Smalley’s big shot at a professional deal

Jarrod Smalley
Jarrod Smalley

Amateur footballer Jarrod Smalley has been shortlisted in a nationwide competition to win a professional playing contract with a Football League club.

The 17-year-old midfielder will now take part in first round of trials for Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract that could see him sign up for Swindon Town, Wycombe Wanderers or Leyton Orient.

More than 5,700 players from all over the country entered Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract competition – and Smalley is through to a skills testing sessions in Leeds on Sunday.

He said: “I knew someone who had entered it the year before so I followed Samsung Football on Facebook and waited for the entry date.

“I’m really excited because it’s a big chance to show what I can do and hopefully I can play well and get through.

“This competition shows there are still opportunities out there for me. I’d like to say I can go all the way. If I progress anything could happen.

“It’s a massive opportunity because at this stage of my career the chances are getting narrower of getting a professional contract.

“It would mean everything to win. All I want to do is to be a professional footballer so to gain a contract would be amazing.”

For the first time since Win A Pro Contract was launched in 2010, there are now three professional contracts on offer as Wycombe Wanderers join Samsung’s existing partnerships with Swindon Town and Leyton Orient.

Hopefuls will be tested at regional skills trials and 11-a-side matches as they bid to kick-start their dreams of becoming a professional footballer.

Last year’s winners, Jack Sherratt and Kayden Jackson, signed for Leyton Orient and Swindon Town respectively.