The life of a passionate Evertonian has been boosted thanks to his involvement with the Blues’ official charity, Everton in the Community, and working as an apprentice.
22 year-old Antony Witterick from Kirkby left the Royal Marines to find himself working as a skilled labourer, all the while dreaming about how he could put his passion for football and his love for Everton Football Club to good use.
Career advisory service Connexions referred him to Everton in the Community through a programme called ‘The Knowsley Apprentice’.
Antony said: “When I was at school I absolutely loved PE. I always knew I wanted to work in the sports industry, I just didn’t know how to go about it.
“Through Connexions, I was able to make a real start in my future career and have the opportunity to work at the Football Club I adore.
“My first six months were a bit of a rollercoaster! I dived in head first into everything and gained valuable experience as well as achieving my Level 1 and Level 2 FA Certificate in Football.”
His Everton in the Community Apprenticeship enabled Antony to share the coaching skills he had developed with local coaches in Vietnam under Premier Skills, the Premier League’s leading overseas coaching development project in association with the British Council.
Since 2008, Premier Skills has sent coaches from Premier League football clubs to countries such as India and Egypt to work alongside coaches with the aim of enhancing local skills. This ensures they return to their communities to start up or enhance existing football sessions.
Antony said: “It was amazing to be able to share my skills with international colleagues. I also got the opportunity to co-present the commentary on Vietnam’s national television station, VCT, for the 2009 Newcastle v Everton game. It was a dream come true!”
Antonyis now employed full time as a coach at Everton in the Community. He would encourage young people to think seriously about their next steps: “It is so important to think about your future and understand that there are many ways in which you can enter the job of your dreams.
“An Apprenticeship gave me the best possible platform for my future and has taught me the essential skills necessary for the work place.”