A BARNSLEY fan has recently returned from a six-month spell coaching football in Mexico City and has started a new company which he hopes will improve the chances of youngsters in the town becoming professional footballers.
While studying sports coaching at Leeds Metropolitan University – alongside former Barnsley player Paul Heckingbottom who is now a coach at Oakwell – 22-year-old Tom Askham, from Dodworth, worked at Sheffield Wednesday's development centre and a centre in Penistone, funded by Manchester City.
He was then employed by West Ham United to coach at their international centre in Mexico until last month. While he was there, he and two of his colleagues decided to form CTA Select Academy.
"It will be based in Brighouse and we will mainly be going into schools and community centres to run football sessions and find local talent that might have been missed by professional clubs," said Tom.
"We want to bridge the gap between grassroots football and the academies of professional clubs.
"We will have teams from under 11s to under 15s and they will play friendly games against academies."