Former England defender Ashley Cole praises Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team after England U21s training session

The Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team revelled in the opportunity to train with England U21s coaches on a recent visit.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 3:45 pm
Left to right: Joleon Lescott, Lee Carsley, Ashley Cole and Tim Dittmer with the Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team

Head Coach Lee Carsley, alongside assistant coach Ashley Cole and Joleon Lescott and Tim Dittmer, spent an afternoon at Soccer Burnley with the team.

Students took part in a training session with the coaches before getting a chance to put their football questions to their idols.

The Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team programme is delivered by Burnley FC in the Community staff in partnership with the Nelson and Colne College Group.

The programme gives talented young players between the ages of 16 and 18 the chance to combine academic studies with practical football experience. It is designed to bridge the gap between grassroots and academy football.

Alex Corps, from the Nelson and Colne College Group, said: “The students loved every minute of it! They were so excited to meet sporting stars who have accomplished so much in their football careers.”

One of the students who got to take part in the session was Isaac Williams.

He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to interview and listen to former professionals. It was a surreal experience having them sat in front of us, engaging with us. It was an opportunity you wouldn't get with any other course!”

And former Arsenal and Chelsea star Cole had plenty of praise for the club's work with the community and grassroot side of football.

Cole, who won 107 caps for England, said: “I’ve had a really good day up here; I love what you’re doing as a club.

“I think it’s really important bringing the community together and giving the young boys and girls an opportunity to live a dream.

“It’s been brilliant to come down and do some coaching, answer some questions and get to meet lots of different people.”