A chink of light in the cloud of Covid broke over Leeds earlier this month as RIASA 2020 graduate Colin Clarke had the opportunity to a 2 week trial at Bradford City FC in the EFL.
After 4 years in England and much hard work, we were proud to see Colin graduate, obtaining a dual accredited US/UK degree in International Sports Management with Football.
Seven months after returning home, and putting himself through a rigorous fitness programme to maintain his stamina and focus Colin flew back to the U.K. self quarantining for 2 weeks before he could join the first team squad and begin training, something he had dreamed since he was a child.
Unfortunately for Colin he was not successful on this occasion in earning a professional contract but Stuart McCall, Bradfords Manager said “ he wasn’t a million miles away” He made a good impression with both Stuart and the team and considering he hadn’t being able to play any competitive football for 7 months, he took a huge chance.
Mark Ellis, RIASA Academy Director agreed that this only goes to highlight the importance of playing a full 9 month season unlike the short season in the US and how quickly you can fall behind, though on this occasion it was absolutely through no fault or lack of effort on Collins part but due to present circumstances of Covid 19.
On a final positive note Colin remains ambitious to be a professional player and only sees his experience at Bradford as a learning curve. He has decided to stay in the U.K. for a further month and will train with National team Farsley Celtic before deciding whether his future lies here in the UK or back home in the US.
Of-course everyone at RIASA is behind him and wishes him all the best for his future career wherever this may take him.