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First Team Players Mentor Young Youth Players

The Schools and Football Development team within the Crawley Town Community Foundation, have introduced a range of virtual programmes for their Elite & Development and Community Premier League Kicks participants to attend, including our new ‘Player Mentor’ programme.

On March 3rd, first team player James Tilley, took part in an online session, where the participants learnt more about resilience and determination, as well as finding out more about how to achieve becoming a professional football player.

James also spoke about positive mindset and how you can use your nerves constructively in matches to combat the pressure and to make your mark in the game. Also touching on his footballing journey and his determination to keep going despite the obstacles he has faced.

Starting his footballing career as a youth player for Billingshurst Football Club, and before he made his professional debut at Brighton & Hove Albion FC, Tilley was scouted twice and rejected both times. He spoke about how this impacted him and how he was driven at such a young age achieve his goal and to prove people wrong.

He was lucky enough to be scouted a third time by Brighton & Hove Albion FC, he gave this his best shot, by believing in himself and putting in the hard work to impress the scouts.

James Tilley said this to the young participants, “Never give up, because you never know when you your opportunity will come. You just have to work hard and focus on your goals while believing you can do it, and then you can do it.”

Ian Cobbett, Player Pathway Co-ordinator and Player Mentor host said this “It was a fantastic chance for our players to hear James’s story and how he played locally like the majority of our players do. Being told he wasn’t good enough twice, not giving up and eventually being signed by Brighton resonated strongly with everyone. James made the players feel comfortable when asking the questions and answered everything honestly.”

If you are interested in being part of our fantastic new Player Mentor programme, email –

For regular updates on our sessions at Crawley Town Community Foundation, please access:


Facebook: Crawley Town Community Foundation

Twitter: @CrawleyTownCF

Instagram: @CrawleyTownCF

YouTube: Crawley Town Community Foundation

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