CHE Wilson has teamed up with his former Southend United team-mate Adam Barrett at the newly formed Players Football Academy.
Barrett helped launch the Academy, which is currently based in Thundersley, last October.
And he is thrilled to now have his long term friend, Wilson, on board.
“Che and I have been friends since the age of about 10 when we played for East Anglia together and he will bring a lot to the Academy so I’m very pleased to have him with us,” said Barrett.
“Che’s an ex pro, he has his coaching badges and is just about to finish his Masters which means he will have the time to be able to get involved here.
“There’s a chance he will also team up and help with the scholarships we will be offering young footballers from September at the Studio School in Basildon and it’s another very exciting development for us.”
Wilson and Barrett were regular members of the Southend back four which won two successive promotions to work their way in to the Championship in 2006.
Wilson made 128 appearances during five seasons at Roots Hall.
And he is looking forward to helping Barrett coach the next generation of young players.
“I jumped at the chance to be a part of what Adam is doing here and it’s an exciting project to be a part of,” said Wilson.
“My girlfriend lives in Benfleet so I’m still down this way quite often and I’ve really enjoyed the coaching I’ve done so far.
“Since leaving from Southend, I’ve done a degree in sports science and I’m about to finish my Masters on biomechanics.
“I also spent some time in New Zealand and coached at Ipswich for a while but this is something different for me now and it’s run very well indeed, so I’m only too pleased to be a part of it.”
The academy has already seen 16 young players being offered trials with professional clubs and games have already been organised against Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Crystal Palace, Dagenham and Southend.
Due to its popularity, plans are also underway to increase the size of the academy in September with even more coaches coming on board.
For more details on the academy or the scholarship programme which is open for anyone aged between 16 and 19, contact Barrett on firstname.lastname@example.org