THE latest trials for a place on Woodlands School’s West Ham United Foundation programme are set to take place this weekend.

The Basildon-based school has a successful partnership with the Premier League club and trials will take place on Saturday from 10am until midday.

And former Southend United midfielder Glenn Pennyfather, who is the head coach of the programme’s first team, is urging the local community to try their luck at Woodlands School.

“We have already held some trials since the turn of the year and we have had some great responses,” said Pennyfather, who led his side to the National Football Youth League South Central Division title last season.

“The trials offer the chance to come down, play football and look at the facilities we have to offer.

“We’re looking to recruit for next year and we’re hoping for another successful trial day.”

The initiative, which is a three-year full-time education and football development programme, is welcoming those aged between 16 and 19 to get involved.

Having enjoyed major success in recent years, a third year has been added to the course’s structure, with it offering a Health and Sport Diploma.

The diploma offers avenues into the personal trainer and gym instructing sector, so the programme is not just tailored to those with dreams of becoming a professional footballer.

With the course being government funded, pupils do not have to pay a penny.

Registration for this weekend’s trial will start at 9.30am, with trialists requiring football boots and kit to participate.

Meanwhile, Pennyfather is pleased with how his side is fairing after winning promotion.

The first team finished 11 points clear of their nearest challengers in the National Football Youth League South Central Division and won 18 of their 22 fixtures.

And having also enjoyed success in the National Cup, Pennyfather is overjoyed by how his players have adjusted to the National League.

“Since we went up, we have done quite well,” added Pennyfather, who also has managerial experience with Chelmsford City.

“We took a while to get going and lost five of the first six games, but we are now unbeaten since October.

“There are some really good sides in this league and the quality of the football is very good.

“The development of our players has been great to see.”

>For more information on Saturday’s trial, contact Mike Reed on