Zaid Al Hussaini in action for Derby County

Zaid Al Hussaini in action for Derby County

Pro:Direct Academy players are being signed up by pro clubs. Clubs such as Watford, Aston Villa and Derby County have tapped in to the rich seam of football talent running through Pro:Direct Academy centres across the UK. Pioneering players such as Zaid Al Hussaini, Jaden Philogene-Bidace and Sol Lambert are making their way in to pro club academies.

Derby bolstered their youth ranks by signing teenage winger Zaid Al Hussaini. The 18-year-old "street footballer" put pen to paper on his first professional contract with the Rams. Bournemouth, Queens Park Rangers and Millwall were also said to be interested in the young forward. He made his under-23 debut as a late substitute in the goalless draw with Plymouth Argyle in the Premier League Cup.

"It's a great feeling - it's a dream come true," said Zaid on joining Derby. "I've put so much hard work into this and so much struggle, so to finally get in the door, it's a great feeling. "But I know this is only the start." Zaid enjoyed representing the Pro:Direct Academy Select Squad, playing against Manchester City U19s at The Etihad, Northern Ireland U19s and Derby County's Academy, impressing enough to earn a move.

Sol Lambert demonstrates what can be done with hard work and determination at Pro:Direct Academy as he joined Watford FC. He is another of our players to make the grade and follow the pathway in to a pro club.

Pro:Direct Academy enjoys success with players signing for pro clubs.

Pro:Direct Academy enjoys success with players signing for pro clubs.

Aston Villa snapped up 17-year-old Jaden from Pro:Direct Academy London Central, joining their under-18 squad. After years of dream-chasing and trial stints, Philogene-Bidace earned the opportunity he craved - and one his former coach believes his talent justifies.

“He’s a really big character,” Ahmed Abdulla, Head Coach at PDA London Central said. “Some people are shy, he won’t be like that, he’ll go in there thinking he’s better than everyone else - not in a negative way, he’s just extremely confident."

Philogene-Bidace hails from London and attended Uxbridge High School where he was regularly named ‘best football player’ in their half-term reports. He spent time on trial with several EFL clubs. With a scholarship at a professional club proving elusive, he was asked along to the Pro:Direct Academy in London by a coach he’d impressed.

Excerpt from the Birmingham Mail

These Pro:Direct Academy players are now working hard at professional clubs.

These Pro:Direct Academy players are now working hard at professional clubs.

Andrew Harris-Sealy signed for Wolves U23 enjoying a good spell on loan at Farnborough Town where he has scored 3 goals in 6 for their first team. 

PDA London Central Centre Back Mackye Townsend-West signed a 2 year scholarship with Stevenage FC in September 2019. 
He joined PDA from an open trial in the beginning of the 18/19 season. Highly thought of by the coaches at PDA, Mackye showed great commitment and attitude over the season which saw him rapidly progress his game.

TAYLOR ALLEN - Forest Green Rovers FC
Taylor Allen, attended our PDA Birmingham centre and signed a 2 year professional contract with Forest Green Rovers. He was a regular in our Pro:Direct Select Squad for 2 seasons and importantly completed his education programme with us. He was also employed as an apprentice coach in 2019 by the staff at Pro:Direct Academy Birmingham before Forest Green Rovers snapped him up.

ALKEO BANI - Fleetwood Town FC 
Alkeo signed for Fleetwood Town and earned a move to Watford U18s, featuring in their run to the 2018/19 FA Youth Cup Semi-Final. 

HARRY DRAPER - Stevenage FC & JACK MORRELL - Gillingham FC
Adding to the success stories at Pro:Direct Academy, these players never gave up in the face of being turned down by a few other clubs. Harry & Jack reflect on their journeys back to their pro football clubs and offer advice to young footballers in the clip below. The lads are proof that with hard work under the guidance of Pro:Direct Academy staff players can turn the low or rejection in to a positive experience. Harry signed a Pro Contract with Stevenage in August 2019.

Pro:Direct Academy believes in developing players to trial for clubs only at the right time and level for them. We are in the lucky position to have built relationships with many different professional clubs and we are becoming a favoured destination for players leaving exit trials, with some players making their way back in to pro clubs or moving on to jobs in coaching and sport.

Be Extraordinary.