Are you a young player who feels overlooked? Do you deserve a second chance to showcase your talents? Is a career in professional football your dream?
If the answer is yes, then Bentley Sports Group could provide you with a lifeline. The professional football academy offers players a chance to work with top professionals, in a nurturing environment, with the ultimate goal of being spotted and earning a career in the beautiful game.
BSG, of which former Everton, Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Blackburn striker Yakubu is a partner, have a rapidly growing network of professional clubs at their fingertips, as well as partnerships with a number of colleges around the world looking to offer scholarships.
The academy already boasts a number of training camps around the world, from the US to Cyprus.
There, players can develop their skills under the guidance of professionally licensed coaches, and work under Premier League standard teachers, just as you would if you were at a professional league club. Stays can be for as little as two weeks or as long as 12 months.
As part of the programme, regular appraisals from coaching staff will help you develop strengths and weaknesses, while selected players may also be invited to train with pro clubs.
Regular matches against professional sides - such as Cypriot third-division side Akrotiri - will help coaches get a better understanding of your level, and where improvements need to be made.
The academy has been praised by Kit Symons, former Fulham manager and Wales assistant manager, as being able to offer an "experience of what is actually like to be a pro, and what you need to do on a daily basis."
"You will have to train to those levels to look the part and be seen to have something that would set you apart," Symons said.
"Helping lads who think they should be in a pro club is very gratifying and seeing one make it a massive bonus we are looking forward to."
Neil Sillett, now Director of Bentley Sports Group after a career working as a global scout for Aston Villa, a national scout for Brighton, and head of academy recruitment at Portsmouth, explains that the focus is about handing an "opportunity" to players who might otherwise not get a chance to make it.
"I have been in the game all my life and seen many many lads start out with a dream of making it to professional level, we know statistically those that make it to the top are very few.
"I have worked at clubs and as an agent and too often hear the line: 'He is a great player, but got injured or fell out with the coach and is not playing now'.
"What this program can do is give those who believe in themselves an opportunity, a real chance as they will be coached by top international coaches who really want them to succeed so that hard luck story will be no more. If they can prove to the team they have what it takes as they will be playing against pro teams most weeks that will soon determine who has what it takes."
Those that have been through the process have also given glowing testimonials.
"The guys at BSG have opened doors I never thought possible," according to Alessandro Olaksopor, one hopeful from Italy. "The training is tough but when you get a trial you soon realise that it has to be as you have to be at that level.
"It’s clear they are all very professional and experienced, standards are expected to be high every day and after a couple of weeks, you understand that professional training is tough.
"Finally the coaches, Yakubu and Sill, all care about you they want you to do well."
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