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England call up for Wakefield College football starlet

Student Achievement Press Release Sport Academy of Sporting Excellence Athlete Development Programme

Luke Blackburn with his England Cap

Wakefield College Athlete Development Programme (ADP) student, Luke Blackburn, has set his sights on a career in professional football following his recent call-up for the English Colleges Football Association (ECFA) team. Luke, 17, spent a week in Perugia, Italy as part of an international competition.

Luke was part of an 18 man squad which took part in the competition that involved a whole host of countries including Italy, Romania, Panama, Turkey and Bulgaria. Luke follows in the footsteps of another former Wakefield College player, Rob Carroll, who represented the ECFA team 10 years ago. Rob has since gone on to a successful footballing career in North America.

Commenting on his experiences, Luke said: “Going to Italy and representing Wakefield College for the England Colleges team was a great experience. Playing in an international tournament, I learnt how different countries play football and the different styles of play.

“I learnt a great deal from the coaching staff, with the tactics we used in training and the games. The nutrition and the recovery we did out there helped me learn about the preparation before and after the games. To get my first England Cap was a very proud moment for me.”

Luke was a late call up to the squad having been injured during the early season trials, but due to Wakefield’s strong finish to the season, securing consecutive league titles, he was brought in to add depth to the midfield.”

Luke had already made his international debut against Scotland earlier this year in a 1-1 draw at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Wakefield College’s Athlete Coordinator and ECFA Performance Scientist, Mark Helme, added: “We are very proud of Luke’s achievement this season and he has deserved the opportunity to represent his country. It was difficult for him being injured for the first trial, but this shows that if you continue to work hard and focus, people can still achieve their goals. Hopefully Luke has learned a lot from his experience and he can pass that on to his fellow students.”

Luke’s progress has been one of the many recent success stories for the College’s ADP in Football, Rugby League and individual sports.

The College is now recruiting the next cohort of sports performers looking to develop their careers in a professional coaching environment whilst earning a recognised national qualification at the same time. Trials take place on Tuesday 24th June at the College’s Thornes Park Campus. Anyone interested should contact m.helme@wakefield.ac.uk, to book a place.


CONTACT: For more information email info@wakefield.ac.uk, or telephone 01924 789789.
DATE: 19 May, 2014

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