Samsung Electronics UK today launches the fourth season of the Win A Pro Contract nationwide football talent search with the backing of Southampton & England legend Matt Le Tissier.
For the first time since the competition began, there will be three professional contracts to be won.
League Two Wycombe Wanderers have joined Samsung’s existing competition partners League One Swindon Town and Leyton Orient.
Talented amateur players can enter Win A Pro Contract, resulting in three winners getting the chance to earn a one-year professional contract – one at each Football League club.
Hopefuls will be tested at regional skills trials and full matches as they bid to kick-start their dreams of becoming a professional footballer.
Le Tissier, who played eight times for England, is supporting Win A Pro Contract. Speaking at the launch of the competition at the Samsung Experience Store, Westfield, Stratford, he said: “Win A Pro Contract is a fantastic initiative which gives aspiring footballers the opportunity of a lifetime.
“Becoming a professional footballer is a long and difficult process. I was fortunate to have a fantastic playing career. Samsung Win A Pro Contract is the starting point for three talented young players to try and do the same. I wish every entrant the best of luck.”
Andy Griffiths, Managing Director, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland said: “Talented young footballers have had the chance to showcase their skills and fulfil their dreams with the Samsung Win A Pro Contract since 2010. The chance to discover life’s possibilities is at the heart of Samsung and Win A Pro Contract is a great example of this.”
Last season’s winners, Kayden Jackson and Jack Sherratt, signed for Swindon and Orient respectively. They both join up with their first-team squads for pre-season training later this month.
Kayden said: “I entered the Win A Pro Contract last summer and worked hard in every trial. Fortunately I showed enough to the managers, coaches and scouts for them to give me a chance.
“I can’t wait to move to Swindon and get started. I’ll be giving everything I can to earn an opportunity in the first-team.”
Jack said: “I was at Port Vale’s youth academy for eight years. They released me when I was 16. It was hard to take, but this competition has given me a second chance.
“I’m determined to make the most of this opportunity and have a successful career with Leyton Orient. I’d recommend Samsung Win A Pro Contract to anyone trying to make it as a professional footballer.”
Regional trials are held at Goals Soccer Centres across the UK, where players are assessed by club scouts and expert talent spotters FootballCV. The best players are chosen for full matches at the three Win A Pro Contract clubs’ grounds. One of the grounds is then chosen to stage the Final for the 22 players still in with the chance of winning.
At least six players are picked for boot camps at the three clubs before the three eventual winners are chosen by managers Kevin MacDonald (Swindon), Russell Slade (Orient) and Gareth Ainsworth (Wycombe).
The winners will then be invited to sign professional playing contracts at their respective club starting on July 1, 2014.