Selkirk are offering young players a pathway into full-time football by creating their own apprenticeship at Yarrow Park.
The Borders club are holding trials this Saturday for kids aged 16-19, with the aim of producing players for Scotland’s biggest sides. Those chosen will train full-time, play for Selkirk’s first team or under-20s, study sports management and take SFA courses in football coaching and first aid. The ultimate aim is to attract the attention of Celtic, Rangers, Hearts, Hibs or any professional club who see talent in the youngsters.
Paul Doig, assistant coach at Selkirk, explained that the Lowland League club want to create opportunities through their new programme. “We are hoping to get eight players from these trials. That may be a bit far-fetched but that’s the number we’re looking at,” he said. “We will look to build on this every year. Some guys might be asked to come in and play with one of our squads till the following year. We want to build youth players who are good enough for first-team football. Maybe they’ll start in our under-20s and progress from there. Hopefully we can produce a player who is good enough to be considered by Hibs or Hearts or Rangers or Celtic. We’d hope one of them would come along and buy the player off us. We want to give these guys a shot at playing at a higher level.”
Players who trial successfully will be paid a salary in line with the Government’s modern apprenticeship. They will also have the skills to work in a different field if they can’t make it in football. “Through the Government’s modern apprenticeship schemes, we’re able to cover the yearly salaries for the boys coming in,” continued Doig. “They will be employed by the club and live as full-time footballers. They will also be involved in Selkirk’s community football partnership and they will do a modern apprenticeship in sports management.
“On top of that, they will be put through SFA coaching qualification so that they walk out with other chances to go and get work at the end of the year if the football hasn’t worked out for them.”
Players interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form. Players must be born between 1994 and 1998 and be 19 or under on August 1 this year. Trials are this Saturday, 9am at Yarrow Park.