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Club News


18 August 2014

Our Football & Education programme might be the answer

We know that many Cobblers fans will be collecting their GCSE results this Thursday, hoping for the grades that will take them on to the next step of their education journey. 

For many, you will have already a good idea, if not a provisional place, at 6th Form, College or on an education/apprenticeship programme. However, these places are not rubber stamped until you have those all-important results, and whether you do better or worse than expected, our Football & Education programme might be the answer.

The Football & Education programme, in partnership with VLUK and Northampton Academy, has been running for 2 years and is based at the Cobblers Study Centre. However, this year, students will combine their education with training and playing 11-a-side football as part of Northampton Town’s first ever U18 Development Squad. 

Therefore, the programme will appeal to boys that have an active interest in football.

So why choose our programme as opposed to any others you might have already signed up for or heard about? Well, there are several elements to our programme that you won’t find anywhere else in the county:

• Opportunities to train alongside the full Northampton Town U18 squad, with the possibility of stepping over into the full Youth Team
• The chance to do a Level 1 and Level 2 Coaching badge whilst on the programme (the Level 2 is usually the minimum requirement for coaching employment)
• Direct access to work experience in a range of departments within a professional football club
• The opportunity to play in the VLUK Development League, featuring teams connected to other professional clubs including Crystal Palace and Ipswich Town (no other College or programme from Northamptonshire will be in this League) as well as additional fixtures arranged against other pro clubs.

These benefits mean that there are several pathways open to players whilst on or on completion of the programme:

• University – The programme can secure you up to 420 UCAS Points and can get you on to a range of sport-related courses as well as some other more generic courses, including primary and PE teaching.
• Employment – If you manage to secure your Level 2 coaching badge, you will be able to go straight into coaching employment, possibly within the club itself or with external coaching companies.
• Sport Development Apprenticeship – This year, we will welcome our first Apprentice, who completed the Education programme this summer. At the end of each cohort, we will offer up to 2 apprentice places which last a year and give students another industry-recognised qualification as well as much more experience within a professional football environment.
• Playing – Although the chances of getting into the professional playing environment are slim, even for U18 Academy Scholars, there is still that chance that it could happen for players on our programme. You will get plenty of opportunity to impress Academy coaching staff and if they feel you have what it takes, you will step across whilst still being able to complete your education at the same time. No other programme in the county can offer this kind of direct access to the professional game. We also encourage our players to participate in local football and you will still be able to play for your current club whilst part of our programme. For those looking for clubs, we use contacts we have at other local non-league clubs to try to find clubs for our players to play U18 and even senior local football if they wish to do so.
• Overseas Scholarships – We will be inviting companies in to put on presentations and provide information regarding trial dates available for any players that would like to investigate the possibility of pursuing a scholarship opportunity in another country, such as America.

As with any programme of this nature, there are minimum academic requirements of 4 A*-C GCSE’s including Maths and English. However, if you miss out on grades, there are ways we can still offer you a place, although you may be required to do extra Maths and/or English sessions to make sure you can cope with the academic content of the programme. 

If you already have a provisional place on other programmes, it is not too late if you think our programme sounds like the one for you. We are happy to arrange a meeting this week before GCSE results day to discuss the programme. Alternatively, you can come in with your results on Thursday 21st anytime from 1pm and we can see if we can offer you a place. However, as we limit the programme to a maximum of 20 students, there are not many spaces left following provisional offers already made, so you will need to get in quick to secure a place. You will be required to be able to tell us your provisional/confirmed GCSE grades as well as your recent playing experience. 

For all enquiries, information or to arrange a time to come in, email but get in touch quickly to avoid missing out!

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