YOUNG apprentice footballers from across Ellesmere Port and Wirral showcased their skills to scouts from Celtic.
The budding players travelled to Hyde FC, where scouts from Celtic, and others from the US on May 3.
The assessment trials are run by League Football Education (LFE) and are the last opportunity to earn a professional contract for nearly 300 boys hoping to build a career as a footballer.
The event showcased the talent of about 300 young apprentice players in front of local and international scouts from all levels of the game.
Each year hundreds of young players undertake an apprenticeship at football clubs across the country, each hoping to become a first-team player.
Research has shown up to 60% of apprentices will not be offered a professional contract at the end of the apprenticeship.
To ensure their talent is not lost to the game, the assessment trials provide the opportunity for nearly 300 lads to demonstrate their skills to scouts and representatives from all levels of the English and international game, as well as those from higher educational institutions in the UK and abroad.
Alan Sykes, LFE’s chief executive, said: “Just to earn an apprenticeship means you have considerable talent.
“Unfortunately, not everyone who comes through the programme will be offered a professional contract. Those who are released by their clubs are in many instances very unfortunate – and that’s where assessment trials fit in.
“The trials remain central to our progression strategy and represent a great opportunity for apprentice footballers to show they have the skills to continue in the game. Their dedication and work ethic is exemplary, and this gives other clubs and universities the chance to utilise this talent. Our aim is to ensure these players find other ways to put their abilities to use by introducing them to new training and career paths.”
For more information on the assessment trials, visit www.lfe.org.uk/progression/trials.