Former Worksop Town star Tom Elliott has been handed a place in the new V9 Academy - set up by England striker Jamie Vardy to help find the next non-league stars.
Elliott, who now plies his trade with Nuneaton Town but hails from Worksop, will spend four days training at Manchester City’s impressive training complex at the start of June, hoping to impress a host of scouts from professional clubs based both at home and abroad.
With Vardy having progressed from the non-league game right to the top of his profession, the academy has been created to give more players the chance to follow in his footsteps.
Elliott said: “I didn’t know a great deal about it until after our last game of the season against Alfreton. I knew one or two other lads who had been selected but thought that process was complete, however it seems V9 had scouts at lots of games and they approached me to take part.
“Nuneaton have been really supportive and see it as a great opportunity to impress scouts from some big clubs. It could mean scouts will come to our games when the season starts if they want to see more than they might have done when at V9.”
Elliott will be put up in world class accommodation at Manchester City’s famed football academy, and have access to facilities far different from those he’s used to.
He said: “Most of all it will just be an incredible experience to be there and use the facilities, no matter what happens on the football side of things.
“I’m not going there with any pressure on - if I impress the scouts then that would be brilliant but I’m hoping to just enjoy the experience and learn plenty along the way.
“It’s a bit like a football holiday in a sense given the things we’ll do and what we’ll have access to.”
Elliott will be among an intake of 42 players selected for the V9 Academy, with Sky Sports set to film a documentary which will be shown at a later date.
The players will be split into three teams of 14 players and scouts will get to watch training sessions and matches as well as assess players’ physical and mental attributes.
Elliott added: “I’m aware Sky will be filming it which will add another aspect to it. I’m not sure whether we’ll all be on camera doing interviews or anything like that but it’s all part of the experience.”
The 22-year-old, who has had to rearrange holiday plans and also work hard to maintain his close season fitness for the V9 challenge, will have Nuneaton team-mate Alex Penny alongside him as well as other talented players from across non-league including many from the National League North and Evo-Stik Premier Division.
He will travel to Manchester on June 4 with the football beginning the following day and running until June 9.