A FOOTBALL academy run by a premier league coach is turning out star players of the future.
White Rose Soccer Academy, which is run by James Rourke, a coach at Manchester City Football Club, has helped young players from across North Kirklees get places with top northern clubs.
James, a PE teacher at Heckmondwike Grammar School, runs the academy at the school on Friday nights – and some of his young players have moved on to Manchester United, Manchester City, Huddersfield Town, Bradford City and Sheffield Wednesday.
The former Huddersfield Town coach said: “We try to make it as fun as we can.
“It’s about creating a fun and enthusiastic environment where we can provide professional coaching for players aged four to 12.
“I think with the right philosophy, coaching and atmosphere you can bring the players up.
“Each child is different – we try to develop them naturally and teach them to make their own decisions.
“We try to make it as fun as we can.”
James, from Roberttown, said he had got the job as Manchester City coach thanks to the success of the academy.
He said: “It is a privilege to be involved with the team and try to develop young footballers to that level with the academy. The academy runs a Friday night talent centre and we run half term holiday camps. We have about 60 kids coming to the half term camps, which run for three days.
“Our record is quite good for putting players into professional clubs – we have had about 30 players who have gone on to academies at top clubs.
“We invite scouts to come in and see the players. It’s done in a really fun enthusiastic way. We want to make it enjoyable for the kids.”
The club is open to players of any ability. Visit www.whiterosesoccer.co.uk.