22 amateur footballers do battle for O's contract prize
TWENTY-TWO amateur footballers do battle this Sunday in the Semi-Final of Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract competition.
More than 5,000 hopefuls entered this year’s competition. Two of them will win professional contracts, with one player signing for Leyton Orient, and the other joining Swindon Town.
The Semi-Final kicks off at Swindon’s County Ground at 1pm, with Orient chief Russell Slade and Robins’ manager Paolo Di Canio watching from the touchline.
After the match, the two bosses select 11 players to appear in the Final – scheduled for Wednesday January 16 - against an Orient Select XI at the Matchroom Stadium.
On Sunday, the County Ground gates open at midday. Admission is £2 with all gate receipts going to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. The club’s Bar 71 is open from noon.
FOUR TO WATCH
Defender, 18, from Portsmouth
Joe plays for Havant and Waterlooville Academy in the Blue Square South. He is a tough tackler with great aerial ability. Joe is the grandson of former Portsmouth, West Ham and Crystal Palace defender Alf Noakes.
Attacker, 21, from Northampton
Claudio plays for Histon in the Blue Square North. He was at the Leicester City Academy. Claudio impressed the scouts with a hat-trick at the Quarter-Finals. He has great pace and an eye for goal.
Midfielder, 19, from Stoke
Jack plays for Kidsgrove Athletic in the Evo-Stik Division 1 South. He is versatile, comfortable on the ball, and can pick out a pass. Jack’s cousins are both pros – playing in Australia and China.
Attacker, 19, from Harrogate
Josh plays for Harrogate Town in the Blue Square Conference North. He reads the game well and is more than able to take on his man. A former Leeds United Academy player. His brother is Everton and England Under-19 star Luke Garbutt.