GRIMSBY Town are offering skilful young footballers the opportunity to represent their club in the growing sport of futsal while earning vital qualifications.
The club’s Sports and Education Trust (SET) have launched the Futsal and Education Scholarship – a two-year contract that enables 16 to 19-year-old footballers to pursue a career in the fast-paced five-a-side version of the game, while working towards gaining a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma, which is worth up to three A-levels.
STRIKING OPPORTUNITY: Grimsby Town Sports and Education Trust is offering a two-year Futsal and Education Scholarship for players aged 16-19. From left, Graham Rodger, Mark Westerby and Lee Stephens, who launched the initiative at Blundell Park. Picture: Abby Ruston
Players who sign up will benefit from eight hours of specialised coaching each week and play in a competitive league against teams from clubs such as Leeds United, Middlesborough Hull City and Scunthorpe United.
Mark Westerby, who will coach the side, said: “It is one of the most exciting projects the club has been involved with since I joined the Sports and Education Trust six years ago.
“It is another footballing avenue for players to go down if they’ve got aspirations to play football at a high level, while gaining an education that will allow them to progress to University if they want to.
“The players that take the scholarship will be representing Grimsby Town; they’re going to play in the same kit and wear the same training gear as the first team so they will be a big part of the club.
“As well as the practical, classroom-based part of the scholarship, they will be taking part in a training programme of eight to ten hours a week and then playing games at a newly-built facility in Leeds every other week.
“Futsal is one of the biggest growing sports in the world and it is something that the Football Association are throwing a lot of their support behind. Top-class footballers like Ronaldo and Ronaldinho were brought up on futsal.
“With the professional teams that are involved, along with the education outcomes that it brings, I think it is a great opportunity for local young people.”
The club will hold an open evening on Thursday from 6pm at Blundell Park’s McMenemy’s Bar to give players and parents the opportunity to find out more about the scholarship.
Find out more
Call 01472 752850, visit futsalandeducation.org or email email@example.com.