Developing football stars in Coventry are set to be given their best shot at success after the launch of a brand-new education programme, and some expert advice from Coventry City stars.
BTEC Level 3 Sports students at Coventry College had the chance to pick the brains of Sky Blues first-team players Dominic Hyam, Brandon Mason, and Tony Andreu, after they visited the college’s Henley campus to celebrate the Coventry College Football Education Programme in partnership with Sky Blues in the Community and Bedworth United FC.
The 45 Coventry College Academy players were provided with Coventry City away kits and club tracksuits for the season at the visit, marking the continuation of a successful five-year relationship with the Sky Blues.
Jamie Lenton, a UEFA B licensed coach and Bedworth United first-team coach, recently took the reins as a lead coach at the college.
He said: “It was fantastic to have some of Coventry’s first-team players join us at the college.
“Not only did our students get to hear first-hand about their careers and progression routes into professional football, but also about the day-to-day life of a footballer.
“The players went into detail about their schedules, including the importance of nutrition and performance analysis, and discussed some of their long-term injuries and the recovery process – all of which tied in with their studies.”
Coventry College’s Football Education Programme provides students with access to high-level UEFA football coaching alongside the opportunity to study BTEC qualifications to support their careers in the sports industry.
The college’s partnership with Sky Blues in the Community also enables players to compete against professional clubs such as West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa, and Derby County in the Educational Football League.
Bedworth United FC have also partnered with the new programme, and hold training and home matches for the academy on their professional-standard 4G surface.
Course Leader Jamie, who made over 500 non-league appearances during his playing career, said: “We are trying to mimic top-level academies in our methods, and the continuation of this partnership allows our teams to access UEFA standard coaching, and to play under the Coventry City FC badge against other recognised EFL sides.
“We have three college teams at the moment, and we are looking to grow over the next few months. We are hosting several open evenings and school visits to build as best we can.
“The education that we offer is what sets us apart from other academies.
“Our elite players are competing at an extremely high level, but will also come away from this course with a range of qualifications, skills, and work experience to help them be successful in later life in a field that they are passionate about.”
Other lead coaches at the academy include Stuart Storer, Bedworth United first-team manager and ex-professional footballer with Everton, Brighton, and Bolton, John Woodward, Coventry Sphinx first-team manager, and Anthony Childs, Sky Blues in the Community Coach and ex-professional footballer with Stevenage and Northampton Town.
Chloe Groves the Football Development Manager, of Sky Blues in the Community, said: “The Football Education Programme is a great opportunity for young people to continue to study whilst being part of a football academy.
“We have excellent quality coaching within the academy, which complements the educational delivery within the programme. Supporting young people in education is important to us and it is our goal to inspire learning and personal development to raise aspirations, attainment and achievement.”
For more information, visit: www.coventrycollege.ac.uk/study/courses/level-3-diploma-in-sport-football-academy.