Students were presented with a signed QPR shirt by ex-professional footballers Kevin Gallen (red hood, right) and Tony McCool (red hood, left). Ex-professional footballers Kevin Gallen and Tony McCool shared their expertise with young footballers at Uxbridge College.Striker Kevin played for QPR in the 1990s, scoring almost 100 goals for the club, making him the sixth highest goal-scorer in the
Ex-professional footballers Kevin Gallen and Tony McCool shared their expertise with young footballers at Uxbridge College.
Striker Kevin played for QPR in the 1990s, scoring almost 100 goals for the club, making him the sixth highest goal-scorer in the club’s history. He now works for and owns 2 Touch Football Ltd and is a scout for Crystal Palace, having previously worked in the QPR Academy.
Tony coached for Luton Town FC for over 8 years at all levels where he met Kevin. He has also owned several sports technology companies working with many of Europe’s top football clubs and managers. He currently works for Queens Park Rangers as the U14’s Academy Coach.
The pair spoke to an audience of students from Uxbridge College Football Academy, which provides specialist coaching to student players. Members of the academy also play in the English Colleges league.
They also presented a signed QPR shirt to the group, and Stephen McCarthy from QPR in the Community Trust later handed a second shirt to College Principal Laraine Smith. One featured last season’s team and the other this year’s.
The visit was set up by QPR in the Community Trust, which Uxbridge College works with to provide football training and development opportunities.
Stephen McCarthy from QPR Community Trust said: “This was a great opportunity for the players and students who are part of the College football team to gain some information from ex-professional football players, and experienced football coaches. The students got a unique insight into the dedication it takes to become a professional within the sports industry.”
Dan Lloyd, Head of Sport at Uxbridge College, said: “Having two former professional players and current coaches of this level provided a great experience for our academy players. They were able to hear first hand what it takes to progress not just in the game of football but in life as well. This was a great example of the benefits of having an academy link with QPR Football Club.”
Students got a chance to talk with the visitors on subjects including how to get a break in professional football, the psychology of the game, dealing with injury, and coping with rejection.
The advice was to play the best that they can as often as they could because there were always scouts around, to maintain a respectful attitude to colleagues, and never to think about losing.
Kevin and Tony also run 2 Touch Football, which runs and hosts a number of services to help develop players all the way from aged 6 to 18 years, and talked about their work with the company.