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Adam Barrett helping out the next generation of footballers
FORMER Southend United skipper Adam Barrett is turning his attentions towards helping the area’s top young talent follow in his foot-steps.
The popular ex-Shrimpers defender will head up the newly formed Players Football Academy in south east Essex.
And Barrett, who made 289 appearances during a successful six-year period at Roots Hall, cannot wait to get started.
“This area means a lot to me and, as an Essex boy myself, I would love to help more people from here make it in the game,” said Barrett, who now captains League One side Gillingham.
“We have a large catchment area and for everyone who has made it professionally there are probably hundreds more who didn’t, despite having the talent.
“That’s why I’m heading up the Players Football Academy and I will be taking the coaching sessions myself here, too.
“We have big plans for it and coaching is something that’s always interested me so I can’t wait to get started.”
Barrett has been joined in the scheme by his current Gillingham team-mate Danny Kedwell and will be heading the academy in Kent.
However, the duo will now be holding a trial day at Thundersley’s Cedar Hall School on Wednesday, October 30.
And Barrett is keen for as many young players, between the ages of five and 14, to get involved.
“The trial day is the start of what we’re wanting to achieve and we have big plans for this academy,” said Barrett.
“With our business partner John Bailey we’re looking at building our own venue and, if the demand is there then we will start to cater for older players too.
“We eventually want to have classrooms at our base and also be able to run sports scholarships.
“We will be running this very professionally and will be organising games against top clubs in the area.
“We’ve all been rejected at certain times of our careers but we can take these kids in, give them high quality training and the exposure they need to try to get back in to another club.
“We will also be using our contacts to try to make that happen but we won’t be making any false promises either.”
Barrett’s training sessions will be held on the impressive 3G pitches at Cedar Hall School.
But he was also keen to stress that does not mean he will soon be hanging up his boots.
“I’ve had a fantastic career but I’ve still got a few years in me yet,” said the former Belfairs High School pupil.
“I’m enjoying my time with Gillingham but I know I can’t play forever and this is very much the start of the next chapter for me now.”
The academy is being sponsored by Central Cars and the Essex Property Centre but further sponsorship packages are still available.
For further details visit www.playersfa.co.uk or to book a place on the open day e-mail Barrett on adambarrett26@ icloud.com or call 07436 263206