Footballers develop on pitch and in classroom

Members of Guiseley Football Academy, which is expanding

Members of Guiseley Football Academy, which is expanding

First published in News Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

An academy that aims to nurture home-grown football talent, and allow them to continue with higher education at the same time, could soon be producing the stars of tomorrow.

Shipley College and Guiseley Football Academy joined forces last year, creating a two-year course that mixes football with academic study in physical education, sports coaching and sports development.

Operated through the Football Conference League, the course has proved a huge success with its 16 students so far, and the academy is now recruiting for the coming academic year.

While the club provides the experience on the pitch, the college caters for the academic side of things.

With British football clubs being urged to look to home-grown talent, those behind the academy hope the course will mean it becomes synonymous with producing top footballers. Course modules include training and fitness, nutrition for sport and sports massage.

Head of Major Programmes at Shipley College Paul Hutchinson said: “We were thrilled to be asked to form this partnership. It has attracted A-star students to the college.

“Football is high on the national agenda with the World Cup in June. Exciting times lie ahead for Shipley College Guiseley AFC players who could be big names of the future.”

Recruitment began at the start of the year through trials, recommendations and scouting and will continue until September. The Academy is looking for a further 20 people to add to the 16 current students.

Vice-chairman Phil Rogerson, who helped set up the academy, said: “We’re looking to build on the great start the Academy has had and would encourage anyone who wants to learn more to get in touch.”

Plans are in the pipeline to update and expand the home of Guiseley AFC Nethermoor, bringing some of the education in-house and further expanding the number of students who can take part. For details, contact headyouthdev@guiseleyafc.co.uk. The next course starts in September.

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