Students from Sandwell College were given a unique insight into the world of being a professional footballer as Albion’s Matt Phillips shared his tips on making it to the top.
The winger spoke to young people on The Albion Foundation and Sandwell College’s Post 16 Football and Education programme about the importance of balancing playing and studying.
The course allows students to gain a BTEC qualification, as well as training like a professional footballer and representing West Bromwich Albion in national college leagues.
When speaking to the room, Matt’s message was clear on what they need to do to be successful.
“It’s about not giving up,” he said.
“Football is about opinions and if you don’t make it through the first time, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to get that opportunity,” Matt told the students.
Phillips was also pleased to see the work that the Foundation is doing in the community.
“There are not many times where you get to come out and see the work that’s being done and how much it’s helping, not only in football but in their lives too,” he said.
Many of the students will pursue a career in sport, whilst others will have the dream of becoming a professional footballer, including Jovaan Garrison.
"I really enjoyed it because it helped me understand where I need to be in football,” said Jovaan.
“I learnt that it’s always good to have the education side of things, it’s just as important as football,” he said.
The visit added an extra dimension to the course and gave students a valuable insight, something that pleased Sport Lecturer at the College, Neil Parker.
“The students really enjoyed it, they really engaged with him and likewise Matty to the students, he really hit home the emphasis of education and the importance of that,” said Neil.