TWO former professional footballers are opening an elite coaching academy in Hartlepool and are on the hunt for the town’s best young players.
Ex-Pools goalkeeping coach Andy Collett and Middlesbrough old boy Neil Maddison are setting up their Pro Level Academy at Seaton Sportsdome and holding two, free trial sessions.
Coaches at the academy include former Pools favourites Micky Barron and Willie Boland, as well as former Darlington captain Steve Foster and current Pools academy coach Craig Longstaff.
And 43-year-old Maddison, who played in the Premier League with Boro and Southampton, explained: “We have decided to open a Pro Level at Sportsdome in Seaton as the two others that we have opened in the region have been a fantastic success .
“What is different about our Pro Level Academies are that we only select players of very high ability through a trials process or recommendations.
“We work in very small numbers of a maximum 10 players per coach and only 20 places available per age group .“We believe in quality not quantity”
And Collett, who played for Darlington and Bristol Rovers during a 22-year career, added: “I’ve always believed that as a young player the coaching that you are receiving is vital to make sure that you fulfil your potential.
“We’ve got an amazing set of experienced , enthusiastic and qualified coaches who will deliver every week taking the players through a 42-week training programme covering all aspects of football and goalkeeping. “We feel that sometimes young players go into academies too young and should remain with their friends at their junior clubs as long as possible .
“This was a major factor for starting Pro Level.
“We don’t have any junior teams, we just provide academy-standard coaching without players having to leave their junior clubs.
“Parents pay monthly to cover venue and coaching costs and so far it’s been a great success with over 300 players attending our venues in Middlesbrough and Darlington .
“Don’t get me wrong, if we felt a player had the potential and was at the right age then we would arrange a trial period at a pro club through our contacts in the game.
“Ultimately , if we are doing our job right and improving the players they will attract interest from pro clubs and so far we have had players leave us and go into Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Hartlepool and Leeds.”
Pro Level will be holding trials at the Sportsdome on Tuesday, September 17, and Tuesday, September 24.
The times for both and outfield players and goalkeepers are;
Under 7 & 8: 6pm-7pm
Under 9 & 10: 7pm-8pm
Under 11 & 12: 8pm-9pm
Trial places must be booked in advance. To book a place please text a player’s name, preferred position and age group to Andy on 07739 077782 or email Info @premierplayerfootballacademy.co.uk