SoccerBible took a seat at the County Ground alongside Swindon Town
manager Paolo Di Canio and his backroom staff to watch the Final match of
Samsung’s Win a Pro Contract competition.
The race to win a professional playing contract with Swindon Town is nearing
its close. More than 5,000 players entered. Eleven hopefuls remain. Three
will receive invitations to train with the first team for a week before the dream
comes true for one player as he signs pro terms in January.
Eleven of the UK’s most talented amateur footballers lined up against a
Swindon Town XI including several first-teamers, notably Swindon’s top-
scorer Mehdi Kerrouche and former AC Milan defender Alberto Comazzi.
Eager to impress the scouts and with the prize at stake, it wasn’t a surprise to
see the trialists sweating even before they went out for a warm-up in front of a
crowd of 1,000 expectant Swindon Town fans.
A pre-match pep talk from Paolo Di Canio ensured the amateur side were
buzzing as they took to the field for kick-off.
The trialists impressed in the opening period, coming close to breaking the
deadlock while keeping last year’s Win A Pro Contract winner, Jordan Pavett,
quiet at the other end of the pitch.
On Paolo’s instruction, four amateurs switched sides with the pros at half-time
to give the scouts a chance to see how they would adapt to playing alongside
Swindon’s current crop of talent..
The match opened up in the second half with 21-year-old former Brighton and
Hove Albion trainee Kane Louis scoring a brace. The first a penalty calmly
slotted inside the post, the second a neatly tucked right footed finish across
the keeper after being released by Mehdi Kerrouche.
Determined not to be out-done, Swindon’s Algerian hitman Kerrouche showed
his class with a sublime back-post left-footed volley.
A late penalty gave the predominantly amateur team a consolation as the game
Following the game, Paolo told SoccerBible he had been impressed with what
he had seen and had a tough decision on his hands:
“All of the players worked extremely hard to make it to the Final. They all
deserved a chance to show their ability.
“I was very pleased with what I saw. They played against a more experienced team but managed to hold their own and show their quality.
“Before the match there were two players which I liked. Now there are a few
more who impressed me.“I have a tough decision to make but am looking forward to the players joining
my squad for training in January.
“It will be a tough experience for them but Samsung have provided an amazing
opportunity for them to earn a professional contract. I’m sure one of them has
got what it takes.”
The three players selected to train with the first-team will be announced in
The Win a Pro contract winner will also pick up a dream boot deal from
www.prodirectsoccer.com – stay tuned to SoccerBible for an interview with
the lucky player. Were you one of the lucky eleven to play, and did you originally enter the competition? Join the conversation online, on Twitter and on Facebook.