Aviva Premiership
Young Ford impresses Alred
ESPN Staff
July 29, 2012
Leicester's George Ford fends off Saracens' Charlie Hodgson, Leicester v Saracens, Aviva Premiership semi-final, Welford Road, Leicester, England, May 12, 2012
George Ford has worked on his conditioning over the summer © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: George Ford
Tournaments/Tours: Anglo-Welsh Cup | Aviva Premiership

Former England coach Dave Alred says young Leicester fly-half George Ford has one of the best attitudes he has ever come across and insists there is no limit to his potential.

Alred - who played a key role in realising the potential of the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Jonathan Sexton, Rob Andrews and Neil Jenkins - has been working with Ford over the last two years, developing his kicking and mental game.

After much anticipation, Ford, 19, enjoyed a breakthrough season last year as he starred in Leicester's successful Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign and started the Aviva Premiership final, which the Tigers lost to Harlequins. Such was his end-of-season form some pundits suggested he may force his way on to England's tour of South Africa.

However, Ford stayed with the Tigers over the summer to work on his condition, skipping the Junior World Championships, in preparation for a central role in Leicester's Aviva Premiership campaign this season. Ford's kicking at goal was one of the few areas of weakness in his game last season but Alred insists he has the right attitude to fulfil his potential.

"I have really enjoyed working with George so far," Alred told the Rugby Paper. "He has got solid fundamentals and more importantly he has got one of the best attitudes I have come across. In my experience, attitude is the gatekeeper to everything else in your career.

"I am not surprised at all by how far he progressed last season. I was pleased but not surprised. How good he can become is all conjecture. The work I do with him is not about setting outcome goals related to playing in particular teams or kicking percentage.

"What we do a lot of is process based targets, both physical and mental, that he is learning and then executing. But in terms of his talent and potential, you cannot set a limit on how good he can become."

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