7 June 2018
Foundation of Light Football Scholar Kieron Parnaby has been selected for a world-renowned coaching programme set up by England star Jamie Vardy.
The 17-year-old, who plays for the Scholarship’s Shildon side, travelled to Manchester City’s Etihad Campus last week to join up with the V9 Academy.
Kieron’s man of the match performance for the NFYL’s All-Stars against former Premier League and EFL academy players last month caught the eye of V9 Academy staff who invited him to the week-long training camp which will be attended by professional scouts from all over the world.
Speaking about the opportunity, Kieron said: “I can’t really describe how it feels to be selected. It’s just a fantastic moment for me in my career and hope I can do enough to play football at the highest level possible and enjoy it.”
“I am massively proud of what I’ve achieved in the last couple of weeks with my football; it’s a great feeling to know that I am being recognised and people like the way I play. I need to keep showcasing my ability and hopefully something will come of it.”
The youngster, who has also represented Wearside Athletic outfit Coxhoe Athletic, has enjoyed a successful two years with Shildon Scholars who secured a top-three finish in the NFYL Under 19 Midlands Division this season.
Kieron added: “Overall it’s been a good couple of years playing football day in, day out and I’ve had some great moments with a good group of lads.
“The Scholarship has been brilliant for me as I’ve learned a lot on and off the pitch from the basics in training with the coaches to new styles of play and understanding the game a lot more and about professionalism.
“I have always aimed for a career in football but it is very rare to get that chance. I joined the course wanting to improve my skills on the pitch and hopefully go as far in football as possible but kept my options open with the education in case football doesn’t work out.
“I would recommend the Scholarship to anyone who is looking to improve their football ability. It’s as close to being on a contract at a club as possible it has been a great experience and I am sure every player coming through the course would say the same.”
The V9 Academy was launched by Leicester City forward Vardy in 2017 with the aim of discovering non-league talent and promoting them to the professional game while providing a unique educational experience.
Each successful applicant will be evaluated technically, tactically, physically, and mentally and will leave the academy with an individual development plan to help progress their game further on leaving the academy.
The V9 Academy will also be filmed as a Sky Sports documentary and give a ‘behind the scenes’ look into how coaching, sport science, fitness methodology, talent ID and mental training is carried out at the top level.
Chris Cousins from the NYFL said: “This league is all about giving pathways to the players, and to be asked to showcase some of the best players in our league in front of the V9 staff, against released professional club youth team players, and to be beat them, was a real honour.
“Opportunities like this don’t come around often, and knowing the sort of person and player he is, he will not be out of place and hopefully he goes onto the next level.
“The performance against the League Football Education team and hearing the feedback from the scouts just goes to show there is talent outside of the Academy system [due to the] fantastic work the organisations are doing to help develop these players.”
Foundation of Light’s Football Scholarship is recruiting NOW for the 2018-19 season. For more information, call 0191 551 5191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org