How Leamington FC academy players are helping England's top coaches
More than 20 players from the academy travelled to the home of England’s football teams and FA education St George's Park for the two-day visit
Young stars from the Leamington FC Football Academy have been helping the country’s top coaches take the next step in their development during a visit to England’s national football centre.
Players from the academy, which is run in partnership with college group WCG and based at Moreton Morrell College, were invited to support the UEFA B Licence coaching courses taking place at St George’s Park.
More than 20 players from the academy travelled to the home of England’s football teams and FA education across the two days.
During the visit, they took part in a series of drills and exercises to put the coaches being tested through their paces.
They were also given a chance to tour the world-class facilities at St George’s Park and see the environment in which athletes at the elite level train.
Dylan Diggle, 17, was one of the players involved on the day and said it was a great experience.
“It was really good.
"We were coached by top level coaches who are the best at what they do and after seeing them in action it made me realise it might be an avenue I want to explore with my career,” said Dylan.
“The pitches there were immaculate and everyone loved the experience.”
The opportunity arose from a relationship formed between Leamington FC and Ian King, coach developer at the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).
Mark Fogarty, head of football development at Leamington FC, said: "It was a fantastic opportunity for our players and staff to experience some of the best facilities in world football at St Georges Park and one that they won't forget in a hurry.
“Our students were asked to play in the practice sessions while high level coaches from around the country are assessed by FA staff as to their suitability to receive various coaching awards.
“It was important for the players to behave in the most professional way and it will give them great life skills for the future in terms of their concentration over long periods of time, which will only serve them well in their careers and future education.”
WCG is one of the few colleges in the country to work directly with a football club on an education scheme.
Students benefit from up to ten hours of additional football a week and get to play some of their fixtures at the club's 3,000-capacity Phillips 66 Community Stadium.
Philippa Gerrard, head of department for sport at WCG, said: “This was an incredible opportunity for players in the academy to visit a facility like St George’s Park. To train in an environment like that will give them something to really strive towards.
“A big part of the academy is the opportunities it presents to gain an insight into the world of football and everything that goes into elite sport, and visits like this to the nation’s premier facilities are a great way to support that.”
Moreton Morrell College will be hosting its next open day on Thursday, June 24 from 5.30pm to 8pm.
To find out more about the courses available at WCG and for information on upcoming trials for the Leamington FC Academy visit www.wcg.ac.uk/leamingtonfc