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END OF SEASON REVIEW

ProChance Football Foundation founder Liam Sutcliffe reflects on the 2020/21 campaign


Liam Sutcliffe believes solid foundations have been laid to support young promising footballers over the last 12 months despite the many challenges posed by the pandemic. Overall, it has been a positive year for ProChance and the players we are supporting.


“No doubt it has been very difficult to continue what we set out to do against the constant backdrop of the ever changing pandemic; but we feel honoured to have still have been able to help players as we always intended to do. 


2020/21 has seen so many young players access the services we provide, such as James Pradic [signed with Preston North End], Ajay Weston and Archie Sheppard [both now signed with Huddersfield Town]. Bradley Williams and Bobby Attree have both signed two year scholarships with league 2 side Harrogate Town. We are delighted for all the players and their families. We look forward to working with them in whatever capacity they need in the future.


Some players and parents access what ProChance offers in a very light way, others prefer closer working. Either way, ProChance is always happy to be in their corner.


Evander Grubb has gone from strength to strength with the support of Huddersfield Town and the staff at the club. The hope and expectation is for him to continue to enjoy his football and give it everything he has to kick on across their age groups. His talent is outstanding and with his potential, he has every chance of performing well at the older age groups. Evander is certainly one to watch for next season.


Brandon Njoku has really hit the ground running. He’s a great character and gives 100% to everything he does; his gym work and his attention to his nutrition and hydration. This has really shone through in the games he has played so far at Cambridge United. His ability and goalscoring will continue to develop with the support of everyone at the Club. He has really hit the ground running scoring a hatful.


Charlie Bullock has continued to develop well and is making great strides at Newport County. We are really pleased for Charlie and his family.


Likewise, we are really proud and pleased for Elijah Hearn who following his release from Watford F.C has progressed and has staked a claim for selection the first X1 of the Wealdstone FC first team on several occasions. He has made the squad on numerous occasions this season. What a fine achievement for a lad who is still 16. Eli has options in the summer and with the support of Wealdstone we hope he makes the transition back into the full time game.


A further two players have recently signed terms and we are delighted to have played a part in this. We will make an official announcement soon, most likely in pre-season in line with the Club’s wishes.


The aims for ProChance Football is simple really. We want to support as many young players as need our help. The Hybrid Performance Programme is really exciting for us and the players involved. In simple terms, it gives the players a base from which to excel, mature and perform. It’s a game related learning programme giving the group the opportunity to play 60-80 matches per season with the bulk of those matches against senior mens teams in a league which basically matches 16/17 year old players against men coupled with showcase matches vs professional clubs at under 18 level.


A huge thank you to all our staff for their support, diligence and expertise. A special mention must go to Edu Rubio, Lizzie Read, Martin Dexter and our team of officials, Neil Bennett, Bobby Mimms and Jennifer Shepherd.


A massive thank you to the guys at FourFourTwo, St George's Park National Football Centre and the Hilton Hotel, My Energy Game, Wow Hydrate, LR Elite Sports Therapy, Film my Match and ScoutmeOnline and to the professional clubs that have supported us, our players and our objectives.


It's a firm belief that a small team, committed to a cause bigger than themselves, can achieve absolutely anything. With a positive 2020/21, under trying circumstances, we’re so looking forward to what opportunities 2021/22 can bring for all involved.”

 

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GREAT SHOWCASE FOR PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS

One for the spectators vs the Shrews

Liam Sutcliffe commented "We were really pleased to have the opportunity to travel to Lilleshall and take on Shrewsbury Town”


"The game started with a very good tempo and our players equipped themselves really well. We certainly felt that right throughout the game our players competed and at times showed some good qualities"


“The game had lots of quality to it and at least four of the goals were top, top strikes from both teams”


"On the whole it was good to see the players play together for a second time competitively and we definitely have some bright lights. We operated with a diamond midfield and the players looked very comfortable in that 4-4-2 diamond formation. It really worked for us”


“Tactically it’s always important for us to give the players an opportunity to learn and also to impress. The players will learn a huge amount in every game they play but we need a good percentage of ball for them to impress. For me the best way for these players to learn and develop is to be tactically smart and on the front foot at every opportunity”


“Individually and collectively the players gave a really good account of themselves and one they can be proud of”


“It was also great to see Callum Edwards, Ben Croft and Dennis Antal play well for Shrewsbury Town hoping to be offered a scholarship. Both Callum and Dennis featured for ProChance last month vs Huddersfield Town”


“A cracking game and one that has drawn quite a few plaudits and kind words”

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ProChance travel to Lilleshall to take on the Shrews

 
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Another opportunity to showcase talent

ProChance travel to take on Shrewsbury Town at the fantastic Lilleshall National Sports Centre.

We caught up with Liam Sutcliffe to get his thoughts on Saturday's clash "It's another opportunity for the players to showcase their talent"

"Knowing some of their group, it will be a good, competitive game. The players we have selected for the Hybrid Performance Programme so far are getting to know one another now and we have the opportunity to look at some trial players which will be great for them but also for us as we finalise our Hybrid group for the 2021/22 season"

"We hope the players go into the game with some fire in their belly and optimism as this could be their chance to impress"

"We are really keen on this opportunity being a stepping stone for some players. We want players to access opportunities in the professional game at any time throughout our process"


"We are really excited and hope a few bright lights shine and impress"

"We look forward to building a relationship with Shrewsbury Town and the guys there and returning the favour with them coming to SGP next season in addition to the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town, Rochdale and Fleetwood to name a few"

The future looks bright for the ProChance Football Foundation and its players.

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In support of Mental Health Week

As MHAW comes to an end. We caught up with Liam Sutcliffe “Pro Chance is fully supportive of Mental Health Awareness Week and it’s intention of increasing awareness and reducing stigma around mental health”


“It’s definitely not about what one organisation is doing, it’s about what everyone is doing to raise awareness and to help all people find their best self, the person they are when they are happiest”


“If we look at the last 15 months or so, it’s been a challenge for anyone and everyone”


“We specialise in working with those who are late developers and released players from professional clubs.  When players are released it’s a really tough experience for them and for their immediate support structure”


“Being released from a club is mentally hard, but the clubs must make a decision at a moment in time and I’ve never met anyone in football that took that decision lightly”


“For ProChance that’s the springboard to help players”


“If you look at the last 3 months, we have reached out to and spoken to 72 players (parents/guardians) that were released and they have all needed something different”


“Some need us to be there, just to talk through what’s happened, the effect of their release and especially in the context of the pandemic. Others, enter a very dark place and need much more support with a direction to take”


“We have helped several players and parents/guardians decide on which club might be best for their son and his development. That’s a massive decision and brings with it a lot of anxiety and tension and is something that needs support”


“Options and direction has also been big on the agenda as many lads just don’t have a clue what’s next, do they jump on the football trials merry-go-round? Do they focus on education? Work? All questions that need answering”


“For players who can be classed as late developers, it’s understanding who they are and why they were released. This is really important and gives them a springboard and an opportunity to understand that they’ve been released and for a reason but it doesn’t mean the journey is over and it may not always be the same”


“Using football as a vehicle is key. To get to a better place and a better version of themselves is paramount, certainly in their mindset”


“As we develop this part of what the ProChance Football Foundation do, we hope to positively affect more young footballers and provide a springboard to a better future. Help them find their best self. With the support of our partners My Energy Game I’m sure we will provide a valuable resource”


“The young men we have helped so far, know we are here to help and support them at any time. The door is always open and our relationship continues whether they go back in to football at some point or another occupation in the future. For ProChance, it’s a constant process to help and support the mindset, wellbeing and future prospects of any young footballer that needs The ProChance Football Foundation”

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HEARN FINISHING SEASON STRONG

FLYING HIGH AT WEALDSTONE FC

16 year old right back Eli Hearn is finishing the season strong at Vanarama National League Club Wealdstone FC.

It has been an amazing year for Eli who was released by Watford back in early 2020 but has found a home at Wealdstone FC and is pushing every day to stay in and around the first team.

A few weeks ago he made his debut in the national league at the tender age of 16 and is now drawing attention for quite a number of clubs. 

Liam Sutcliffe commented "It's no surprise Eli is attracting attention from professional clubs. How many players year on year make their debut at Eli's age and stay in and around the first team of a competitive national league club"

"Eli is a terrific lad, a talented full back who has grown and matured over the last twelve months. Being exposed to mens football at a young age has really helped him in lots of ways and it was great to see him get more minutes on Saturday vs Stockport County. As ever, we are all delighted for Eli and his family"

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Njoku firing on all cylinders

Njoku bags a brace vs Oxford United

Current U16 Brandon Njoku bags a brace at the weekend vs Oxford United.

Njoku featured in an U17 game and continued his goalscoring vs a strong Oxford United outfit.

Brandon has started life at Cambridge United in a strong way and is loving life with the club.

Liam Sutcliffe commented "Brandon is firing and we are really pleased for him and his family"

"He has scored four in his last 3 games with assists on top and knowing Brandon he will be delighted but hungry for more goals and will be focussed on improving his game"

Check back for the latest headlines and press coverage.

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Everything That’s Going on at The ProChance Football Foundation

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PROCHANCE TAKES PART IN SOCIAL MEDIA BOYCOTT!

We will join professional clubs, the Premier League, EFL, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out, Women in Football and the FSA in uniting for a social media boycott from 3pm on Friday 30 April to 11.59pm on Monday 3 May, in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football.


This has been scheduled to take place across a full fixture programme in the men’s and women’s professional game and will see clubs across the Premier League, EFL, Barclays FA Women's Super League and Women’s Championship switch off their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

We all know, the considerable reach and value of social media to football and organisations such as The ProChance Football Foundation. The connectivity and access to supporters, families and players who are at the heart of football remains vital.

However, the boycott shows English football coming together to emphasise that social media companies must do more to eradicate online hate, while highlighting the importance of educating people in the ongoing fight against discrimination.

 

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Everything That’s Going on at The ProChance Football Foundation

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Great Showcase for promising young players

A great game of football for players and the professional clubs watching!

With representatives from Manchester United, Leicester City, Everton, Nottingham Forest, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Derby County, Stoke City plus Chelsea and Fulham FC to name but a few, it provided a platform with a bit of spice and all to play for.

Liam Sutcliffe commented "We were really pleased to have the opportunity to welcome Huddersfield Town to SGP"


"The game started with a very good tempo and our players equipped themselves really well. We certainly felt that right throughout the game our players competed and at times showed some good qualities"

"There were some individual errors that led to goals for Huddersfield Town but this type of thing happens when you have a new group, we will aim to see past the errors and focus on the potential of these players and what they can do as oppose to what they can't"

"On the whole it was good to see the players play together for the first time competitively and we definitely have some bright lights. We probably finished the stronger team and after we switched the formation to a diamond midfield with two forwards we caused them more problems and had really good chances"

"It was a great experience for the players on both teams and one they'll not forget anytime soon. To be in England's changing rooms, playing at SGP is something special for these boys"

"Eight of the squad were still 15 and that was very positive for us.

Most of the players need time and support. We can provide that"

 

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Everything That’s Going on at The ProChance Football Foundation

 
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FINAL DETAILS AGREED FOR SHOWCASE

We are pleased to confirm that a ProChance Squad will take on Huddersfield Town in a Showcase match on Thursday 22nd April 2021 at the world famous St George's Park National Football Centre in Burton .

The ProChance squad will be made up of under 16 trialists as ProChance continue their search for players capable of earning a contract at a professional club or a coveted place in the 2021-22 Hybrid Performance Squad.

Liam Sutcliffe commented "We are really pleased to have the opportunity to welcome Huddersfield Town to SGP"


"For the players and everyone involved, the game presents an amazing opportunity to play at the world renowned St George's Park."

"We are really keen on this opportunity being a stepping stone for some players. We want players to access opportunities in the professional game at any time throughout our process"


"We are really excited and hope a few bright lights shine and impress"

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Brandon Njoku signs with Cambridge United

Same Journey, New Beginnings

Brandon Njoku Agrees Terms @cambridgeunited


We have the privilege to announce that 16 year old Brandon Njoku has agreed terms with Cambridge United Football Club.


Liam Sutcliffe commented: “Brandon and his family have been a joy to work with throughout this process. We have been on the same page throughout and we are delighted for Brandon and his family”


“Thank you to clubs who gave Brandon the opportunity for trial or made an offer for him to sign with their club, we thank them for the opportunity and also their professionalism”


“We feel that Cambridge United will be a quality environment for a player with Brandon’s skill set to develop”


“We look forward to working with Brandon, his family and Cambridge United now and in the future”


A striker with pace, power, skill and an eye for goal who at 16 has a promising future in the game.


Brandon’s father, James Njoku spoke of the news:

“As Brandon's father, I am very delighted that Brandon has signed for Cambridge United FC to progress in his football career. After a very long journey and overcoming numerous hurdles and challenges, not least the Covid-19 situation”


“ProChance has stood with Brandon through this tough journey and has been instrumental in Brandon making the decision to sign for Cambridge United FC”


“I believe strongly that Brandon will be a great asset to Cambridge United FC. With the support of a great team of people at the club and guidance and support from ProChance Football, Brandon has an excellent pathway to achieve greater heights in his football career”


We were delighted to catch up with Dom Knighton, Head of Academy Recruitment at Cambridge United:

“We are delighted that Brandon believes Cambridge United is the best club for him to continue his development. We would like to thank ProChance for their support and professional approach in helping this process. We are looking forward to working with ProChance closely in the future”

 
 
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Everything That’s Going on at THE ProChance Football FOUNDATION

 
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ProChance Football Foundation launch magazine

ProChance have taken the leap in to the media world by launching our own magazine.

A magazine dedicated to youth football.

Full of exclusive interviews from first team managers, academy managers, heads of recruitment and other key personnel in the football industry.

The magazine has great interviews from players and specialists in performance.

Giving you a greater insight into the ProChance Football Foundation and the game we love.

Giving you are greater insight in to the game, shining a spotlight on key 

POST MATCH REVIEW WITH LS

We caught up with Liam Sutcliffe post match following the top class event and match with Sheffield United.

He was full of praise " Sheffield United and ourselves put on a great performance showing the level of quality at youth level in this country"

"Through our recruitment, process, traditional scouting and diligence in creating a positive playing and learning environment we have competed with a premier league club and CAT 1 academy at full tilt"

" Our players did very well but in the end we ran out of steam. Our goal and their second were both outstanding and the real highlight of a very competitive game"

"We were so pleased to field 11 U17 players in an U18 game and in total 13 of the squad were born in Q3 and Q4 of the year. The boys did very well when you take this into consideration. Game related learning and learning from your peers in match situations and from older players is something we can take away from today's game"

"Certainly a few have very bright futures"

"A big thank you to all involved and thank you to Sheffield United and their staff for making the journey to SGP to play us"

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EVANDER GRUBB SIGNS FOR THE TERRIERS

ON THE RISE!

Evander Grubb signs a two year scholarship with Huddersfield Town Football Club 


Liam Sutcliffe said “Evander is a technically gifted player who has so much to offer the game” 


“After a number of set backs including 5 trials in February and March which didn’t progress due to his size, we knew then we needed the right club for Evander”


“Evander has been on our radar since February 2020. We could clearly see his ability to play and that he had the brain to play at a much higher level. We’ve been working with him for some time now, creating exposure and helping him in different ways. Evander has been in for assessment days with us and he has featured recently vs Sheffield United”


“It was so important to match Evander to the right club and environment and we’ve done that. The philosophy of Huddersfield Town Football Club 

& the work their academy is doing to take players from youth to professional status is excellent, especially for players who may have missed the boat for whatever reason or could be described as late developers”


“We are very proud of Evander and really pleased for his father and family”

 

Charlie Bullock signs for newport county

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A new adverture for charlie

We are delighted for Charlie Bullock who has recently played in our first ever trial day [Aug 2020]. 

We are extremely pleased for Charlie and his family.

Liam Sutcliffe said "Charlie is a very accomplished midfielder with a lot of potential"


"Location wise this is a really good fit for Charlie, his family and Newport County"


"We are pleased Charlie has had the opportunity with us and found a new base to continue his journey and development"