First steps on footballing ladder

FOOTBALLER JACOB ROWE, 9, who attends Exeter City Centre of Excellence, has been sponsored by Morgan Ashurst.

FOOTBALLER JACOB ROWE, 9, who attends Exeter City Centre of Excellence, has been sponsored by Morgan Ashurst.The talented young footballer from Colyton, Devon, is hoping to become a professional footballer.After showing immense promise on the football pitch, nine-year-old Jacob Rowe was selected to join Exeter City Football Club's Centre of Excellence.As part of their development, the club asks each player to find a sponsor to help pay for both their training and matchday kits for the season. The club funds part of the cost towards the kit and also pays all transport, match, training, coaching and physiotherapy costs. To help Jacob get fully kitted out for his first season with the Grecians, his father Nick approached his employer, construction company Morgan Ashurst, to see if they could help.As well as helping Jacob pay for his kit, Morgan Ashurst's name will appear on Exeter City's website, and also in the club's matchday programme for every home game during the season. As a registered player with the Centre of Excellence, Jacob attends two training sessions each week, in all weathers, with the rest of the Under 10 squad. Match days see Jacob and the team travelling to play as far away as Oxford, Swindon, Cheltenham and Swansea, as well as locally against Devon rivals Plymouth and Torquay. The players are regularly assessed by the centre's coaching staff, who have been impressed with Jacob's efforts so far. "It's a big commitment but he absolutely loves it and we're all really proud of him," says Nick. "I think it's every boy's dream to be a professional footballer but he is only young still and I just want him to enjoy the experience without any pressure.""Jacob has clearly worked really hard and we were delighted to be able to sponsor him," says John Rawlinson, Morgan Ashurst managing director for the West.

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