Alumni: Bede’s Welcomes Returning Footballer Solomon March
Bede's strength and conditioning coach, Tony Morriss, welcomed back Brighton and Hove Albion football star and Bede's alumni Solly March (Knights, 2008 - 2011) for his pre-season strength and conditioning training helping him get back to full fitness in readiness for the new season.
Along with his intensive training in the gym, Solly generously worked with Bede's sports scholars giving them the exclusive experience of training with a professional footballer.
Tony was part of Solly's training while he was still a student at Bede's, so when he asked to return to train during his off season, Tony and the school were delighted to have him back to continue to be a part of his success.
Whilst Solly was training at Bede's, we took the opportunity to catch up and shoot some questions at him, which he tackled beautifully!
Solly, what advice would you give to Bede's Students who wish to become professional athletes?
You have to work hard, be dedicated and you have to enjoy it, if you don't it's not worth it!
What did you enjoy about Bede's?
I came from Ringmer School and started Bede's in Year 9. As soon as I saw Bede's, I knew I wanted to come here to do sport. It is a lovely school to go to, the people are all friendly, it was close to home and has great sporting facilities. The school has definitely helped me get where I am today, not only on the pitch but off the pitch too. Mr Leggett was a big help to me and with my football, he coached me for over 3 years and I can't thank him enough for the time and effort he put in with me and the rest of the team back then. I improved massively over the years playing football and I think off pitch he turned me from a young boy into a man, he made me grow up a lot and learn a lot of things about life which I have kept with me to this day.
How do the facilities at Bede's compare to those at Brighton and Hove Albion?
They have just spent £30 million at Brighton and Hove Albion so quite considerably! If I could bring something to Bede's from the club, I would introduce the 3G artificial grass floodlit pitch as it is perfect for training on during the dark winter days and nights for both football and rugby.
Why have you returned to Bede's to train?
I've been injured for the past year and fractured my leg and hurt my back which took me out for 8 months. I have been working with Tony Morriss, Bede's Strength and Conditioning Coach, to rebuild my strength and fitness for the last 8 weeks. I was looking for someone to give me a tough few weeks and ensure I was ready for pre-season training with Brighton and Hove Albion. I got in contact with the school and spoke with Mr Legget, Mr Byrne, Mr Hibbert and Dr Maloney about using the gym, so I would like to say a huge thank you to them for allowing me to do this. I saw Tony and we both thought it would be beneficial for us to work with each other, having worked with Tony for a few years when I was a the school as part of my fitness back then. Tony is one of the best strength and conditioning coaches who knows what he is talking about, so he get the best out of me.
What were your greatest footballing achievements?
Playing in the FA cup against Arsenal and playing for the England U21 squad.
Who is your footballing Hero?
Thierry Henri - he made football look effortless whist being one of the greatest footballers of his time.
When did you start playing football?
I've played football since I could walk. My dad used to play for Brighton as a youngster and he was my trainer and manager until I started professional football at the age of 17.
What are your future aspirations?
My future aspirations are high - I think they have to be if you really want to get yourself to the top. As any footballer, the pinnacle is playing in the Premier League and this is where I want to be in a few years' time. It would be a dream come true along with playing for Arsenal in particular, and England. A few players recently made debuts for England after coming up from non-league clubs, so I don't see why I can't achieve this as long as I work hard and believe in myself over the next few years.