Wanstead footballer hoping to win pro contract with Leyton Orient
11:03am Tuesday 31st July 2012 in League One
David Shovlin is looking to replicate the rapid success of Sunderland and Republic of Ireland star James McClean after entering a nationwide football competition.
The pair met while playing for Derry City and have remained good friends ever since.
Now the former Republic of Ireland Under-18 player is hoping to break into the game through Samsung’s Win A Pro Contract competition, which offers amateur players the chance to win a professional contract with either Leyton Orient or Swindon Town.
Shovlin, 22, from Wanstead, said: "I met James at Derry City and he’s always been very supportive of me. He’s given me advice and pushes me to keep trying to earn a contract."
The footballer, who works for Leyton Orient’s Community Sports Programme, added: "I went to university to make sure I had an education, but playing football for a living is my dream.
"I love working for Leyton Orient and making a difference in the community is very rewarding, but to pull on the shirt and play for the club would be even better."
For the first time since the competition began in 2010, there will be two professional contracts on offer as League One Leyton Orient join Samsung’s existing partnership with Swindon Town.
Amateur players of all abilities can enter the competition, and this year two winners will each earn a one-year professional contract – one at each Football League club.
Hopefuls will be tested at regional trials and matches as they bid to kick-start their dreams of becoming a professional footballer.
Last year’s winner, Chris Smith, signed for Swindon in February and made his first team debut against Bradford on May 5.
The registration period for Samsung Win A Pro Contract 2012/13 is open until August 31. To enter log on to www.facebook.com/samsungfootball