Hastings United FC is launching a football academy starting in September.
To be run in partnership with Sussex Coast College and Essential Sports Training, The Football and Education Scheme will aim to give talented young players aged 16-18 the opportunity to combine high level football with full time study at an appropriate level.
Players will receive a structured coaching programme from UEFA B and A licenced coaches, and will represent Hastings United in the Ryman under-18 and under-21 leagues next season.
United chairman Dave Walters is fully committed to investing in this scheme as part of the overall youth development structure at the club with the long term aim of producing players capable of representing United at first team level.
Walters said: “It has been a long held ambition at the club to set up this type of arrangement and as a club we are very optimistic that Essential Sports Training can deliver the type of opportunity for aspiring young footballers to make this a success.
“The courses provided by Sussex Coast College will also add to the appeal and we look forward to working together for hopefully many years to come. We would like to thank Dave Nessling for his considerable efforts in helping to get this off the ground.”
The scheme will be overseen by UEFA A licenced coach and experienced FA tutor Mark Leigh, of Essential Sports Training, which has a proven track record of running successful football and education programmes of this type.
Leigh said: “We’re delighted to be working with the club and the college on this exciting scheme, and feel that it offers an ideal opportunity for young players to maximise their potential as a footballer while achieving qualifications and valuable life skills which will serve them well in their chosen career beyond football.”
The education programme will be delivered at Sussex Coast College where students will be able to study sports coaching, sports science or injury management, as well as more traditional academic subjects.
Selection for the scheme will be based on playing ability following a series of trials between May and August, but is contingent on players being enrolled on a full time study programme at Sussex Coast College.
Visit www.essentialsports.co.uk for a list of trial dates and registration form. Alternatively, telephone Mark Leigh on 01273 616458 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.