Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Paul Harrison: A Leeds Met success story.

After my last rant about the urban Olympics I witnessed outside my front door (Are we fighting a loosing battle?) I was left pondering the task which we had undertaken. I decided to cheer myself up by trying to find a student who doesn't believe climbing over cars like a monkey on E is acceptable walking home etiquette. It didn't take much research to find that Leeds Met has success stories coming out of its....ears or arse, you choose.

The first bundle of brilliance to baffle beyond belief (those alliteration classes are paying for themselves) is Paul Harrison. Below is an unedited version of the article I have sent to the local press and the student paper. Take heed those amongst you, who are contemplating competing in Saturday nights urban Olympics and see what you can achieve if you put your energy into something constructive. For those of you who still want to compete, I just thought I would mention that I have recently purchased an air rifle and am looking for some target practise.

(the last sentence is a joke and I in know way condone the use of firearms and it is not my intention to glorify the use of them, I was only joshing)

Leeds born footballer Paul Harrison has become the latest success story of Leeds Metropolitan University. After graduating with a 2nd class honours in Sport Coaching and Development, Paul has secured a one year contract at Glenn Hoddle’s Football academy in Spain.

Paul has played football for Leeds Met throughout his three year course at university. As a 1st year he was selected to play for the 3rd team, but after soon impressing he was moved up to the 2nd team, who went on to be only the second Leeds Met team in history to win the national title. In his second year of studies he was selected by John Hall to play for the 1st team in which he stayed for the rest of his time at Leeds Met, winning many trophies, including a final victory at Elland Road.

Whilst Paul was playing for Leeds Met he was spotted by former England international Glenn Hoddle. Glenn was launching his partnership with Carnegie, who were sponsoring the Glenn Hoddle Academy trials at Chelsea Football Club. Two weeks after the game Glenn rang Paul personally to ask him if he would like to attend the upcoming trials at Chelsea. Although Paul got injured on the day, Glenn decided he had seen enough and offered Paul a two week trial at the Spanish resort of Montecastillo. The two week trial culminated with a game against Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough United, in which Paul impressed and was offered a one year contract at the Glenn Hoddle Academy.

Paul is still enjoying his time in Spain, his daily routine involves an early breakfast with his team mates, followed by a morning session concentrating on fitness, techniques and small sided games. After lunch the players can take advantage of the 5 star facilities by either working out in the gym or relaxing by the pool. The afternoon session is usually larger sided games with a tactical theme in which ideas are broadened and the players are challenged by new information with tactical and technical input from the coaches. The coaching staff includes ex pro’s such as Nigel Spackman, Dave Beasant, Graham Rix and Hoddle himself.

In a recent tour of England the Gelnn Hoddle academy played fixtures against Chelsea, Southampton, Derby and Manchester City, in which the likes of Bojinov, Nathan Ellington, Leo Franco and other under 21 internationals played.
Paul is well aware of how privileged he is to be playing in such high profile games and said he owes much of his success to Leeds Metropolitan University

Paul said:

“Without Leeds Mets football programme I literally wouldn't be where I am today. I only heard about the football team through the Students Union, who do a fantastic job getting students involved with all kinds of activities . I also owe a lot to the likes of Kev Hammond who gave me my first game, and to John Hall who recognised my abilities and invited me to join the 1st team squad, where I was spotted by Glenn Hoddle. Also the support from my tutors helped me achieve my degree but also allowed me to concentrate on my football.”

Although Paul is enjoying himself in Spain he hopes that his stay will be as short as possible and that he will be offered a trial at a professional club. So far 3 of his team mates are currently on trial at professional clubs.

Paul added:

“My time at Leeds Met was a fantastic chapter in my life, and has played a massive part in my development, I am very grateful for the chances I have received and hope I can pay back all the time people have invested in me by securing a professional contract.


  1. Its great to read this. And know about you.

  2. It was great to read about you.