Do you have links with pro clubs?

This is a question that pops up now and again from parents, especially when their child is being praised by coaches and other parents.

Firstly when you join J4K North Devon I am not going to guarantee you a place at a pro academy, I have had many students progress into pro clubs and they all have the same things in common… self belief, mental strength, the ability to listen and learn, desire and the passion to succeed are just a few…

Alvaro Bazaco, former J4K student now attending Atletico Madrid’s Academy

The level is so high now at pro clubs and having worked closely with Arsenal, Watford, Brentford and QPR in London I have a good understanding of the requirements needed in the modern game.

I am always honest when parents ask me about pro clubs as it’s important we educate the family surrounding the individual as well.

The commitment when your child does attend trials and if fortunate enough to get into an academy is a family commitment and one that needs understanding and support. And this is something I continue to offer my students and families after they leave Just 4 Keepers.

Its a social commitment and also an emotional commitment which will effect not only the child but his or her supporting family and friends as well.

Many clubs now offer 6 week trials and will then decide wether to extend this trial, sign you or release you.

My best advice to parents would be to take it with a pinch of salt, keep everyone grounded and really support each other along the journey. Listen to coaches, other parents and really learn from the experiences which will put you in good stead for each outcome. Listen to the advice, evaluate the circumstances and communicate as a family to understand what the best steps are for your child.

J4K student attending St Georges Park and currently at West Ham Utd’s academy

I must stress being signed by a pro club is by no means the only route to becoming a professional. There are many independent coaching schools that offer fantastic coaching, theres playing at grassroots, school, county and semi pro level working your way up the football food chain which can be a fantastic education towards your goal.

There will be highs and most definitely lows on this journey and its these experiences that will shape you and help you succeed not only on the football field but on life’s journey.

To book a FREE goalkeeper session with J4K North Devon email

Here is a FREE ebook called ‘How to become a professional goalkeeper’ with advice from former Everton goalkeeper and J4K Founder Ray Newland


Enjoy and best of luck with your goalkeeping!