United team up with college to nurture young talent
Hastings United have a new education partner for their football academy.
After two years of working with Ark William Parker Academy, the football club has now joined forces with Sussex Coast College Hastings.
The partnership will start in September and will combine full-time football coaching with a BTEC or A Level education programme.
On the football front, the course will offer coaching from professional coaches up to five days per week, as well as games against professional and semi-professional football clubs for United’s under-19 academy team in the Conference Youth Alliance league.
While some may well go on to play for United’s development squad in the Ryman U21 League as well, there will be football-playing opportunities at different levels (ie. college league).
Training will take place at Hastings Academy and St Leonards Academy, venues which will also be used by United’s first team, development squad, and the under-14 and under-15 teams which have been added to the football club’s development squad structure for the coming season.
The academy will be headed up by former Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Dean White, who is now a European scout for Premier League new boys Hull City.
The coaching will be provided by Skiltek, the coaching partner of Hastings United and Sussex Coast College. Skiltek aims to link together the education and football programmes to benefit footballers in the community.
Skiltek head coach Ben White said: “Although education is paramount, it’s important that we start producing players that are capable of playing in the Hastings first team and beyond.
“The football club and the college have got the same passion to create a football environment that gives students opportunities and pathways into the football industry, whether it be through playing, coaching, officiating, analysis, recruitment and sport science.”
On the education side of things, participants will study English and mathematics, plus a vocational qualification in sport, with work experience opportunities.
There’s also an opportunity to be part of the academy for those studying A Levels as Sussex Coast College can tailor students’ education programmes to facilitate their football development.
What’s more, students will have the chance to earn FA and UEFA coaching, officiating and talent identification qualifications, and it will be possible to attain NCS (National Citizen Service) qualifications as well.
The academy is open to anybody aged 16-plus and there are still spaces on the programme for the 2016/17 academic year/football season.
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