At 16 I got released by Preston North End and decided I didn't want to a career in football. Eventually I got persuaded to go to Myerscough college where I met Alan Lord. Alan saw something in me that others didn't and he gave me the opportunity to play for Myerscough Floodlit at such a young age. He made me believe in myself as a player and made me want to become a professional footballer.
Without Alan it's safe to say I wouldn't be where I am today. Rhys Turner (Morecambe FC)
What the pro's say ......
From the young age of 13/14 years old Alan has always been a huge part of my development as a footballer and still continues to this day to help me if I ever need advice or guidance.
I joined Alan at ProFootball and ever since then my career has gone from strength to strength. Many people think becoming a professional footballer is easy and all it is, is kicking a ball around for a living, I can assure you it's much much more than just that.
Alan opened my eyes up to the bigger picture in football and made me realise what it takes to become a professional footballer, not only the physical hard work & hours it takes on the pitch & the hard hours doing extra in the gym but also how to model & present yourself off the pitch & in the public eye, which has helped me massively in me being able to progress further in my career so far.
There came a point in 2010 where I was very close to knocking football on the head and just finding a different career path as I had suffered quite a few setbacks with getting released from a number of clubs. I literally had the decision made up in my head and I was convinced I would go down a career which still involved sport but a different path i.e. Physio /PE Teacher etc.
Alan gave me an absolute lifeline and promised me I had what it takes to be a professional (I still wasn't sure & was adamant it weren't for me) he asked me along to a day at Myerscough College to play in a game representing 'ProFootball' against a number of trialist teams who were trying to earn themselves a place at Myerscough College and also there was a good Blackpool FC youth team there to which we all played 45 minutes against each other.
That day changed everything for me, after the game Alan had introduced a few of us to Phil brown who was the head of Myerscough football & explained the professionalism & detail that goes into football at this college and that it would be the best step in the right direction for me.
I took Alan's word for it and viewed it as he last throw of the dice in football for me. From there on I went from strength to strength with Alan & Phil always overlooking my progression and also having Alan as my floodlit league manager so could still enjoy playing under him.
I spent 2 & half years at Myerscough and during the time I was there Alan had a huge impact on me progressing that much before I knew it I was in with Stockport County's first team at the young age of 17.
This decision for Alan to progress me to that stage so early had a massive impact on my development as I had to learn men's football quickly, it was a harsh lesson so soon but looking back now it was absolutely what I needed at that time & he knew that the timing for me was perfect.
Since going from Stockport and moving to Rochdale to which I have now tasted a promotion from league 2 to league 1 in my first season, had numerous incredible runs in the FA Cup reaching the 4th round twice, during this process signing 2 more contract extensions at the club & most importantly to going from a squad player to now a player who has currently been playing week in week out in league 1.
I can't thank Alan enough for what he has done for me to help me create the dream I had always had become a reality, I have nothing but respect for Alan & would recommend any players working with Alan to listen to him carefully & take on board/buy into what he has to say, after all if I had not listened who knows where I would of been now ? One thing for sure is it wouldn't be living the dream I always wished for doing the best job in the world. Joe Bunney (Rochdale AFC)