Six talented amateur footballers are one step closer to living the dream as a professional footballer, as they bid to win Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract competition.
The six hopefuls have each been picked to spend time training with either Leyton Orient, Swindon Town or Wycombe Wanderers first team squads, following the Samsung Win A Pro Contract Final (held at Orient’s Matchroom on Sunday March 2)
Midfielders Jake Burgess, 16, of Salisbury and Robert Black, 17, of Manchester caught the eye of Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade.
Midfielder Barry Deacon, 19 of Northamptonshire and winger Nathan Evans, 19, of Middlesbrough impressed Wycombe Wanderers’ Gareth Ainsworth.
And midfielder Josue Antonio, 17, of Merton and right-back Oliver Noel, 19, of Hampstead, were selected by Swindon manager Mark Cooper.
The players made the Samsung Win A Pro Contract Final after progressing through a series of trials and beating off a record-breaking 5,700 entrants to reach the last 22. The 22 finalists competed in an 11-a-side game, in front of the managers and coaching staff.
The managers will now assess their selected players when they join their respective first-team squads for some intense boot-camp training. Each manager will then reward one player with a life-changing one-year professional contract at their club.
Orient boss Russell Slade said: “The final was of a really good standard, very competitive right from the start, with everyone giving it their all.
“It was pleasing to see the boys going for it, as I want to see desire and a good work ethic in whoever we choose, as I demand that from all of my players.
“Jake and Robert both looked like they have potential and talent that we can work with and develop and I look forward to seeing more of them.”