PLAYERS WHO HAVE PROGRESSED FROM THE EPC INTO PROFESSIONAL CLUBS
Each player that attends an EPC session can expect to learn and develop in an environment designed alongside our philosophy. An environment that lets players make their own creative & clever decisions with no pressure from the coaching team. During their development with us, the main aim is to provide every player with an opportunity to further their footballing journey within a Professional Club in the local area. We aim to lay down a pathway for each player that attends the EPC, from a Soccer Skills session or a Birthday Party, we can provide young players with the right opportunities to progress & evolve.
Since our creation in 2010, players who have experienced a progression from the EPC are listed below, with a brief story about how they started & how they developed..
HENRY GRAD : READING FC – Henry joined our Academy Centre from a local grassroots club, having shown great technical GK abilities, Henry’s area for improvement was his footwork when in possession of the ball. Our 3 v 3 games at the end of every other session was a great chance for Henry to play in small-sided games & was often the winner of our Dutch Masters competition. Henry was offered a trial with Reading FC shortly after his 10 week course and was successful, becoming EPC’s first ever signed player. Well done Henry.
EMMA HARRIES : READING FC – Emma started with the EPC as part of our Soccer Skills Programme at Holly Spring Infant & Junior School, showing great potential from a young age. Following this Emma joined Bracknell Town Football Club, an EPC grassroots partner club, and played for Lee Simpson for a number of years in a BTFC junior team. This provided Emma with a great opportunity at the Reading FC Girls squads & has been a part of the club for many seasons. Well done Emma.
AIMEE CLAYPOLE – CHELSEA FC – Aimee joined our Development Centre as an U8 and showed her excellent abilities within the first few sessions and really caught the eye of the coaching team. With her fantastic dribbles and quick decision-making Aimee continued to develop whilst with us and joined our Academy Centre shortly after. From here Aimee then experienced opportunities with Reading FC & began to play in the East Berks League. During the summer of 2015, Aimee then received various offers from other professional clubs, eventually joining Chelsea FC. Well done Aimee.
LOUIE HOLZMAN – READING FC – Now U12, Louie started with the EPC as an U8 and was recruited to a grassroots club when attending our Football Fun Weeks. Even though Louie wasn’t part of a team & therefore wasn’t training regularly, he showed great foundations to develop and was quickly recruited to our Academy Centre. Playing a year above for his junior club helped Louie’s physically attributes & speed whilst on the ball, and this showed when joining Dan Sleet’s Bracknell Town squad, reverting back to his own age group. Louie has continued to improve at an impressive level & was offered a trial with Reading FC in the summer of 2015. Louie was successful and is part of the U12 squad for the 2015/2016 season. Well done Louie.
ELLA WILD – READING FC – Ella is a great example of how our pathway can be vital to young players confidence & self-esteem when playing football. Ella showed fantastic abilities when she started playing football with us at our Soccer Skills session at Harmanswater School. Often showing a fantastic attitude & desire to learn Ella quickly gained confidence and realised her potential by joining a grassroots partner club & regularly joining us at our Football Fun Weeks. Ella was quickly added to our Academy Centre and impressed every single week in her age group when playing fixtures as part of our games programme. From here, Ella joined Reading FC and has gone from strength to strength within their programme, playing under England International, Fran Kirby. Well done Ella.
"Ella started with EPC aged 7. Dan & Lee, helped Ella believe in herself and realise her potential. With their endless words of encouragement, her confidence grew and grew.
Now aged 12, Ella has signed her 4th season at Reading FC Academy. In October 2016, Ella was one of the youngest players to attend the girls England Performance Camp. The FA have invited her to attend the next Camp in February 2017.
Ella's very grateful for Dan & Lee's continued words of support." - Mandy Mendham - Parent
YUSSEF – CHELSEA FC – To show how important our Soccer Skills sessions can be, and how they act as a stepping stone for further opportunities, Yussef’s journey to Chelsea FC is the perfect example. Yussef started with us whilst in reception & joined our Soccer Skills session at Sandy Lane School during his first year, quickly showing he had great physical attributes for a 5 year old. After a full year at Sandy Lane, showing how comfortable he was when dealing with a ball, Yussef joined our Academy Centre as an U7, and was recruited to a team with a partner club. Yussef’s development progressed at a brilliant speed, often showing how exciting he was on a weekly basis. Through our Academy Games Programme, Yussef was showing his abilities to professional clubs & was quickly invited in to train with Pre-Academy Programmes. From here, Yussef received 4 academy contract offers which is an outstanding achievement. Upon finally deciding, Yussef joined Chelsea FC as an U9. Well done Yussef.
OLIVER GOFFORD – FULHAM FC – Ollie has become one of our most recent success stories at the EPC, and is part of a journey with us that demonstrates the vision we have for young players in the local area. Ollie was first introduced to us in Year 1 when he was a regular player at our Soccer Skills session at Harmans Water School, within a few months at the session Ollie was challenged to play in the older group at the session to develop his physical attributes as well as his social inclusion with older players. When Ollie reached U8 he joined our Academy Centre, showing great progression in his overall ability since when we first saw him in Year 1. Immediately he was a project that the coaching team knew would eventually get rewards, a player with great potential but sometimes shy to really show how good he was. We challenged Ollie every session, challenged him to show what he was good at & why he could progress with us, his strength being 1 v 1 attacking & a challenge of being exciting and unpredictable when beating a player, and not being scared to try again if you face failure. After a full year with us at U8, Ollie was offered a trial with Fulham FC & passed with flying colours. Well done Ollie.
"My time with EPC started aged 7 when I attended a EPC training session at school. After a few sessions I was invited to join their elite training program as an U8.
This was a great experience for me as the coaching team not only helped to develop my football, but also made me feel more confidence in my game. Their support was outstanding and they gave me the chance to really challenge myself by playing up against the older age groups.
After a year with EPC I was given the opportunity to attend a 6 week trial at Fulham FC which ended with me being signed as an U9. I am now in year 6 and have been signed for my second year as an U11.
My experience with EPC and the individual support I received from Dan and Lee was exceptional. Without doubt they made a massive contribution to the success I've had so far."
CAYLAN VICKERS – READING FC – Caylan was a very exciting project with the EPC, joining our Academy Centre an an U8. Within his first few sessions Caylan was quick to catch the eye of our coaching team on a regular basis within our sessions, showing how exciting he could be on the ball, especially in 1 v 1 attacking. Over a period of 10 weeks Caylan showed great progress within our programme but his decision-making whilst on the ball was an area for improvement in future courses. With this key area at his top priorities for improving, Caylan kept progressing & developing with his decision-making now at the required level to progress from the EPC to an Academy Programme in a Pro Club. Caylan received an offer from Reading FC and was included in their U9 squad for the following season. Well done Caylan.
ARCHIE SINGH-MARTELL – SOUTHAMPTON FC – The EPC value every session as a very important one when developing players, and we feel our Futsal Development Programme is a session that can really look at players technical abilities with a smaller ball. Archie’s progression within this programme has further strengthened his technical profile and decision-making in a high speed environment. This has led Archie to be a key player in Southampton’s Pre-Academy Programme and is working very hard to be offered an Academy contract at the end of the 2015/2016 season, Archie has attended our FDP Bracknell centre & was regularly a player that looked very comfortable & calm when in possession of the ball, often showing speed & skills when in a 1 v 1 situation. Well done Archie & good luck!
ARCHIE FRY - ALDERSHOT TOWN FC – Archie first joined the EPC through our Futsal Development Programme and was quickly identified as a player with great potential. Archie's key strengths really made him shine within our Futsal sessions by being positive & creative in 1v1 situations - these sessions really started to develop Archie & soon after joined our Academy Centre. By being placed in a more challenging environment, Archie continued to develop alongside his commitment to an EPC partner club. Fast forward 2 seasons & Archie has now signed for Aldershot Town, regularly playing against strong & testing opposition. Well done Archie.
"My son Archie first joined EPC for some additional coaching whilst playing grassroots football for his local village team. This consisted of Futsal on a Monday and development centre on a Tuesday night. Within 2 years of coaching with the EPC team, my son has had the privilege of playing multiple professional clubs and learned so so much! Archie has subsequently since been at Chelsea Development Centre, Wycombe Wanderers and now an academy player at Aldershot Town. I would highly recommend the team at EPC to anyone with children who love and want to learn to play football" - Mike Fry, Parent
NATHAN McWILLIAM - ALDERSHOT TOWN FC – Nathan has very much deserved his rewards at Aldershot Town after showing a great willingness to learn & training attitude during his time at our Academy Centre. Nathan showed great first impressions to our coaching team during his first few sessions and it quickly became apparent that Nathan was an exciting player on the ball with excellent physical qualities, the area for improvement was his decision-making and in particular the right areas to dribble & the right areas to pass. Nathan was brilliant at taking on key information to add to his own game and this really helped him develop his weaknesses. During our games programme, Nathan was always one of the most exciting players on the pitch and this led to him being signed by Aldershot Town FC after attending a trials day. Well done Nathan.
ANJIL SUNWAR – ALDERSHOT TOWN FC – Anjil is another example to show the importance of our Soccer Skills programme and how it can be the start of the important pathway journey for our young players. Anjil was recruited to our Academy Centre from our Soccer Skills session at Great Hollands Primary School, initially showing great physical skills to play the game. After attending our Academy Centre on a weekly basis his technical & social skills started to develop at an impressive speed and quickly became a very important member of his Bracknell Town side under EPC coach Jake Keohane's guidance. In the summer of 2016, Anjil attended a trials day for Aldershot Town FC and was successful in being picked ahead of a large pool of players. Well done Anjil.
MADDOX GILLAS – OXFORD UTD – Maddox was a very successful project of our Player Development Programme, culminating in the acceptance of a contract offer from Oxford Utd. Maddox first joined our programme as an U6 with no coaching & very little experience in playing the game, this resulted in Maddox being behind some other U6s who joined our programme earlier and/or received prior coaching. This initial challenge didn't frighten Maddox who instead used this as motivation to work on his technical side of the game. As Maddox settled into our programme, he joined our partner club, Bracknell Town FC, to progress his game understanding further by playing regular fixtures. To date, Maddox's sheer determination to be the best is his outstanding attribute & he will continue to develop & progress with this attitude. The team @ EPC were delighted to hear Maddox's news and now use his attitude as an example to others during our sessions. Well done Maddox!
ALEX BOURNE – When Alex joined our Player Development Programme, our team felt he possessed the correct physical attributes to progress from grassroots football, and identified his technical & game understanding side of the game as his areas for improvement. With this in mind, we challenged Alex during sessions to work on a variety of technical areas to develop this key area, as well as verbally & visually showing him moments in the game where he could work on his game understanding. During this learning period, Alex quickly showed progression during our games programme & showed the correct character to develop these areas away from training. Alex was rewarded with a contract from Reading FC & this was richly deserved, we know Alex will continue to show great character in the future to improve himself & we wish him all the best. Well done Alex!
LOGAN COLES – Logan was identified by our coaching team during a Soccer Skills session at Birch Hill Primary School, Bracknell & was quickly invited to train with our partner club, Bracknell Town FC. Logan demonstrated his ability & brilliant character to play with an age group 2 years older than him in weekly sessions & from this period, he set himself the correct foundations to unlock his potential. Logan signed for an U7 team at his correct age group two years later & carried on his impressive development under the guidance of our EPC coaches managing his Bracknell Town FC side. Logan must be credited for his consistent development from U7 - U11 as he always focused on making his strengths stronger & not forgetting his areas for improvement. Logan left our Player Development Programme at U10 before pursuing trial opportunities at Professional Clubs, this work was rewarded with a contract offer from Swindon Town - well done Logan!
BRANDON OSHITOLA – READING FC – Brandon is another success from our School Sports Partnership - it's very important for us to identify & develop players within our after-school programme who have the key foundations to progress into our Player Development Programme, or a Professional Club. Brandon attended our Soccer Skills session at Jennetts Park on a weekly basis and was quickly challenged at the beginning of his journey with us. Brandon would play with older children during these sessions to work on his physical attributes, and more often than not he would succeed in his challenge. From here, Brandon developed at his local club as well as attending our Football Fun Weeks, becoming a very popular figure within the older group. Brandon is now an U9 at Reading FC & is developing well. Well done Brandon - don't ever stop them tricks!
GILLES – SOUTHAMPTON FC – Gilles was a pupil at Winkfield St Marys School, a school that is part of our school sports partnership where we deliver a PPA & After School Club programme, therefore being in weekly sessions demonstrating his talent for a range of sports as well as football. Gilles was identified by the school & EPC coaching team on a regular basis as someone with a range of sporting abilities & potential, through our Soccer Skills & PE lessons within the school. As an U8, Gilles attended a Pre-Academy Programme led by Lee Simpson, and was constantly challenged at a young age to push his development even further. After a year or two within a grassroots club, Gilles talent & desire to work hard was rewarded with an offer from Southampton FC. Well done Gilles.
GRACIE LOVELL – READING FC – Alongside Ella Wild, Gracie experienced a similar journey with the EPC, eventually signing for Reading. Gracie started with us at a Soccer Skills session at Harmanswater School, and was regularly in attendance at our Football Fun Weeks. Following this, and a season at a partner club, Bracknell Town, Gracie was offered the opportunity to sign for Reading FC. Well done Gracie.
"Gracie benefitted greatly from her time with EPC. She is not a naturally confident girl, but working with the coaches really brought her out of her shell, enabling her to express herself more freely both in and off the pitch. Her subsequent move to Reading Women was very much based on her training with you guys" - Gary Lovell, Parent
HARRINGTON IZQUIEDO – SWINDON FC – Harrington’s progression is an impressive one, with the EPC Coaching Team not being surprised when Harrington was signed by Swindon FC. Harrington joined our Academy Centre as an U10, showing great potential from the beginning. In his end of term reports, Harrington’s area to improve from the coaching team was to be more calmer when in possession of the ball to make the right decision. From here, Harrington’s abilities increased & was regularly a winner of our Dutch Masters Competition, showing how calm and composed he was in tight situations. As an U12, Harrington then signed for Swindon, making him the 8th player to be signed from the EPC. Well done Harrington.