NERVOUS teenagers were given a pep talk by Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman as they prepare to enter the exam hall.
In an inspirational talk by a man who is passionate about helping young people succeed, the Whites boss urged Sharples School’s Year 11 pupils to “take control of their destiny”.
Mr Freedman has a track record in helping ex-footballers — some who are only teenagers — carve out a successful future, and he was invited to provide the final motivation for pupils before they sit their exams.
The school has been staging revision sessions to prepare children and parents about successfully getting through the testing season.
The manager could soon become a familiar face in schools as he works to inspire more of the town’s young people.
Addressing the packed the school hall, Mr Freedman said: “If you take one or two things from this talk, that is all I ask.
“Life is wonderful, look forward to it and enjoy it.
“Look forward to college, university, going to work.”
Mr Freedman said the key to success was being in charge of life to achieve ambitions.
He told the pupils they could still go out and enjoy the “nicer things in life” as well as achieving by striking the right balance Mr Freedman said “It is about being in control and preparation. It is a controlled environment where I work — you have to have the right balance. Work hard, work smart.
“You have a great future ahead of you, it is going to be a wonderful life.
“Your best friend can’t study for you, you have to do it on your own — be in control of your own destiny.”
Mr Freedman said his greatest achievements are to help people, particularly young people, fulfil their potential.
“It is helping people better themselves. Money and things like that do not matter any more. I have a house and kids — what makes a difference is getting young people who have potential to fulfil it.”
For the past few weeks, the school has been holding sessions for Year 11 children, including one for parents to explain how they can best support their child.
Assistant headteacher Lee Savage said: “I was surprised but delighted when he accepted our invitation.
“We have quite a sporty year, so I thought it would be good if we could have Dougie. He is motivational. This has been the icing on the cake in preparing the pupils.”
Alex Smith, aged 16, said: “It was really inspirational in showing how to achieve where I want to be.
“I want to do something sports-related so it was really good to have Dougie.”
Rida Khan, aged 15, added: “There is so much pressure on young people and the talk has focused me more.”
Daniel Turner, aged 15, added: “It was good to be told that it we will have a good future because at the moment it is all about exams.”