Football Development Centre Ex-Player Profile
Name – Sam Bakewell
Current age group – Under 11
Position – Centre back / centre mid
The journey – Sam started playing when he was just 4 years old over at Castle Brom. Before coming to the football centre Sam had 3 years at West Brom, one year with Birmingham City and 6 months with Coventry. When Sam came to the football centre he was still playing that level but he was a player that came for extra coaching on the side, to get that push he needed to get into an academy. Whilst with us, he trialled at Aston Villa, unfortunately he was released. This didn’t faze him and he continued to play and train. He then went to Walsall and was signed to their development squad. He was then promoted to, and currently plays for their full under 11 side as well as the Erdington and Saltley under 11 district team. The district side recently went to a competition in Jersey, Sam played the full tournament and the team finished 2nd on their first ever appearance in the competition which is great. During his first year with Walsall he has played up and down the country and played against teams including Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. Sam’s team recently had their end of year reviews and after a very positive review, Sam was given a contract to continue into under 12’s, which is great news!
What the parents say – “Sam came to the football centre for a year. During his time there he really enjoyed coming and he felt he improved a lot. He was coached by Darryl at the time and I feel he brought out the best in Sam. The sessions were fun, well organised, efficient and good for his development. The cost is low and for the quality of coaching Sam received, it was a bargain! Sam has fond memories of the development centre and if he didn’t have commitments to Walsall he would still be coming. We were very pleased with the football centre and would highly recommend it”.
John Bakewell, Sam’s dad.
What Darryl says – Sam was one of those players that as soon as he walked on the pitch I knew he was already a good player. He represented the section of players we get that are good standard already and play for a club, but just need tweaking slightly in order to push on to the next level. He is one of very few players I coached in my time, where I honestly feel he has all the attributes needed to play at a high level. Whilst with us he listened well, learned a lot, applied himself and was a very good member of the team. I am not surprised by the fact he is playing at a higher level, I am more surprised how many clubs let him slip away, but he is happy now and playing well week in week out, even getting player of the month recently and received his trophy at half time of a Walsall match on the pitch. I went to watch him play last week and I stood there extremely proud of this boy who is excelling himself through his own hard work, commitment and desire to improve. Along with the support of his brilliant family, Sam could go on to great things.