NAME: EDDIE CLARKE | AGE: 18
Eddie Clarke visited the Prudentia centre recently to speak to our students about the positive effect that Alternative Education had on him and his current career as a professional footballer.
Eddie was excluded from Calderstones School in March of his most important year, year 11. He continually misbehaved and was disruptive in the classroom. Eddie, by his own admission, was involved in a lot of incidents within school; some being minor and some being a lot more serious.
Eddie was excluded, with the promise that he could return to sit his GCSE’s. This was very good of Calderstones School, because Eddie had refused all the help that they had offered him and could have excluded him permanently.
Eddie was given the opportunity to work in an Alternative Education setting, where he was mentored by the Prudentia Principal, Christian Adeniran. Eddie and Christian agreed a realistic action plan, where he would study for his GCSE’s, as well as taking part in enrichment in the afternoons and focus on his talent, football.
It had a very positive impact on Eddie and he was able to take his GCSE’s and develop his love of football. Eddie soon went from strength to strength and signed his first professional football contract with Tranmere Rovers, in October 2016.
Eddie wanted to share his experiences with the Prudentia learners, who were impressed by the positive changes made by Eddie. All the learners engaged well during the session and asked him a range of questions about his past and current experiences.
Eddie said: “I messed around a lot in school, I had good people around me always telling me what I needed to do, but at the time, I didn’t listen and carried on doing what I wanted. It didn’t get me anywhere with my education and when I was told I had to leave school, initially I didn’t care…but then I started to panic.
I worked closely with both Chris and Phil and they repeated the messages that I been told about my chances of success and how I needed to change.
I realised that I was to blame for a lot of the things that had happened to me. I also realised that in order for me to change my behaviour, I had to distance myself from people who were getting into as much trouble as me. These people were some of my very good friends.
I was able to see where I was going wrong and I knew that I had to take this last chance. I had a great opportunity to have a very good career if I concentrated on what I was good at, which was football. Christian had me training with a post sixteen football college of an afternoon once I had finished my education in the morning and this helped me a lot. He also told me that if I didn’t concentrate on my studies, the football sessions would stop.
In the next few months, with the help of both Christian and Phil, I secured my scholarship for Tranmere Rovers Football Club. I wanted to progress further, so worked harder and was rewarded with my first professional contract, which I happily signed.
I have a lot of people to thank for my improved behaviour and good fortune and along with my family, Christian and Phil, Alternative Education played a huge role in my change of mindset and allowed me to fulfil my potential. Also I’d like to thank Calderstones School, the teaching staff and mentors for keeping faith in me and putting up with my inconsistent behaviour throughout my final two years.”
“I have had my first professional shirt signed by my team and donated it to Prudentia Education and their students. Hopefully there’s many more to come in the future.”