The Worthing College Men’s Football Performance Programme celebrated some excellent news for one of its players during December. Forward Ryan Fergany has been selected to represent England Schools Under 18’s squad for this coming season. Ryan’s brother James has also been invited to attend England’s February training camp after impressing, but getting injured in the final trial stopped his initial chance of getting into the final squad at the first attempt.
Ryan and James as well as goalkeeper Jack Fagan went to the first set of trials at Charterhouse School, where all impressed, but unfortunately Fagan missed out by 0.1 in the goalkeeping points scoring system. The Fergany brothers then moved onto the South East vs. South West squad game, which was played in early November at Rayners Lane FC in London. The South East came out on top in that fixture with again both brothers impressing along with a further four players from Sussex.
The final trial was a weekend in early December held at Lilleshall, which involved training sessions and matches against the RAF and Royal Navy. Disaster struck during the first training session. Ryan takes up the story “James and I were so pleased to get to the final set of trials together. What made the experience even better was that we really got to experience a professional players lifestyle during this weekend. I thought we both started the Friday training session well, but once split off into groups I saw that James got injured and that he couldn’t continue. I was gutted for James, however I knew that I needed to try even harder to get into the final squad, so at least one of us got through.” Despite James’ injury he was there to support his brother in his trial game against the RAF, which finished 1-1, but Ryan was a constant threat on the right wing, which impressed new ESFA manager Andy Buckingham and he named Ryan in the final squad of 16.
“I’m so pleased to have been selected and 2013 will be an experience I will never forget. When I was released by Brighton I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. A coach told me about the Worthing College Football Programme and it has really developed my performances, especially in terms of attitude and work rate off the ball, which I know needs to be right if I want to get a starting place for the first England game. Dave Hall and Danny Cullip have really helped me with my development over that last year or so and they have been an inspiration for me to strive and be the best I can.”
James’ disappointment turned to joy as Buckingham was so impressed with James during his earlier trials that he too has been invited to the England training camp on 1st-3rd February at Lilleshall to prove himself to hopefully gain a place in the final squad. On this news James said “After that Friday I was totally gutted to be honest, but to be given another chance is so exciting and its one that I’m going to hopefully grab with both hands.”
After the February training camp the England Schools squad will take part in the Centenary Shield with the first being against Wales on March 1st at Lincoln City FC, then home to Northern Ireland (Plymouth Argyle FC) on March 8th, away to Scotland (St Johnstone FC) on 12th April and away to Republic of Ireland at Cork City FC on April 26. After this England take on New Zealand in May.
Performance Programme coach Dave Hall couldn’t hide his pride and delight for the Fergany brothers “This is such a fantastic achievement for both players. It was a shame that James got injured, but to be given another chance must mean that he impressed during the whole process. Ryan is in his second year at the programme and has added so much to his game in this time and this accolade is fully deserved for the work he has put in. James is only in his first season with us and I know there is more to come. They are both developing their games outside of College at their club Lewes as well as Sussex Schools and FA, which for me is what the College programme is all about, taking on board what is expected in training and putting it into practice. For us as a College we are so proud as I think these are potentially the first two players in the Colleges’ history to represent England Schools at Men’s Football and I can’t wait to hopefully see them both in action.”
Hall also has another reason to celebrate as his new role as joint Sussex Schools Under 18’s manager with City College Brighton’s Luke Hampton has seen four (if not five with James) players from Sussex in the final squad. “Myself and Luke were new to this role this season, but saw some real potential in this county, so we put nine players forward to the first trial, with 7 getting through to the South East game and 6 through to the final trial. We were the largest county contingent at the final trial and this is testament to the quality of players that are being developed in this area. We are proud of all of the squad and we are looking forward to seeing many talented players in both county and international action.”
The Women’s Football Performance Programme were also celebrating when Izzy Burt became the 4th Women’s Footballer to be called up to England Colleges in the past 4 years from Worthing College. The full back is in her 2nd year at the college had her place in the squad confirmed at the end of December after getting through the trial process, which involved the South East trial at Southampton Leisure Centre, then the South trial, which took place at Berkshire College. This was played between the West Midlands, South West, South East and East. The final trial took place at Lilleshall. This is a fantastic achievement for Izzy who, came through the Brighton and Hove Albion Centre of Excellence and currently plays for Brighton Women making her 1st team debut this season.
Izzy who will be staying on for a third year at College on her B-TEC in Sport course said “I am thrilled to have made it into the squad and look forward to representing England Colleges over the coming year.” The British Colleges’ squad will take on Wales (away) in February 22nd and then a return fixture on the 15th March.
Onwards & Upwards,