Prior to signing professional terms with EFL Championship outfit Middlesbrough we caught up with Lowestoft Town F.C Scholar Josh Wells to talk about his two years with our post 16 football education programme and his exciting next steps into professional football.
Josh, how have you enjoyed your time at The Football Industry College?
My time at the college has been really good. I’ve met a lot of new friends and had a lot of great experiences like playing for Lowestoft Town FC First Team and had loads of experiences in different types of games. I chose to come to the Football Industry College because I had an interest in football and was recommended by a friend. It was a unique family environment where I could play football everyday while gaining a further education.
How do you feel you have developed as a player on the pitch?
Within my time at the college, I have worked incredibly hard on my footballing ability. The football industry college UEFA A qualified coaches and ex pro players really helped me develop my skills and offered great opportunities. It was a big part of my development and helped me to get to where I am today.
Off the pitch how have you found studying towards your Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport & Exercise Science?
I found the education units interesting but challenging at times. However, Gav(my tutor) was always on hand to help with anything we were struggling with and gave us the resources we needed. My favourite unit was preparing for a career in sport because it gave me an insight into the sporting industry and gave me the opportunity to build a CV and test myself in job interview scenarios.
What life & Personal skills have you gained to take on your future journey?
The skills and values I have developed that I will take with me on my journey is goal setting and hard work. These have been really important to my development because I had set myself high goals and then worked really hard with 1-2-1’s. Also teamwork is a massive one, as one of my best experiences on the course has got to be the friendships I have formed along the way. We all had such a close bond though-out our time and I have loved every minute of it.
How have the enrichment and pathway experiences supported your development and future aspirations?
I have had opportunities to play in a range of different games like the National U19 Alliance league, FA Youth Cup and Senior Cup. With all my hard work I was awarded a senior first team contract with Lowestoft Town FC which was a great experience to learn from. I also took part in the U.S. scholarship trials which provided me with a great insight into studying and playing in America and was my chosen pathway until I received my fantastic opportunity with Middlesbrough.
So what will you miss most about your time with the Football Industry College?
Seeing my “family” every day. “They aren’t my friends, they’re my family”
Why would you recommend the Football Industry College to future learners?
I would recommend the Football Industry College as it has such a great environment to study and play in. The coaches have majorly helped me develop as a person and a player which I can’t be more grateful for.
Describe your Football Industry College experience in three words?
Family, Experience and incomparable
Tell us all about your amazing opportunity with Middlesbrough?
With my dedication and the high level of coaching I was firstly awarded a senior first team contract with Lowestoft before having a trial at Middlesbrough and signing my first professional contact for Middlesbrough U23’s.
I’ve had amazing support from the Football Industry College staff, my friends and my family. I initially went on trial for 3 days, playing in an U18’s game against Wolves on Saturday. A week later they invited me back for 4 more days, which I then played in the U23’s team against Aston Villa, winning 4-1.
The next week later they asked me to go back and sign my professional 2-year contract. I am really looking forward to proving myself in Pre-Season to my new teammates and managers. I can’t wait to see where my footballing journey takes me.”