WHEN former Northern Ireland World Cup player, Derryman, David Campbell, decided football was ‘coming home,’ no-one could have imagined local youngsters would be involved in making history.
Indeed, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Trophy took centre stage at the Gala Premiere of ‘Shooting for Socrates’ – the movie charting David Campbell’s extraordinary journey to make his international debut at the 1986 World Cup Finals against Brazil.
St. Cecilia’s College student, Laura Connolly, also a student on the David Campbell Soccer programme running at the Bligh’s Lane school for the past two years, was given the honour of carrying the World Cup down the red carpet at last weekend’s much talked about Premiere in Belfast, attended by stars including Conleth Hill, Eamon Holmes, Art Parkinson and N. Ireland Minister for Sport, Carál Ní Chuilín.
Following the end of his playing career which saw him play under the legendary Brian Clough, Campbell, a native of the Strathfoyle area, has devoted his life to creating opportunities in sport for hundreds of thousands of young people.
Colleagues say it is typical of the man to include local youngsters in such a momentous occasion
“‘David is passionate about helping young people and uses his many contacts across the sports industries to create life-changing opportunities through his educational and sports coaching courses,” said Kim Swarbrick, Senior Education Specialist with David Campbell Soccer.
“We were not surprised at all that David insisted that his students from N. Ireland were included in such an amazing event when the worlds press was focused on his film.’
Dozens of local David Campbell Soccer students, wearing specially designed ‘Shooting for Socrates’ football kits, were invited to form a guard of honour down the red carpet and take part in the Gala Premiere.
Meanwhile, Campbell’s organisation currently operates award-winning programmes at schools and colleges across the United Kingdom, including a collaborative education programme with Derry’s St Cecilia’s College, St Joseph’s Boys’ School, Lisneal College & St Columb’s College in Derry and Holy Cross College in Strabane.
And these schools were celebrating more football success this week when students attending the David Campbell Courses were offered professional contracts to coach in America and Canada. Lisneal College students Jamie Gillespie, Concobhar McGeehan and Ryan Gillespie are heading off to work as professional soccer coaches in Providence in the USA while Kyle Duncan and Ross Wiley will coach in Cincinnati.
Cory McColgan and Jordan Thompson will utilise their skills in Baltimore while Dean Curran, St Cecilias and St Columb’s students will work in Sacramento.
For Holy Cross students Melanie Penrose, David Patton, Reece McLaughlin, Shearnan McCay, Nathan McGillian and Shea Murray its Cincunnati, Baltimore and Atlanta.
David Campbell Soccer arranges direct introductions into employment opportunities abroad and this year had 100% success for those students applying for positions, such is the level of expertise the students achieve on the courses. In addition, other students have won lucrative scholarships at top USA Universities.
Said David: ‘This has been quite a week with the World Cup arrival, the launch of the film and so many jobs abroad achieved for our students’. Other courses operate in the Belfast area and have also had astonishing job success.
For further information about joining the David Cambpell Soccer courses contact 0151 474 8811 or visit the website www.davidcampbellsoccer.com Twitter @dcsoccer88