the first in a series of articles looking at some of the youngsters
in our Academy.
Gondal...the first British Pakistani to sign for a Prem club?
He's been scoring regularly for the U-17s this season, including
a good hat-trick the other week, so what do we know about
signed the Derby born youngster in the summer on a 3 year
contract and Usman wants to be the first British Pakistani
to play in the Prem.
to the Derby Telegraph earlier this year he said,
would be brilliant to be a role model for other British Pakistanis
and that's what I'll be working towards over the next few
aren't any British Pakistanis playing for any of the big clubs
at the moment. My role model is Thierry Henry and I definitely
try to base my game on his.
think the main reason that a lot of British Pakistanis don't
make it as footballers is because they don't get enough support
off their parents.
lot of our culture revolves around education and I think a
lot of parents are wary of their children getting too involved
I've had loads of support from my family and my dad has been
very good, driving me round all over the place."
has encountered racism on the football field but believes
that other British Pakistanis should not be put off by name
calling or abuse.
had plenty of racism in the past but I just ignore it and
don't retaliate," he added.
usually from opposition players but it's just their way of
trying to wind me up.
was slightly worried that some of the clubs my be a bit racist
but, so far, I haven't found that at all."
was snapped up by Leicester after he scored in a trial match
for their under-19 side against Watford. Before that, he also
had a spell at Nottingham Forest.
PE teacher at Derby Moor, Richard Williams, has got a few
contacts and put me in touch with Nottingham Forest,"
said Gondal, who started his GCSE exams this month.
took me on trial and I was there for about six or seven weeks.
scored hat-tricks in both of my first two matches and got
13 goals in seven games overall.
I suffered a knee injury and was out for about two months.
I recovered, I scored two goals against Leeds United but Forest
still wouldn't offer me a proper contract.
came in for me and, after I scored for the under-19s against
Watford, they offered me terms.
already met Micky Adams and Dave Bassett and had a brief chat
with them. I've also met quite a few of the players because
I played for the Academy against the reserve side in training.
all seem really nice people and I have received a lot of encouragement"
of Leicester's Academy, Jon Rudkin, said,
is a good size, has a good turn of pace and can score goals.
shown some good potential but, like all players his age, he
is a long way from being the finished article.
have offered him a three-year scholarship, which means that,
all being well, he will definitely be with us for two years
before his position is reviewed.
the first two years, he will spend a day-and-a-half at college
to keep up with his education and will spend the rest of his
time at the football club.
we decide to keep him on for a third year, he will become
a full-time footballer.
season, Usman will be playing predominantly for our under-17
team and he might also play a few matches for our under-19s.
development is becoming increasingly important at the moment,
with the current financial climate in football, and clubs
are very keen to bring through their own players.
ultimate aim for lads such as Usman is to give them every
possible chance of one day playing for the first team."
are more and more players emerging from the ethnic communities
and, in the future, I think we're going to see a lot more
players from these backgrounds," he said.
be honest, we are not too bothered where our players are from
but we have developed some good links with the ethnic clubs
in the area.
is now a case of convincing some people from these backgrounds
that football is a potential career and there is an education
available to youngsters who join our club."
out more Academy news at www.lcfcacademy.vze.com
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