Dons boss Ardley takes time out for the Street League Academy
11:16am Tuesday 10th September 2013 in Sport
The importance of being professional was the key message from AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley as he met up with 20 participants from the Street League Academy programme.
AFC Wimbledon’s award-winning Community Football Scheme have been working with Street League, the national charity which helps unemployed 16 to 25-year-olds develop key employability skills.
As part of the programme, the participants enjoyed a day to remember at the League Two club as they watched first-team training, enjoyed a tour of the Cherry Red Records Stadium and participated in mock interviews.
Ardley also hosted a question and answer session at the training ground in New Malden in the morning.
He said: “I asked them what stood out about first-team training and what we were trying to achieve.
“Then I had a chat with them about life in general and tried to pass on some advice. Ultimately, I said that there are professional standards in football, but these are valuable for all walks of life; being on time and making sure you are proactive before problems occur.
"These are qualities that are important in football, but also in life generally.”
Participants were ‘interviewed’ by an AFC Wimbledon contingent including Neal, chief executive Erik Samuelson, head of safety Phil Clark and academy operations manager Jeremy Sauer.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech writer Tim Kiddell (a trustee of Street League) and Kate Joseph, private secretary for foreign affairs for the PM, also took part in the mock interviews.
Samuelson said: “I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the interviews from all the young people involved, and it was nice to give them some constructive feedback and help them because we all want this project to work.
"We are delighted and thrilled to be part of it."
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