After coming runner-up last night at the Selby College Apprenticeship Awards, Josh Bucknall has finally had the chance to look back on what has been a successful couple of years at Club Doncaster Foundation.
The apprenticeship awards were a surreal experience for the 20-year-old, who is currently completing his level 3 teaching assistant qualification at the Foundation. After continuously excelling during his time at the Keepmoat Stadium, it came as no surprise when the semi-professional footballer was nominated for the award of Apprentice of the Year in Health, Public Services and Care.
Not quick to lose focus after the recognition, Josh was thankful for the support of the Foundation for making this possible. He said: “To be nominated was an achievement in itself. To then come runner-up in one of the hardest categories, it’s a great feeling.
“The Foundation has supported me throughout my time here and I want to continue to have an impact on young people through proper coaching.”
Formerly of Club Doncaster Sports College, where he captained the academy side to Varsity success, Josh volunteered on the Premier League Kicks programme in order to gain experience in the coaching environment.
The shared lead coach has come a long way since his College days, having taken on more and more responsibility during his time coaching. Asked whether the apprenticeship scheme was the right choice for him, Josh was quick to respond.
He said: “Being an apprentice has allowed me to take coaching opportunities that probably wouldn't have been available otherwise.
“I was looking at different opportunities whilst at College and the apprenticeship stood out for me. It’s all about gaining experience in coaching and so far I’ve been able to pick up my fair share.”
Josh has taken full advantage of the opportunities that have been presented to him in order to enhance his career prospects, all with the aim to gain a full-time job coaching. He said: “At the end of the day, I want to be a coach.
“Once I finish my apprenticeship I want to gain a job coaching. Coaching is something I feel very passionate about. It doesn’t feel like a job to me, I enjoy it.”
With more and more opportunities becoming available, the apprentices at the Foundation can gain valuable experience in coaching and teaching.