Pride of Darlington College, Sports Student Andrew White

In News, on the 26th, February 2014

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Andrew White - Trialist with England

A SPORTS student found himself with three lions on his shirt for the second year running after being selected to play football for his country.

Darlington College student Andrew White is battling for a place in the final squad for next spring’s Four Nations after successfully moving through the ranks of England schoolboy football.

The second year student is studying a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sports and last year competed in the U16 Four Nations.

At the end of the month he will travel to a training camp in Derby, the culmination of trials at a regional level.

He will be among a squad of players from the North East and North West who will play opponents from the South of England, from November 29 to December 1, for a place in this year’s Four Nations competition.

Bishop Auckland-born, now living in Chilton, the 17-year-old recalls kicking a ball for the first time as a toddler with his older brother Alex, who also went on to become a professional player, and dad Nigel, who played in the Northern League.

“Football is in my blood and I am lucky enough to be a left footer which cuts the competition down as there are fewer of us around,” said the centre back.

“The trials are different from playing in a normal match as you only have one chance to make an impact. But I am really looking forward to it and know you have to grab every opportunity where you can.”

Darlington College students benefit from top professional advice thanks to a link with the Martin Gray Football Academy, run by the former professional and manager of Darlington Football Club.

“The teaching is excellent,” said Andrew. “We not only learn about the physical part of the game but also the equally important mental side. Football is a global industry and I would love to be part of it in some way in the future.

“There is a lot of luck involved but look at Gareth Bale, he was told he would never make it and where is he now? There are also some great opportunities to play, coach and gain scholarships in America where the sport is really starting to take off.”

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