Dawes takes univer­sity route af­ter re­lease

Gloucestershire Echo - - FOOTBALL -

Kevin Daw­son

FOR­MER Chel­tenham Town scholar Will Dawes has turned down sev­eral offers of part-time or Un­der-23s foot­ball this sum­mer in favour of start­ing a maths de­gree at Lough­bor­ough. The 18-year-old at­tack­ing mid­fielder will also be on the univer­sity’s foot­ball pro­gramme, al­low­ing him to con­tinue full-time train­ing along­side his ed­u­ca­tion.

How many other op­tions tempted you be­fore mak­ing your de­ci­sion?

There were a num­ber of clubs that con­tacted me fol­low­ing the end of sea­son, five or six I’d say. But all of these were ei­ther part-time, or part of a 23s pro­gramme, like the offer from We­ston-su­per-mare, when re­ally what I wanted was a way of play­ing men’s foot­ball full-time, some­thing I can do at Lough­bor­ough.

How ex­cited are you to get started there?

Very ex­cited. There’s a rea­son why I chose Lough­bor­ough out of the op­tions I had fol­low­ing the end of the sea­son; it’s a top five univer­sity in the coun­try that in­vests £2mil­lion into its sports pro­gramme ev­ery year. Ul­ti­mately this means I’ll be in an en­vi­ron­ment with near Premier League fa­cil­i­ties, and be able to reap all the ben­e­fits of this for up to four years. From a foot­balling devel­op­ment point I’m ex­cited to see how much I can im­prove in a pro­gramme like this.

What are you ex­pect­ing on the foot­ball side and how will your sched­ule look with train­ing/ stud­ies?

The foot­ball pro­gramme is very much full-time, with more on-field, strength and conditioni­ng and video anal­y­sis ses­sions per week than was nor­mal dur­ing my schol­ar­ship. This is all struc­tured around lec­ture hours dur­ing term time and all fits in with­out any over­laps. So there are no clashes be­tween train­ing or stud­ies, but I’ll be very busy and not liv­ing a typ­i­cal stu­dent life­style!

Will you play for Lough­bor­ough on both Saturdays and Wed­nes­days?

I’ll play when­ever I’m asked to. I be­lieve there’ll be up to three games a week, but at this point can’t say which ones I will or won’t be play­ing in. At the mo­ment my fo­cus is in hav­ing a solid pre-sea­son, where I do know they’ll be games against QPR, Burton Al­bion, Derby and Coven­try, and af­ter that of course hav­ing a good start to the sea­son.

Why maths?

Fol­low­ing from the BTEC I did dur­ing the schol­ar­ship I felt it im­por­tant that I do some­thing of aca­demic value that’d serve in my favour should I ever ap­ply for a medicine course. Apart from gen­er­ally en­joy­ing maths when in school, it’s a re­ally good aca­demic build­ing block and will cer­tainly help me if/when look­ing to pur­sue medicine.

Do you still think a ca­reer in pro foot­ball is pos­si­ble or are you fo­cus­ing more on a ca­reer out­side of foot­ball now?

Yes I def­i­nitely think a ca­reer in pro foot­ball is pos­si­ble, there’s an ever grow­ing list of play­ers that are now pro fol­low­ing on from a de­gree. The struc­ture of the pro­gramme at Lough­bor­ough means I can fo­cus on try­ing to pur­sue this while also pre­par­ing prop­erly for a ca­reer ei­ther out­side or post-foot­ball.

I kept in touch with the staff at Chel­tenham, and pretty much daily I’d talk to Pete Haynes or Richard Cox to dis­cuss my op­tions and how

Will Dawes is off to univer­sity

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