Derby County duo Bradley Johnson and Jacob Butterfield took to the Steve Bloomer ATP at the Racecourse playing fields yesterday (Tuesday 15th November) to visit a TIPs training session delivered by the Derby County Community Trust.
The Talent Identification Programme (TIPs) provides opportunities for players between the ages of 5-12 years to benefit from advanced coaching and develop within the DCFC player pathway.
The session on the Steve Bloomer ATP saw the U6s through to U10s age groups as well as goalkeepers participate to develop their skills.
The arrival of the Rams duo sparked a lot of excitement amongst the aspiring young footballers, many of whom hope to be future Derby County stars. Each age group got the opportunity to ask Johnson & Butterfield questions on how they became a professional footballer and the work and dedication it takes.
Both players took the time to get involved in the session, helping the different age groups in one-versus-one situations as well as each coaching a team in a full sized match.
Following the visit, Rams midfielder Johnson said:
“I enjoy coming down here, putting a smile on the kids’ faces and seeing them enjoying their football.”
“I was in a similar position to these kids when I was their age, enjoying playing and training hard with clubs looking to spot any talent. I was lucky enough to be spotted when I was around 7 or 8.”
Jacob Butterfield added:
“I started playing when I was 5 or 6 playing for a local football team. I trained with Bradford City before a scout from Man United spotted me and took me on.
“As a kid though it’s all about playing football with your mates and trying to get better. Having something like this as a transitional path for talented kids is great for giving more opportunities to learn the game and improve”
The Derby County Community Trust are soon holding trials for the U6 and U7 age groups at Belper Leisure Centre on 19th December, find out more and how to apply here.
Find out more about the Talent Identification Programme as a whole at www.derbycountycommunitytrust.com/coaching/tips