Grantham Town Football Club this week announced that it is to set up a new specialist Football Academy and trials sessions will begin next month.
The academy will be run in-house in conjunction with SCL Education and Training, and will provide an intensive full-time education and football development programme for interested local young footballers, aged 16-18.
The club will continue to be in partnership with Grantham College in their Football Development Centre, which is designed to offer a wide range of academic opportunities, as opposed to the fully sport-based programme of the new academy.
The academy will combine the provision of excellence in football coaching and training with a two-year full-time, mainly sport-based education programme, with a possible extension to a third year.
Academy players will receive professional coaching 10 hours per week by FA/UEFA qualified coaches, with regular appraisals to monitor development both on and off the pitch
The ultimate aim would be an Extended Diploma in Sport (Level 3), while other intermediate qualifications will be gained along the way, and completion of the course would lead to coaching qualifications.
The education programme will be delivered by SCL Education and Training, a Surrey-based company which has a proven record in providing similar programmes at all levels, including amongst their clients West Ham United, Charlton Athletic and Millwall, as well as many other professional and semi-professional clubs at different levels.
The academy, then, is designed to develop both the academic and playing talent of students, giving them the skills and qualifications to further their career in the game and/or the sport, fitness and leisure industry, or to go on to Higher Education.
As a team the academy will compete in the Football Conference Youth Alliance, with the club’s aim being to progress players towards a strong under-21 league and ultimately Grantham Town’s first team squad.
Gingerbreads director Michael Bird said: “It’s big news for us. We see it as the future of the football club.”
And Grantham Town club secretary Pat Nixon was in agreement. He said: “This has got to be the way forward for us, and for other clubs at this level.
“We need more locally-based players, enabling the club to grow organically, at the same time as providing young people with a future, based around playing the sport they love.”
Players wishing to register their interest should contact Grantham Town first team club secretary Pat Nixon as soon as possible on either 07747 136033 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The first open trial for those wishing to join will be at The Meres stadium on Thursday, April 7, at 10 am. Applicants should report to the ground with football kit.