Blackpool’s new Head of Youth Coaching Richie Kyle has introduced the incoming first-year scholars to life as a player looking to earn a professional contract.
The 29-year-old recently joined the backroom staff at Bloomfield Road following four years working within the academy at Everton.
And as he looks to start preparing the young Tangerines ahead of next season, Kyle spoke to the players and parents about what lies ahead in their bid to become a future first-team star.
“It’s important for the youngsters to remember that their talent can be wasted without putting in the hard work,” he said.
“I’ve watched players such as Lionel Messi playing live, and we all know how talented he is, but he also does an incredible amount of running which shows how far the hard work can take them.
“I will be looking to do one-to-one reviews with all the players every six weeks and give them feedback on how they have been doing in training and matches.”
Scholars will carry on with their studies while playing and the regional officer for the Football League Education partnership Craig Skinner explained how studying at Blackpool Sixth Form College would work alongside playing for the club.
“The players, alongside playing football, will do a two-year NVQ Diploma in achieving Excellence in Sports Performance,” said Skinner.
“They will undertake the functional skills, English and Maths, if they achieved below a grade C for the subject in their GCSE’s.
“The good thing about the Diploma is that it allows the players a route into University or the world of work if they don’t make it on to become a professional footballer.
“47 per cent of apprentices around the country received contracts at clubs in 2012, which shows that there are opportunities for the youngsters to make it as a footballer.”
The new intake of scholars who attended the induction included Mark Waddington, Dom Telford, Rowan Richardson, Daniel Milton, Joe Moulden, Luke Highan, and Henry Cameron.