When Bradley Sach came on against Torquay United to score his first ever senior goal for Boreham Wood, he joined a long-list of PASE Academy players to make the transition from academy to first team.
Opportunities are always awarded to the young players who show the correct attitude, discipline and desire and Sach had done exactly that, earning his shot to shine.
We spoke to the striker, who discussed the benefits of PASE and the euphoria of scoring. Could you be the next success story out of the PASE Academy? Then sign up for your trial, on Tuesday, April 10. Apply online via: https://www.borehamwoodfootballclub.co.uk/how-to-apply-pase/, or call the PASE office on 020 8953 5716.
A heavy touch, a darting run, and a slip around the ‘keeper, Bradley Sach thumped the ball into the now empty net, for his first ever goal for the Boreham Wood first team.
His arms raised, with the Wood Army cheering before him, he was hounded by his team mates – ‘one of our own’ was the cry from everyone involved.
His goal had sunk Torquay United away from home; the Gulls had been chasing the game at 3-2, but Sach’s 90th minute strike killed the tie.
“That would definitely be my highlight so far,” Sach asserted. “I think that it was about the 85th minute and we were winning 3-2. We were on top of the game, but Torquay were chasing the game and the gaffer gave me the call.
“I came on and scored, I was so excited, and it was the best feeling that I have had so far in football, I was over the moon.
“I remember ‘Benno’ taking a touch and I have gone through and taken the ball. I was on the halfway line, but I took quite a heavy touch, so I thought that I’d messed up. But, I kept composed and saw the ‘keeper coming off his line; I have beaten him to it and taken it around him, before putting it away in-front of the Boreham Wood fans.
“My mum and dad were both sitting in the stands, they had travelled five-and-a-half hours to come down to the game, so it was even more pleasing for them to see me score my first senior goal.
“Everyone ran down and all of the boys jumped on me, it was an indescribable feeling and I was just ecstatic, so hopefully there is more to come.”
For those around the club, his goal came as no surprise, as they had seen him score an unprecedented 60 goals at youth level, in the previous season.
Sach had risen through PASE the hard way, he began at the bottom and fought his way into the Elite squad. He would spend hours on the training pitch and in the gym, perfecting his technique and fitness – displaying that all important ADD factor (Attitude, Discipline and Desire).
“I joined the PASE Academy at the age of 16, straight after I had finished school. I had been told about the academy by someone at school, who had already been for a trial.
“I’d played football since I was a kid, but before I was at Boreham Wood, the highest I had played was at Barking, who were in the Ryman North.
“I wasn’t used to the intensity of the training, or the fact that they train every day, I was only doing one day a week at Barking. I think that it was pivotal for me to get in and train full-time.
“I only started training with the elite side at the back end of my first season, and then following on from that, Cameron Mawer gave me an elite pre-season. That was when I tried to take my chance to break into the squad.
“It was exciting, and I wasn’t expecting to be playing elite to be honest with you, but once I had started training, I broke in quite quickly and I started scoring goals.”
The striker was an instrumental part of the Under 18’s side who made the Second Round Proper of the FA Youth Cup in 2016.
This run included an underdog victory over Northampton Town in the First Round Proper, the Wood’s first ever win against a Football League side.
“We knew before the game,” Sach recalled. “The gaffer came in and told us that we had never beaten a Football League side, as a club, but he said that there was no pressure on us to do it. Northampton were on top of us for a lot of the game to be honest, but we got one chance and we took it.”
The victory propelled Sach, and the rest of the Elite side, into the thoughts of first team manager Luke Garrard, who kept a close eye on their development, as the club’s Academy Manager.
Sach knew that, just as they had to take their chance against Northampton, he would need to take his chance in the first team, when it arose.
“I made my debut against Gateshead, and I recall being so excited when I came on. Although we lost the game, I was buzzing to get a chance.
“I was so nervous,” Sach laughed. “The gaffer told me to get warm and I didn’t think that I was actually going to come on, but, he looked over and gave me the call. I had butterflies to begin with but calmed down when I got onto the pitch. I was just absolutely buzzing to be out there, and I think that I done alright.
“PASE gives you opportunities, that is what the scheme is all about. It is not just me who has gotten chances, there are a few of us from that team alone, the likes of Frank Keita, Sorba Thomas and Quba Gordon.
“It does, it gives you opportunities, and that is only speaking about opportunities with the first team, it is not mentioning the players who have gone to America on Scholarships, to university, or to other football teams.”
Players from PASE are given the chance to impress in first team training, and they will have prepared for it, during their own training.
The elite training sessions mirror the first team, so that when the youngsters do get the chance to step up, they are able to grasp it with both hands.
“The first team set the tone and that is prevalent in elite. You train in the same way as the first team do, we used the same formation and tactics, it was right the way through.
“I am learning a lot in first team training, learning from the likes of Morgan Ferrier, Bruno Andrade, Shaun Jeffers, Paul Benson, Michael Folivi and Joe Quigley, and then there are players like Angelo Balanta, who I am able to learn from as well.
“Paul Benson is a quality player who has done everything in football and played at a really high level. ‘Benno’ has been coaching me since pre-season and he gives me tips and instructions on how to improve my game. I take everything that he says on board and hopefully it has improved me as a player.”
As with many young players, Sach has spent periods away from Meadow Park on-loan this season, in order to aid his long-term development
“I went to Potters Bar first of all,” he explained. “I got two goals in three games, before I suffered an injury. I was out for about nine weeks after that, which was tough, and unfortunate.
“I have also spent time at both Grays Athletic and Haringey Borough, where I scored goals as well. I am back here now trying to break into the squad, but obviously with the team doing really well, it is tough to get in. I will always stick by the boys and just keep continuing to push for a spot.”
Sign up for your trial in the PASE academy, for your chance to become the next success story! Apply online via: https://www.borehamwoodfootballclub.co.uk/how-to-apply-pase/, or call the PASE office on 020 8953 5716.