Aspiring football players aged 16-19 from across Solihull, Birmingham and beyond will soon be able to train on a full-time programme as part of the Solihull College Football Academy.
Both the women’s academy in partnership with Birmingham City Ladies, and the men’s academy in partnership with Solihull Moors will be offering full-time coaching alongside a College qualification from September 2015. This is particularly significant for the women’s side as it is thought to be a unique offering not only regionally, but nationally.
Young people interested in the programme will have the chance to claim their place, with the men’s trials taking place on 31st March, and the women’s on 2nd April on the 3G pitch at the College’s Sports Centre.
Phil Trilloe, Head of Sport at the College comments: “This will be the first full-time ladies football academy pathway for 16-19 year olds in the country, offering a unique opportunity for aspiring players to combine full-time football with their academic studies. This is the best ladies football academy in the Midlands and arguably the best in the country – two national titles were won last year and the team is currently the only unbeaten ladies academy team in the country”.
Alongside daily training, players accepted on the programme will enjoy a huge range of benefits including the chance to play with the BCLFC and Solihull Moors first teams and weekly matches in competitions such as the English Schools U18 Cup.
17 year-old Jess Carter is one of several College students who have excelled. Jess is the youngest ever player to feature in the women’s Champion’s League and has travelled internationally with both the BCLFC first team and the England under 19s and 20s, including to the U20s World Cup in Canada. She comments: “I have received great support from the College in juggling my studies while training for matches. This programme offers a great opportunity to young players and it has allowed me to experience professional football alongside my education”.
The men’s academy has also enjoyed recent success, with former student Will Grigg scoring twice against Manchester United this season playing for MK Dons, a particular highlight. In addition to being able to develop within football, on completion of a student’s qualification the College is able to offer progression onto university-level courses, apprenticeships and other higher education qualifications based here at the College.
To find out more or to book your place at a trial please contact Philip.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.solihull.ac.uk/Football academy