The Football Academy will provide you with opportunities and support to develop your sporting skills and experiences, as well as studying a full-time academic course. The Football Academy is made up of players aged between 16-19 years.
The aims of the Academy are:
- To provide an environment where elite athletes combine academic study with high performance coaching and sports science support.
- To add value and offer solutions to the challenges facing students who are engaged in academic studies as well as performing to an elite level in rugby, football and netball
- To enable athletes to receive individual attention from sports scientists, sports conditioners and top-class coaches.
- To offer a range of high quality academic and vocational courses to accompany the coaching programmes.
All members of the Academy are enrolled on full-time academic courses and benefit from the outstanding training facilities at the college, which include a full size floodlit 3G pitch and a fully equipped weights gym.
Football training sessions are intertwined with lessons and lectures during the academic year. This allows the players to combine academic study with developing their football abilities to the highest level.
Athletes are welcomed into a challenging and friendly environment where they are highly valued and respected and where sport and academic programmes are tailored to meet individual needs. The Academy is based within a College which is passionate about sport and staffed by experts who take professional pride in the sports services they provide.
Most students study on a further education programme such as A-levels or a vocational course, but 18-19 year olds may study for a degree, especially a Sports degree.
There are 2 teams:
- the Academy team and
- the Development Squad
The Academy team is the stronger team and includes players who are able to compete at the highest level of college football: the ECFA League.
The Development Squad is made up of promising first year players who will hopefully progress into the Academy team in their second year. The Development Squad play in the ECFA regional league, one level below Academy team.
In addition to these 2 league sides, the Academy also competes at U18 level in both the WSFA Colleges Cup. This team is made up of Academy league players who still are within the U18 age limit as well as players from the Development Squad.
Academy players train 4 days a week and receive the highest level of sports science support which includes the utilisation of a strength and conditioning specialist and video analysis of training and games.
The Academy and development teams train 4 days a week and integrate a number of different disciplines into a typical weekly schedule.
Monday: 3pm-5pm: The squad completes a power weights session in the gym for 45 minutes before then moving on to a technical/tactical training session on the pitch.
Tuesday: 3pm-5pm: Tuesday is used to work on the specific needs of the team in relation to the following days' fixture. This session usually begins in the classroom where the academy's video analysis software is utilised to analyse previous performance and highlight areas of both success and improvement.
Wednesday: Variable: Wednesday is the college league match day. For a typical home game there will be a 2pm kick off. Away fixtures can sometimes involve long travel distances so departure times vary.
Friday 2.30pm-4pm: Friday's training is a technical/tactical based session on either the grass or the 3G all weather surface.