TASS has played a key role in helping four of English volleyball’s rising stars realise their dream of signing professional contracts abroad.

Andy Clayton, Alex Jenkins, Sam Shenton and Ryan Heath all cut their teeth in Volleyball England’s Super 8s league as full-time students.

And the quartet qualified for TASS funding as they completed degrees at Northumbria University in Newcastle.

“It’s been my dream to play professionally and I can’t wait to get started this season,” said England senior star Clayton who signed for German club Bitterfeld-Wolfen this summer.

“Thanks to the support of TASS and Northumbria University I’ve been able to combine playing top level volleyball with a first class education.

“Now I’m well prepared for the step up to full-time professionalism.”

Shenton has inked a deal with French side Bellaing Porte Du Hainaut, Jenkins was snapped up by Swedish club Vingaker VK and Heath has moved to Egypt to teach English and play volleyball.

Northumbria University’s Head of Volleyball Dave Goodchild – who also doubles up as England’s Senior Women’s joint head coach – is a big fan of TASS.

And he added: “The emphasis placed on a Dual Career approach helps to prepare athletes for every eventuality.

TASS encourage students to take a professional approach to their sport but support them with their educational ambitions at the same time.

“I’m not surprised that a number of the guys have clinched professional contracts this summer.

“To have four guys signing professional contracts only enhances the reputation of TASS.”