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Barnsley FC Head of Academy Coaching Greg Miller believes the Shadow Scholarship programme will provide a ‘fantastic environment’ for developing young players.
The Scot joined the Tykes in December having been involved in youth coaching for over 10 years at clubs such as Rangers and Hibernian before working with the Scottish National team.
Miller believes that the Shadow Scholarship provides a great opportunity for players aged 16-19 to progress both on and off the pitch.
He said: “If you’re passionate about football, what a fantastic place to develop yourself in an educational sense but also develop your football. It keeps you active and it keeps you fit. If you’re fit and active, it keeps your mind fresh so therefore you’re more likely to apply yourself well to your studies. I just think the two go hand in hand really well.
“Being on site at Barnsley, it lets us then take a look at those players that are starting to perform consistently well. I think it will feel very professional. They’ll play in a league and be known as Barnsley. I think that affiliation will be there right from the start. It’s a fantastic environment for people to play their football in.”
Other Shadow Scholarships which are already established across the country have produced a number of players who have progressed into professional football.
And while one of the aims for Reds in the Community will be to continue that theme, Miller believes that the attributes gained through the course will be valuable regardless of where a young person may choose to progress their career.
He said: “What would an employer look for? They’d look for people who are respectful. People that are able to turn up somewhere on time. People who are accountable for their behaviour, who have got the ability to think for themselves and not get everything prescribed. I think the exposure they’ll get, through both the education side and football side, will offer them those skills.”
For more information on the Shadow Scholarship programme, please click here: http://bit.ly/ShadowScholarship