the national finals in their age group and sessions like this delivered by IHM instill the need to believe and to give everything they've got in order to go on and be successful in the final later this year.
The morning started with an overview of the Ellesmere College Football Academy and a talk by IHM Academy Director, Michael Brennan. Mick set out the values that IHM seeks to instill in its players, along with its strong ethos of giving equal importance to a player's academic development and achievement as well as that on the pitch. He said, "Today's football players must work towards defining a clear academic pathway to be ready to follow an alternative career, should their own professional playing career be suddenly cut short through injury for example."
David then spoke about his role at the IHM Football Academy and his career as a professional player. David regaled some fascinating tales including playing against Ronaldo as a young player, scoring the winner in the Scottish cup semi-final for Inverness Caledonian Thistle and playing alongside and rooming with Wayne Rooney as a young England player. The young players were understandably transfixed and David's talk soon prompted lots of enthusiastic questions from them all.
- David provided some excellent advice to the boys to help them on their personal journeys to becoming a professional football player:
- Work hard every day
- Be the best you can every day
- Never switch off if you want to make it a pro.
- Anyone can make it as a pro player. All those top players are normal people like you and me, they were just more driven to be successful and practised hard.
The team then went on to a two hour training session both with Mick & David - starting with a warm up and short ball skills session, followed by a passing and receiving session with David. There was also the opportunity for Mick to deliver a one-to-one skills session with the team's goal keeper.
Both David and Mick commented on the exceptionally high level of play and attitude towards training from the players which was excellent. David said of the players, " This si such a great start for young players like this team, and as a coach you can work with that; attitude is everything. If one or two of these players chose to progress onto the Academy here at Ellesmere in the future, it would be great to work with them and really gives us the opportunity to help them be successful in the game."
For more about the Ellesmere College Football Academy please visit: Ellesmere Football Academy
9th April 2019 Back to News