Darlington College student Dale Milburn has taken the first step to becoming a full time professional footballer by signing an 18 month contract with Darlington Football Club.
Dale is the first student from the BTEC Sports Science with Football course, which is run by the Martin Gray Football Academy at Darlington College, to sign a playing contract with a football club.
Dale has made outstanding progress since he started the BTEC course, and is testament to the quality and standard of coaching that he has received from qualified coaches – and the club is hopeful that he will become a first team regular in the near future.
As well as starring for the Darlington College team, he is a prolific scorer with Darlington FC Under 18s, helping them reach the last qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup, and also for Durham County Under 18s, for whom he recently scored a hat trick.
Darlington manager Martin Gray said; “Dale has proved that he has got plenty of ability and skill, and if he keeps working hard and continues to improve with the excellent coaching provided, then he’s got a great future in the game.”
Coach Andrew Jinks says that Dale had been “a real pleasure” to work with. “His in game knowledge has excelled over the last couple of months. He has brought closing down from the front into his game this season, and his experiences with the teams he plays for have taken him to another level.
“Dale is bright in training and games, and is a perfect role model for those looking to do the BTEC course.”