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Former Manchester City protege Nathan D'Laryea used to mark opposition attackers – now the ex-defender marks books and homework.
D’Laryea had been a part of City’s youth academy system from the age of 12-years-old – and even came through the ranks alongside Premier League title winner Micah Richards.
After his progress at the Etihad Stadium stagnated amid a lack of opportunities in the first team, the defender moved to Rochdale after a loan spell at Macclesfield.
However, a plethora of recurring injuries disrupted his footballing development and eroded his love for the game he has played since he was a child.
So, at the age of around 25-years-old, D’Laryea traded one high-pressured, intense, and sometimes painful industry for another – teaching!
While many players in their mid-twenties are contemplating the next big move that could define their career move, D’Laryea was putting the building blocks in place for his transfer into teaching.
After studying English Language at the University of Manchester, he sparked his new career as an educator by enlisting on the Teach First Leadership Development Programme in 2012.
“I wanted a clean break from football which is why I didn’t go down the coaching route,” D’Laryea said in an interview with the Manchester Evening News in 2016.
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“I had done some coaching with disadvantaged children in Bermuda and really enjoyed it. That’s partly why Teach First appealed to me because you’re working with kids from really challenging backgrounds.
“I’ve found that football has helped me build relationships with the pupils in the schools where I have taught – especially with some of the difficult boys. I quickly settled in. Once kids had heard my back story they tend to be really interested.
“That’s good thing about being a career changer. You have something else to offer the kids other than what you’ve learnt at university.”
D’Laryea soared through the teaching ranks and is now an assistant head teacher at Loreto High School in Chorlton.
And while the thrill and adrenaline of a perfectly timed crunching tackle no-longer accompanies his life, D’Laryea said he finds that illusive joy and excitement in other areas of his career.
“A lot of people say to me do you not miss football,” he added. "I got to play in a League 2 play-off final with Rochdale at Wembley against Stockport County and it was amazing.
“But moments in teaching can be just as amazing. When you see the kids pick up their GCSE results with a smile on their faces and you know you’ve helped them, you can’t better that feeling.”
- Manchester City FC
- Premier League
- Paul Pogba
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