Exit trials: What happens when you've only got one game to save a career?
For teenagers on the verge of pro contracts, rejection at the final hurdle is the bitterest of pills to swallow. But for one last chance there's the exit trials, where discarded youngsters face off in a game that could help determine their futures
It's rejection season for academy footballers – but not all hope is immediately lost, as the young hopefuls left unwanted and unsigned fight for a lifeline at the English Football League exit trials.
In the latest instalment of FourFourTwo Films, we follow the fortunes of three boys desperate to impress scouts and keep their dreams alive.
Cal Templeton (Leicester), Rhys Springer-Downes (QPR) and Sam Phillips (Wolves) all saw their hopes of pro contracts dashed by clubs with whom they had lengthy affiliations – but that doesn't mean their journies are over.
In The Exit Trial, we speak to those involved in shaping the futures of youngsters like these to find out what it takes to get spotted – and what happens if they don't. Featuring interviews with those present including former Leicester manager Micky Adams, Millwall head of recruitment Barry Dunn and Daniel Jolly from League Football Education, we look at a lesser-known side of football that affects hundreds of hopefuls every year.
Just hit play on the video below to watch the latest film.
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Joe was the Deputy Editor at FourFourTwo until 2022, having risen through the FFT academy and been on the brand since 2013 in various capacities.
By weekend and frustrating midweek night he is a Leicester City fan, and in 2020 co-wrote the autobiography of former Foxes winger Matt Piper – subsequently listed for both the Telegraph and William Hill Sports Book of the Year awards.
By Conor Pope
By Conor Pope