Our son Josh moved from Hong Kong to the UK in January of 2019 to attend a UKFT endorsed school. He attended the UKFT’s camp in Sussex in August 2018 which helped him clarify that he wanted to do whatever it took to develop his football further. We then met with a representative from UK Football Schools and explained our situation and hopes for Joshua’s future and they carefully guided us through every step of the process.
Living in a foreign country and not knowing where to begin or how to even access schools or clubs meant that UKFT and UK Football Schools were absolutely invaluable to Joshua’s journey, and we can’t recommend them highly enough. They have done their research and found schools with very strong football programs. They realise what a difficult world these boys are hoping to enter and how they need to focus on their Academics alongside developing their football. They know the schools they work with very well, maintaining contact with them, monitoring their football programs and nurturing good relationships with the Heads of Football at each institution. UK Football schools are very approachable, and no question is too small or too basic to ask. We were astounded at how much time Chris was able to give to us, and how patient he was with our many queries and fears in the lead up to Joshua’s move to the UK. He visited the schools with us and explained how the UK school and football system worked. He was insightful, wise and gave us sound advice. We feel he identified the best fit for Josh and we have been very happy with his recommendation.
The School that Josh eventually joined has enveloped him - they have received him with open arms and welcomed him. They have nurtured him, cared for him and truly been his family away from home. He has met some phenomenal footballers and already made good friends. The boys at the Academy have been hard working, dedicated, respectful and kind to one another. The coaches are brilliant - they ask a lot of the boys but are very nurturing. Egos are not encouraged and there is a great ethos at the school. The Academic teachers encourage high standards but are also very understanding of what the boys are trying to achieve and how difficult it is to juggle academics and intense football training.
It was a huge decision to let Josh move to the UK and we miss him terribly. Some days are very tough, and he too struggles on occasion, but for 98% of the time he is happy and alive and so grateful for this incredible opportunity.
In one of the interviews Joshua attended, he was asked what he would do if he didn’t make it as a pro-footballer, and he answered: “I realise the chances are very small, but I just want to be given the chance to try”
Thank you, UK Football Schools, for helping us give him a chance….
Stephen and Kerrin M