AFC Blackpool strike up exciting partnership with football scholarship programme run by Trevor Sinclair and Jamie Milligan

A football scholarship programme run by Trevor Sinclair and Jamie Milligan has entered into a partnership with AFC Blackpool.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 2:41 pm
Updated Monday, 12th April 2021, 2:44 pm

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The Mechanics have announced they will be working with Pro Direct Lancashire for the “foreseeable future” to provide opportunities and guidance to talented footballers in the local vicinity.

Sinclair and Milligan set up Pro Direct in 2017 with the full-time programme aimed at school leavers and designed to develop youngsters into better people as well as footballers.

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AFC Blackpool’s Nick Grindley told The Gazette: “We at AFC Blackpool are in the process of building a sustainable player structure at the club and our youth teams will play a big part in this.

“Creating this link with Jamie and Trevor at Pro Direct is a huge boost to the club and their experience and football knowledge will be of huge benefit.

“By working together we feel we can offer something unique to local footballers.

“Players who join Pro Direct’s scholarship programme will also have the opportunity to come and play for AFC Blackpool’s youth team in the highly competitive North West Youth Alliance league, Lancashire and FA Youth Cups as well as semi-pro first-team opportunities.”

Jamie Milligan and Trevor Sinclair set up the Pro Direct scholarship programme in 2017

One success story from the Pro Direct programme is Bolton Wanderers’ George Thomason, who was released by Blackpool in 2017.

“There are some very talented footballers on the Fylde coast who get released from academy football for whatever reason or have never had the opportunity,” Nick added.

“We want to give these players the platform to continue playing at a high standard and help them in their development.

“It’s very important these boys realise being released by a pro academy is not the end of the world for them, it just means they need to take a different pathway to achieve their goals.

“George Thomason was released from academy football at 16 and joined Pro Direct. Under the guidance of Jamie and Trevor he continued his development playing for AFC Blackpool before stepping up the levels in non-league.

“With hard work and a desire to succeed, George has got the rewards he deserves and Pro Direct are extremely proud.”

AFC Blackpool are holding trials for their new Under-17s team at 6pm tomorrow night.

Both Milligan and Sinclair will be attending to speak to parents and players about their programme.

To find out further information, contact Nick by emailing [email protected]

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