Youth team striker Colby Bishop’s life has been transformed in a matter of months, having gone from a college student to the Notts County first team.
Bishop, 17, was picked up by Central College Nottingham at an Under-16 tournament in April and was offered a place on their Football and Education programme following a successful trial.
A standout player for the College in their Conference Youth Alliance games, Bishop was recommended to the Magpies by their head of football, Ray Power.
Bishop proved to be a revelation for the Notts youth team and has netted a remarkable nine goals in just four appearances.
The striker’s impressive form saw him called up for training with the first team and later handed a place in the matchday squad for the Magpies’ Sky Bet League 1 encounter with Sheffield United.
Power is delighted to see Bishop succeeding at Meadow Lane and said: “It was brilliant when he was offered a scholarship with the club and although you never want to lose your best players it’s for the right reasons.
“He’s never wasted a session, he’s kicked on daily and has stood out for us at the college.
“The proof is in the pudding that players who slip under the radar can get back in and to see him step up into the first team recently has been great for us here at the college.
“We have a good working relationship with the club, which was set up a couple of years ago through Mick Leonard, and we’ve had a number of our higher performing players on trial with the youth team and featuring in matches.”
Bishop’s involvement in the first team has been another positive for the youth set-up but head of Academy coaching Andy McMillan has told the frontman that the hard work has only just started.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for him because he’s done incredibly well since he’s come in,” he said.
“The main thing is his attitude, he gets on with things in and around the building, in training and at matches and has been a great kid to have around.
“He’s got an awful long way to go but if he continues with that attitude and determination then he’s got an opportunity.
“He’s going to realise that at senior football it’s going to take a lot more, he has to be consistent and work incredibly hard just to stay there.
“You’ve got to work hard day in, day out, whether it’s in the gym, your running, playing football – whatever it is he’s got to work hard at his game.
“The gaffer here wants to put young players on the pitch and it’s up to the young players to do what he has.
“What our lads have seen is that Colby is now with the first team squad and training with them and it says that they can do it if they apply themselves.”
If any young footballers feel they have what it takes to make the next step, contact Central College Nottingham's head of football Ray Power on firstname.lastname@example.org.