“I signed my first professional contract with Stevenage Football Club.”
I recently signed my first professional football contract and I'm ecstatic.
Scouts from football league clubs would regularly come down to watch our Hastings United home games at the Pilot Field, so I knew there was quite a bit of interest in me, and some of the other lads as well.
Earlier in the season, I had been offered a trial with one club, which was a great experience, but once the season had finished I had an offer on the table from Stevenage. I really liked what was being offered by the club. They have some great training facilities and I could visualise this move being my pathway into first-team football. I spoke to the manager and had a long chat with him about my future and development, and he expressed that if I work hard and perform, then he will put me in the team. That sold it to me.
So at that moment, all of the hard work that I've been doing, literally throughout my life, had finally paid off.
I’ve always wanted to be a sportsman. When I was younger I played a lot of cricket so really it was between football and cricket. But when I got to age 10 or 11, football was the only thing I wanted to do. I’ve been pretty obsessed with it and it’s all I think about, to be honest.
Naturally, Sport was something I was keen to explore at college so I studied a Personal Training (PT) course at East Sussex College Hastings.
The tutors were really great and didn’t pile loads of pressure on you - just the right amount to keep you going. They treated me with respect and when that happens you treat others with respect and it becomes a really nice place to learn.
I think college has played a part in helping me on my journey to becoming a football player. The course I studied has helped me to learn how to improve my body and fitness; have a better understanding of nutrition and the types of foods that help to fuel your body; and the types of training you can do to improve performance.
There was a point where lots of people would tell me that I won’t make it into the professional game. But if you’re determined to do something then you have to keep going. Those people who said I wouldn’t make it were more of a motivation for me. I knew in my head that I could do it and I wanted to prove them wrong.
I really like helping others, whether it is helping to motivate them or helping them to train. If I wasn’t a professional football player, I think I’d be making the most of my PT qualification.