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First team success for apprentices

Two budding footballers were chosen to be part of Dagenham and Redbridge FC First Team recently, just a few weeks after starting their apprenticeships with the club. 

The duo are part of an apprenticeship scheme launched in partnership with the club and Barking & Dagenham College.  They started their Sporting Excellence Professional Apprenticeships in September and are already causing quite a stir! 

So much so that the team decided to put Frankie Franz, 17 and Jack Dixson, 16, both from Upminster, on the First Team bench for their Emirates FA Cup game against Beckenham Town, which the team went on to win 7-0.  Not only that, Frankie came on for the last 15 minutes of the game, something which he is incredibly proud of. 

Frankie explained:

“I was absolutely buzzing and if I’m honest words can’t really describe the feeling. I was just excited about getting on the pitch and showing what I could do.  I was proud to get the chance and I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life that’s for sure.”  

Frankie has loved football for as long as he can remember.  He decided he wanted to become an apprentice after he heard about the programme a few months ago as he believes it is a great opportunity to further his football skills.   

Jack, who has also played football since he was a little kid, agrees:

“The apprenticeship is a great opportunity.  I think we’ve learnt so much already.  I’m really enjoying it.  Not many people my age get the chance to experience being on the First Team, and I’m lucky I’ve been on the bench for them twice now. I love it.” 

Errol Parker, Curriculum Manager Sport and Protective Services at Barking & Dagenham College added:

“Their performance has also been reflected within their apprenticeship work – they have a great attitude and approach and they are clearly motivated to achieve their apprenticeships. We are really pleased for them.” 

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