Shadow Scholarship | Adam Hammill Interview

Education Ambassador and Barnsley FC midfielder Adam Hammill has backed the new Reds in the Community Shadow Scholarship programme to be a huge success.

Playing at a level just below the Academy, the initiative will work as a catchment net for late-developers and other local talent, giving them the best chance of a career in professional football.

The players will train daily with FA qualified coaches and compete in the U19’s National Football Youth League against other professional clubs.

With the programme already proving to be a success at clubs across the country, Hammill says that the Shadow Scholarship will benefit everyone associated with Barnsley Football Club.

He said: “It’s a wonderful idea. It’s good for the lads to get that opportunity and second chance. Sometimes, people’s opinion might not always be the one that is the benchmark of your career. I’ve seen the success rate from it before. I think it’s about 25 players who have gone on to play professionally. Players develop differently. Some develop at 16, some at 18.

“The foundation of the football club is the people and the fans. Having more of your own people around the club will only benefit it in the long run. It’s a great opportunity for everyone but especially for the lads who are getting a second chance – they’ve got to grasp it with both hands.”

Alongside the exciting football aspects, the players will also be able to gain a level one, level two or level three qualification through the existing Reds in the Community education programme.

Hammill said that, while the scheme is a fantastic opportunity to progress into professional football, the education component is equally important.

“It’s always good to fall back on something, especially if you don’t make the grade in football. There’s a lot of players who I’ve seen come and go. To have that opportunity to further your education and have something to fall back on is a massive bonus.”

For more information on the Shadow Scholarship, please click here: http://bit.ly/ShadowScholarship