By Full Contact News and Views
Full Contact client Ben Dudzinski has signed his first professional contract, joining League Two club Hartlepool United.
Ben, 20, is the latest client to arrive in the professional ranks via University and the second from Durham – fellow client and team-mate Jonny Giles followed the same route last summer at Oxford United.
A keeper with natural talent, despite playing little high-level football Ben starred for Durham University’s conquering side and also subsidized his studies playing non-league football in the area – turning out for Durham City and Ashington Town amongst others. Invited to train with Newcastle United and also Hartlepool United, it was the Pool keeper coach Tony Caig that identified Ben’s raw potential and manager Craig Hignett moved swiftly to make Ben his first permanent signing since being appointed as the League Two club’s manager.
Ben’s reaction to turning professional was perhaps unusual; “I need to finish my studies now; I’ve got an essay that is due in on Friday and another one on Monday and then I have an exam on 27th May. Then I’ll be done and I’m graduating on 1st July. I have really enjoyed training with the Club and now I am just really looking forward to getting stuck in when pre-season starts.”
Full Contact’s senior partner Dan Chapman commented “Ben is another example of this alternative route to the professional game and I think more clubs need to open their minds to it. In this last year we have seen our Dion Donohue go from University to Chesterfield, Jonny Giles to Oxford and now Ben. These players are out there, and just because they are 20 or 21 and not ever been in an Academy or a young professional does not mean they should be disregarded. What they may lack in football experience they can make up for in the other attributes – to do what lads like Ben have done requires extreme dedication, drive, time management, organisation. To be able to balance studying for a degree, avoiding the student lifestyle, maintaining high levels of fitness, playing local non-league football – this requires some very special traits which will serve professional clubs well. Ben really deserves this opportunity and credit to Hartlepool for being brave enough to give it to him.”
We wish Ben all the best as he begins his professional career – once those exams are out of the way!
« FC client Dayle Southwell earns England C call up FC client Seb Morris makes Bentley History »
About Full Contact
Full Contact News and Views includes articles contributed by Associates and professional contacts within the Full Contact team and includes opinion on sports law, PR and media, football agency and more.
Sign up to receive the latest updates from Full Contact daily, straight to your inbox