Following the day 1 cut from 100 to 50 young hopefuls, the remaining UK finalists travelled back to Salford City Stadium to begin warm ups through to more intensive drills in day 2 of The Chance UK Final. With there being no cuts today, The Chance camp seemed more relaxed.
The boys were clearly digging deep and desperately trying to shine in front of the judging panel of coaches. Jimmy Gilligan, Head Coach of the Nike Academy, explained what he was looking for on day 2. “Today’s about determination. All the boys bodies will be aching from yesterday but today it is about showing us what they can do on a technical level.”
The afternoon brought a unique coaching assessment session to the final 50 via the use of GPS technology as used in Nike elite training live. This allowed the coaches to see players with the best physical attributes strictly for the game of football.
The standard throughout day 2 was high enough to impress Jimmy Gilligan. “There has been a clear upturn in the standard today with what the boys have brought to the table. The standard is something to be proud of and that’s all down to the boys.”
Joe Bunny, one of the UK Chance Final competitors said; “My aim is to show my hunger and prove I have a great work ethic to take me far in the world of football.”
Arsenal's 1st team coach Neil Banfield is a member of Nike's elite coaching panel. Following the action from day 2, Banfield said; “Day 2 has gone really well. The boys have been focussed and worked hard. It’s been very enjoyable. Going into day 3, the boys need to keep focussed on what they want to achieve and give it their best shot. There should be no regrets, there time is now.”
“The boys should take everything they learn at The UK Chance and apply it to improving their game. The UK Chance is a fantastic opportunity for these boys. The initiative Nike have taken to give something back and give these athletes another shot is truly inspirational”.
“We’re looking for 3 final athletes with good technique, focus and attitude. The need to show their desire to take themselves to the next level.”
After an intense day of drills and agility tests, the 50 guys went down to The Chance Lounge in central Manchester; in the space they could chill out and play the Xbox, look at Nike iD footwear and submerge themselves in the product area.
They were given the opportunity to try on Nike product and take part in a photo shoot. This added experience was to let the boys tap into the lifestyle of a pro footballer on and off the pitch.
Stay tuned to SoccerBible as we'll be following the UK finalists all the way to the Global Final in Barcelona. Check back tomorrow for all of the action from day 3 of The Chance UK Final.