1 Ashfield Road, Chorley, Lancashire PR7 1LH 
Last Wednesday saw the 4th round national cup game; Rochdale Sacred Heart Academy v Isports Altrincham FC.. Although RSH faced a 2-1 defeat we caught up with man of the match George Davidson who explained that there were plenty of positives the lads could take from this game to kick off 2018... 
By Daniel Holloway 
 
Aspire2Be Academy Level 3 student-athlete Patsun Tufan was invited in for a two-day trial with Premier league Side Huddersfield Town FC on the 11th & 12th of December. 
For a change we put one of our tutors into the interview hot-seat, as we thought it might be fun to find out a bit more about him and give our learners a break from being interviewed haha! Ben Pedley is a popular tutor at Onside Education, teaching at our academies including Salford Red Devils and MIFA, without further ado let's check out what he had to say when we sat down with him.  
A couple of weeks ago we had the chance to go and spend a Friday afternoon at our MIFA Academy where we got to sit down with two students; one a first year and the other a second year, therefore it was interesting to compare their answers and track the stages they were at as one has just begun his time at MIFA while the other is half way through. The learners were Taigh Wilson (2nd year) and Nathaniel Woodward (1st year), lets check out what they had to say below... 
Earlier this month we caught up with ex-Rochdale Sacred Heart Academy (RSH) learner Harry Wilson to see how he was getting on in the big wide world, Harry completed his 1st year with RSH but at the beginning of his 2nd year he was fortunate enough to be offered a job outside of the Academy. Therefore as a recent alumni we thought it might be good to have a catch up with him and get an update on his progress so that others can see the potential paths that can be created from our academies.  
The Job 
Harry has previously been coaching in schools across Greater Manchester but he has now acquired a permanent position coaching in a primary school. Day-to-day his job involves teaching different classes of children sports such as basketball, hockey, netball and tennis etc. And the different skills and techniques that come with each. 
 
About RSH 
Harry came to enroll at RSH after his sister came across a post from Mike Holt (academy manager at RSH) on Facebook and showed him as she felt it was something he could be interested in- looks like she was right! Harry then went along to an open day and instantly felt RSH was the perfect place for him, as he had left Hartford Hall his previous college as he felt it was stifling and unsuited to him as a very active and energetic individual. Whereas he found the vibe at RSH to be completely different to a traditional college; "it felt chilled, fun and engaging".  
 
How his experiences at RSH prepared him for his current job 
Harry stressed to us that he would never have acquired his current job without the qualification and skills gained through his experiences as a RSH academy member. To use Harry's own words; "the tutors (Mike, Ant and Matty) were great and engaging and I picked up some very valuable skills that helped me to grow in confidence. Including enhancing my social skills, leadership skills and presentation skills". As an example Harry confesses that before RSH he had only ever coached in front of 8-9 children and that with an increase to that number he found it a struggle to retain control and keep everyone focused (as I'm sure most would haha!). However at RSH he learnt to coach numbers of 20+ whilst keeping the group controlled and focused- an important learning curve for him. Harry credits this achievement to RSH ensuring learners regularly present, both as individuals and as members of a team to their fellow academy members- the environment is supportive and relaxed, providing the ideal conditions for learners to develop this skill. Harry also noted how he learnt and adapted different techniques through observing his tutors techniques, taking inspiration the techniques/styles of each coach, and as a result he is now "totally calm and confident in controlling a large class of children".  
 
The Future... 
Harry has great ambitions to set up his own coaching company in Manchester, designed around his mission to "make good quality coaching affordable for the majority and not just the elite". Harry told us that through his observations he has noticed that quality coaches are "ridiculously expensive for most children" which he quite rightly feels is very unfair. Therefore, with this gap in the market spied he aims to set up his company within the next 5 years. Harry told us that he has had this idea for a couple of years, and it was developed through his time at RSH and through talking with his tutors who gave him advice and tips for how he himself could go about for setting up his own company. It's always great to hear about ex-learners ambitions and plans for the future and we are extremely proud and happy to hear that Harry is doing so well and how RSH in partnership with us here at Onside have helped him along the way in his journey.  
If you feel inspired by Harry's story then you'll be excited to know that Rochdale Sacred Heart's Academy are now recruiting for their 2018/19 season! So if you are aged 16-18 and love Football, or have ambitions for a career in the sport you won't want to miss this opportunity! Call Mike Holt on 07717878382 for an informal chat or email him on mholt40@hotmail.co.uk to express an interest. 
 
Our very own Academy manager Richard Lepori jetted off to Australia last month after being selected as part of the Italian squad for the Rugby League World Cup, here at Onside we followed his progress keenly and there was tremendous excitement when he was chosen to play in the Italy v Fiji game on the 10th November! Rich is now back with us, and although we gave him a couple of days to shift the dreaded jet lag we couldn't resist grabbing him as soon as possible for a chat about his World Cup exploits and here's what he had to say: 
Late last week we received the very exciting news that 9 of the academy members at Rochdale Sacred Heart’s had been selected to train with the 1st team, and that of those 9 one had actually been selected to play for the squad- 1st year student Shaun Whelan! This was particularly impressive given Shaun is only a 1st year, and academy manager Mike Holt confirmed that a promotion of this sort has never previously happened, but that it is great for Mike’s vision of RSH Academy becoming a feeder team for talent to progress up into the professional RSH league team. With that in mind how could we not head down to RSH and talk to Shaun and some of the other boys…. 
 
Massive congratulations to all of the boys in question! 
 
1. Liam Dawson 
2. Raf Lourenco 
3. Lewis Willman 
4. Aaron Longden 
5. Shaun Whelan 
6. Hamelton Cristovao 
7. Greg Dyl 
8. Sam Huszar 
9. Joe Weja 
 
 
Off the back of last week’s victory we jumped at the chance to go back to Salford Red Devils Academy and get a word with the man of the match; forward 2nd year player Sam Bardsley (circled in the team photo). It was a very busy visit as not only did we get to discuss the game with Sam, we also got the opportunity to sit in on a training session and observe the coaches in action! With so much to talk about it’s been tough to condense into one blog but we’ve done our best... 
Last Wednesday was the Rugby League game between Salford Red Devils U19's and Wigan Warriors U19's so we thought we’d sneak a little trip out of the office and go and experience some of the action firsthand......