William Gallas was at White Hart Lane to give an inspirational talk to a group of young people from the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Education and Football Development Centre run in partnership with Southgate College.
Participants have been referred onto the scheme via the Foundation’s Kickz and Positive Futures programmes, and also via Tottenham Hotspur Ladies.
Those involved are between 16 and 19 years old and a large number were classified as ‘NEET’ (Not in Education, Employment or Training) before getting involved in the scheme.
Since joining the Development Centre, the young people involved have re-engaged with their education while being given free access to Academy standard football coaching and National College league football.
The students are now working towards A-Level, B-TEC, NVQ and FA coaching qualifications, many with a view to going on to University, while others have earned regional football honours and even trials at professional clubs.
William's visit gave students the opportunity to question a Premier League footballer on how he made it to the top of his profession, while gaining advice on the steps to success.
The Frenchman said: “I don’t know what I would have done with my life if it wasn’t for football, so I consider myself very lucky to have achieved what I have done in the game.
“Therefore, a good education is very important to all young people as it gives them the options in life to do many different things and make the best of themselves not just in sport but in other professions.
“I know many of the group play football, and my advice to any young player would be to never give up, even if things don’t work out. Always work hard at what you want to achieve and success will come.”
The Education and Football Development Centre is currently in its second academic year, with schemes for young men and women running at Southgate College. Trials for 2011-12 programme will be taking place on May 31st, June 1st and June 2nd..