POLL: Austin backs Win a Pro as the finals loom again

Charlie Austin

Jordan Pavettt

Chris Smith

Kayden Jackson

First published in Sport

FORMER Swindon Town star Charlie Austin has backed the Samsung Win A Pro Contract competition as it reaches its business end once again.

The QPR striker was the inspiration for the competition, which awards three young players contracts at Swindon Town, Leyton Orient and Wycombe Wanderers, having been plucked from non-league football and his job as a brick layer to become one of the Robins’ most potent strikers in recent years.

Now in its fourth year, the competition is down to the final 22 players who will be assessed at Orient’s Matchroom Stadium on March 2 before a select few will be given the chance to train with the respective clubs for a week.

Austin believes the competition is the perfect way for talented amateurs to live their dreams and urged young players not to give up if they suffer knock backs along the way.

“I believe in Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract competition because there are a lot of young footballers around who haven't been given the chance by pro clubs, or even ever been seen by scouts,” he said.

“I think it's a great opportunity for young lads to get a second chance, just like I did.”

“I am really looking forward to the final. It’ll be exciting to see the lads who have been chosen to play in a game that could potentially change their whole life forever.

“It's a great stage for them to show what they are about.”

“My advice to any amateur footballer would be never, ever give up on your dreams.

“Never think there is nobody watching you play. That's what I thought, then look what happened to me. You must try your best every time you cross that white line, whether it is for training or a match, always give 100 per cent.

“You never know where that performance on that day may take you.”

Town boss Mark Cooper will be attending the final and added: “I’m looking forward to seeing what’s on offer from the lads taking part in this year’s Win a Pro Contract competition,” he said.

“As well as their natural talent, I’ll be looking out for players that are not afraid of rolling their sleeves up, doing a bit of hard work and committing to the cause.”

The hopefuls will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Jordan Pavett, Chris Smith and Kayden Jackson who were all awarded professional deals with Town following the competition.

Comments (5)

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7:43am Thu 20 Feb 14

mandrossian says...

You could argue this is good for the winning players but I'm still waiting to see how it benefits the Town
You could argue this is good for the winning players but I'm still waiting to see how it benefits the Town mandrossian
  • Score: 4

7:46am Thu 20 Feb 14

wantage_stfc says...

Great idea just a shame we then cast the winner back into the Abyss, sign them then never ever give them a bloody good chance. Jordan Pavett and Chris Smith both looked fairly good when they got the very very very limited chance
Great idea just a shame we then cast the winner back into the Abyss, sign them then never ever give them a bloody good chance. Jordan Pavett and Chris Smith both looked fairly good when they got the very very very limited chance wantage_stfc
  • Score: 1

7:48am Thu 20 Feb 14

stfc4ever!! says...

Whilst we havent seen the benefits as of yet there is no harm in taking part. Not every player who wins the competition is going to be a gem like Charlie but if we're lucky we may bag one in the future for free. Its early days yet so definitely worth carrying on participating in my opinion.
Whilst we havent seen the benefits as of yet there is no harm in taking part. Not every player who wins the competition is going to be a gem like Charlie but if we're lucky we may bag one in the future for free. Its early days yet so definitely worth carrying on participating in my opinion. stfc4ever!!
  • Score: 3

8:06am Thu 20 Feb 14

London Red says...

I was really in favour of this as it could unearth the next Austin
.
But considering the winners have what 1 game between them seems it's not going to unearth one
.
I might be wrong but wouldn't Austin have been preventing from entering as he was contracted to Poole?
.
If that is the case the chances of signing the next one are nigh on impossible - as anyone like him or Beckford, Knightly, McLean et al can't enter
I was really in favour of this as it could unearth the next Austin . But considering the winners have what 1 game between them seems it's not going to unearth one . I might be wrong but wouldn't Austin have been preventing from entering as he was contracted to Poole? . If that is the case the chances of signing the next one are nigh on impossible - as anyone like him or Beckford, Knightly, McLean et al can't enter London Red
  • Score: 1

10:38am Thu 20 Feb 14

swindonjason says...

Tyrone Mings entered last year while contracted at Chippenham, didn't win, yet won a professional contract with Ipswich Town.
Tyrone Mings entered last year while contracted at Chippenham, didn't win, yet won a professional contract with Ipswich Town. swindonjason
  • Score: 2

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