Eastbourne Borough FC: Club gives released youth players second chance

Eastbourne Borough striker Fletcher Holman
Fletcher Holman is playing his first season in men's football

An sixth tier football team wants to provide extra support for younger players who have been released from professional clubs.

Eastbourne Borough is aiming to give players who have had setbacks earlier in their career a second chance.

One player said moving to the club made him "relieved" as he wanted to play men's football and he "wasn't getting that opportunity."

The chairman of the club said younger players were losing their identity.

Club owner and chairman Simon Leslie said: "Too many people are being dragged along the system and being let go. They're losing their love for the game."

He added: "I think it [the system] is broken and needs to change."

But, despite early disappointment in their career, some players feel like moving to The Sports has benefited them and their careers.

Eastbourne Borough FC train at their stadium
The East Sussex club play their games and train at Priory Lane

Fletcher Holman described his release as "devastating" and remembers "going into his dad's arms and crying".

But, on moving to Eastbourne, he said: "I think this is one of the best things that has happened to me because it has bought out the best [in me]."

Hollywood investment

Off the pitch, the club has seen investment from Oliver Trevena, who has featured in movies The Bricklayer and The Plane.

Originally from Sussex, he said: "There is a lot of people buying football team from Hollywood at the moment but for me the authenticity is there because it is my home."

"I genuinely believe Eastbourne is an amazing place to visit. I've seen Brighton grow over the years, I don't see why Eastbourne can't be that."

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney celebrate
Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are some of the higher profile Hollywood investors, owning Wrexham AFC

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