Reds fan scores spot on football legend's course


Kirstie Dolphin

A FOOTBALL crazy teen has got on the course of his dreams launched by a Liverpool FC legend.

16-year-old Kieran Smith, from Ruthin, has been a Liverpool fan since before he can remember and has been offered a place at the Jamie Carragher Sports and Learning Academy.

Carragher retired last May after 16 years with the Reds and has launched a new sports academy in Liverpool and James Olsen, the academy director, has taken a keen interest in the Brynhyfryd student.

Kieran, who met Carragher at an open day, said: “Being a defender myself I’m a big fan of Jamie Carragher.

“At the open day he said he was just like me, football mad but when he got into coaching he got quite bored so he went into coaching cricket too.

“I’ll be studying different things practical and academic so I’ll have to see what the future holds for me.

“They said we can go into coaching afterwards as well and they’ll use their links with Blackburn Rovers, Everton, Liverpool and others to help us get a job.”

Kieran is currently finishing his GCSEs this week and hopes to get onto the level three course which is equivelenet to A Levels and can go onto university after the course.

Kieran’s family are already big Liverpool FC fans and Kieran’s mum, Sally, even coached the first team Kieran played for.

Sally said: “Kieran and his friends were all football crazy but there wasn’t anything for them outside of school so I went on a coaching course and coached Ruthin Rovers.

“The fact he will be studying football is great for him.

“He is not very academic in school he doesn’t like certain things and all he wants to do is play football and now he will get to study what he loves.”

Kieran will start the course in September and Carragher will regulary give the students a few sessions.

Sally added: “The course is quite big and they will develop their football skills but they also emphasise on personal development and building well-rounded men as well.

“It is just fantastic for a young man who loves his football.

“I’m very proud it is something he really wants to do so it’s an exciting opportunity for a 16-year-old to go and study so far away.”

Kieran has just finished playing for Rhyl FC Academy Under 16s and has previously played for Bala Town FC under 12s and Ruthin Under 16s which he won the League Cup with last month.

Kieran has already been asked to attend pre-season training for Rhyl Football Academy unver 19s.

Kieran said: “Rhyl’s first team pitch is really nice. It’s really exciting to play on a pitch with no molehills in the middle of it.

“When travelling to different places for matches I would always look at the first pitch and think how exciting it would be to play on them.”

For more information on Jamie Carragher Sports and Learning Academy email the academy director
Rhyl FC Academy is also having trials on June 14, for more information contact Niall McGuinness,

See full story in the Free Press

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