By Sarah-Jane Howard & Mitch Sayers: Young footballers from Staffordshire have been given a second chance to make it as professional players.
Football League apprentices who have not been offered contracts at their existing clubs were invited to play at a trial game in front of scouts from across the country.
Among the 300 young players hoping to impress were local footballers Grant Jeffries from Port Vale and Joseph Guest from Crewe Alexandra.
Grant said: “I’m going to stick at playing football, maybe in the lower leagues and try to work my way back up.”
Joe added: “The things they taught me at Crewe come naturally to me now and hopefully I can take what they’ve taught me and produce it somewhere else.”
Regional trials took place at Staines Town, Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium and Loughborough University.
As well as professional scouts, non-league representatives were also on the hunt for bright young stars.
Stafford Rangers manager Greg Clowes said: “The trials are a great idea because it gives everyone else the chance to take a look at these lads who are striving to get back into the professional game.
“Sometimes when the door shuts at a pro club it can open somewhere else.”
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Category: Sporting focus