Two respected Burton Albion players have been guiding the club's future stars to back up their football dreams with a solid education.

Defenders club captain Shaun Barker and summer signing John Brayford visited Burton Albion Community Trust's football and education trial day at St George's Park, in Tatenhill.

The programme, delivered in partnership with Burton and South Derbyshire College, has been set up to guide players aged 16 to 18 to achieve on and off the pitch.

The course aims to improve players' performance and boost their knowledge of the sporting industry.

Pupils secure qualifications at the college while training and playing for Burton Albion Football Club under UEFA-and-FA-qualified coaches.

Brayford came through the programme himself when he was 16, before going on to play for Crewe Alexandra, Derby County, Cardiff City and Sheffield United.

The two Brewers stars addressing the pupils on the programme
The two Brewers stars addressing the pupils on the programme

Barker, meanwhile, runs the Shaun Barker Foundation, which was set up in 2014.

After suffering a severe knee injury while playing for Derby County, Barker decided to support under-privileged children.

Wayne Chadfield, the football and education manager at Burton Albion Community Trust, said: "We're really grateful for the lads coming down after their training session to talk to the interested youngsters and their parents at the trial day.

"John Brayford obviously came through the programme himself when he was younger and has been our biggest success story to date.

"It's probably very unlikely that many people will be able to go on to achieve what he has in his career from enrolling on the course, but we hope to try and help each and every one of the individuals that take on to go as far as they possibly can, whether it be in football or the wider working industry.

"Having the two players there to share their stories and experiences is really inspiring and we hope that it can help to give all interested parties the insight of what it takes to be successful."

The next trial date for the programme is on Tuesday, April 4 at the Burton Albion Community Football Centre, at the Pirelli Stadium. This will run from 4pm until 8pm.

Anybody seeking more information about applying or on the programme as a whole can email or can complete an online form here.