The presentation provided the perfect opportunity to catch up with Aiden, 19 from Leyton in east London, to find out more about his plans for the future before his one-year scholarship comes to an end this August.
Taking a break from preparations for the Carling Cup Final to thank Toro and Lely for his plaque, Aiden comments: “I’m relishing what’s left of my time here at Wembley Stadium and continue to learn so much from my colleagues about turf management. This has been a fantastic steppingstone for my career.”
Looking to the future, Aiden says that the scholarship has cemented the fact that sports turf management is his true calling. “I’d like to join a football club in the London area,” he adds. “But whatever happens, I’m really looking forward to the future. I know I have a lot to offer my next employer. Nothing’s impossible!”
Aiden’s mentor, grounds manager Steve Welch, will soon start the search for the 2009 scholar and says that Aiden’s progress is proof positive of the scheme’s success. “Aiden’s gained so much since joining the team,” he reveals. “He’s a very conscientious lad and does everything to the best of his ability, which is all you could ask for really.”
Having seen inaugural scholarship winner James Pope go on to join Tottenham Hotspur, Steve says that the sky’s the limit for Aiden also. “Professional football groundsmanship is not an easy thing to get into, but this scholarship has equipped him with the practical skills and industry experience he needs to take the next steps towards a bright future.”
Lely’s Toro general manager Peter Mansfield adds: “I’m delighted to present this plaque to Aiden in recognition of his achievement. With a year working at one of the world’s most famous stadiums under his belt, I’ve no doubt that this scholarship will stand him in extremely good stead as his career progresses. He’s an inspiration to students thinking of entering the 2009 competition and we wish him the very best of luck.”
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