A FOOTBALL fanatic from Culcheth has become the first international intern at Indy Premier Soccer Club in Indianapolis.

Charlie Hardern completed the six-week internship last year and now the former Priestley College student is in discussion with the club regarding a permanent coaching role.

“I think I was playing soccer before I could walk,” said Hardern.

“I instantly knew this would be the perfect opportunity for me.”

Hardern achieved D*D*D* in sport and exercise science at Priestley College before going on to study BSC sport, physical education and coaching science at Birmingham University.

The opportunity to go to America arose through the university’s global challenge programme.

Priestley sports tutor Katie Radford said: “Charlie was an exceptional student who produced great work and was hugely gifted, but was also very humble.”

During his internship, Hardern developed a greater understanding of the maintenance and upkeep of running a club.

However, he spent most of the time coaching all ages including the elite girls under 8s and under 13 teams.

Hardern also spent a week with Real Madrid staff as part of a coaching clinic.

“The experience has given me a clear understanding that coaching is what I want to do,” he said.

Now in his third year at university, Hardern is planning to move to America later this year to take up a coaching post, hopefully at the Indy Premier Soccer Club.

“I think the best advice I could give is to ‘just go for it’,” said Hardern.

“Be confident and believe that you have the skills to do whatever it is you want to do.”

Meanwhile, Priestley College and Warrington Futsal Club have agreed a partnership.

Futsal, a small-sided indoor version of football, is going from strength to strength in the town after a club was set up in October.

“We’ve been looking to introduce Futsal into our sporting programme for a while now and with the recent launch of the FA’s new six-year Futsal strategy we felt it was the perfect time to form our partnership with WFC,” said Priestley’s BTEC sports tutor, Dan Jordan.

“Futsal has the unique ability to accelerate player development and we have added it to our already successful football programme because it will help players improve their close control and other skills.”

WFC chairman Karl Burns, who will coach the students on Mondays from 4-5pm, said: “We are incredibly proud and excited to be working with Priestley College.

“As a club this works for us on so many levels.

“Our young players now have the opportunity to go on to further education where there is a Futsal provision and existing Priestley students have a genuine pathway to our senior team, so it’s a perfect combination.”

WFC compete at local and regional levels and have teams ranging from under 10s through to open age.

For further details on Priestley College BTEC Sports programmes contact d.jordan@priestley.ac.uk, or for playing opportunities contact karl@wirefutsal.com