Soccer hopefuls aim for professional contracts at Swindon Town and Leyton Orient (From St Helens Star)
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Soccer hopefuls aim for professional contracts at Swindon Town and Leyton Orient
8:52am Friday 2nd November 2012 in Sport
St Helens hopefuls on verge of Football League deal Two talented amateur footballers are a step closer to winning a professional playing contract with League One Swindon Town or Leyton Orient.
More than 5,000 players from all over the country entered Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract competition – and the boys are through to the Quarter-Final stage.
Right-back Danny Bate, 19, of Jubits Lane St Helens, said: “I got to the Final of the competition last year so to get another chance this season is brilliant.
“I’ve been playing regularly AFC Liverpool so I’m fit and ready for the next stage.
“Being a professional footballer is all I want to do for a living. I can’t wait to show that I’ve got what it takes.”
Centre-back Dean Curtis, 18, of Elephant Lane St Helens, said: “It was amazing to find out I’d got through to the next trial. I could hardly believe the news.
“I’m preparing by doing extra training with my brother. He’s been testing my skills and pushing me that bit further.
“It would mean everything to win a professional contract. It’s my dream to play football full-time.”
They will now play in an 11-a-side match at Hyde FC on Sunday November 11.
Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio, who will pick one player to join his squad in January 2013, said: “Everyone has worked hard to make it this far in the competition. But there is still a long way to go.
“The players must demonstrate that they have what it takes to play professional football. It is a big step but I’m sure we will find a player who is capable.”
Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade will also offer a year-long contract to one player. He said: “Competing in Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract means a lot of pressure for these players. But it is a huge opportunity for them to go on and become a professional.
“I’m looking for someone with the right attitude, intelligence on the pitch, and a special quality that makes them stand out – like electric pace, a passing ability, or a real physical presence.”
The 88 players are battling it out to be among the 11 players selected for the Final in December.
Follow Win A Pro Contract at www.facebook.com/samsungfootball