Hastings United Football Club's under-19 academy returned home from a pre-season tour of the north west with a 100% winning record.
The 16-man squad travelled to Liverpool to take on the Liverpool FC Foundation Academy, recording an impressive 3-0 win, and followed that up with a 4-1 victory over The New Saints academy team in Oswestry.
Off the pitch, the players got to explore Liverpool and visit the stadiums of Premier League giants Liverpool and Everton, as well as the Hillsborough memorial, the Albert Dock, and watch England under-18s take on their Italy counterparts at Fleetwood Town FC.
United director Dave Nessling said: “What a fantastic four days for our under-19s. Two wins from two is brilliant, and shows that our football academy is progressing and moving in the right direction. Congratulations to Dean White and the lads for their achievements and hard work.”
The tour was part of the preparations for the new season, which will see Hastings United joining forces with Sussex Coast College Hastings to develop young footballing talent.
A number of new players have been attracted by the opportunity to join the college’s new football development academy programme so that they can improve their footballing ability, play matches and gain industry-specific qualifications.
Steve Hedges, of Sussex Coast College Hastings, said: “This is a great result and great news. We’ve been delighted with the number of students who have joined our football academy; it has exceeded our expectation enormously.
“The academy will give aspiring footballers the chance to not only develop their abilities on the pitch, but also enable them to leave college with a number of different career options, such as becoming a coach or an official, or going on to university to study sport science.
“The partnership that we have with Skiltek and Hastings United FC has the potential to grow and grow. We have already been able to work with Hastings and St Leonards Academies, as well as the Academies Trust, to build the aspirations of young people throughout Hastings, Rother and Bexhill; something we want to expand on in the future.”
The members of the squad who have joined the college programme will now join up with other sports and uniformed public services students during the first week of term to take part in an induction camp in Lincolnshire, providing further opportunities for development.
Hedges continued: “We’re very encouraged with the way that the football academy has taken off, and it is just the beginning of an exciting time at SCCH with many more expansion opportunities within the sports and UPS department on the horizon.”
There are lots of opportunities for businesses to work the sport and uniformed public services department and anyone interested should get in touch with Steve Hedges by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
United’s youngsters made a fine start to their Conference Youth Alliance season with a 3-1 victory at home to Dover Athletic yesterday (Wednesday).
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