James Wiles recently went behind the scenes with the Northampton Town Football & Education programme to learn what the students do and how the programme operates.
Tyrun Primus is a second year Northampton Town Football Club Football and Education Programme student.
“The football played and lessons taught are well-balanced, and the environment is very friendly,” he said.
The FEP is a full-time education programme for 16 to 18 year olds that combines a high-quality formal education qualification with a programme of sports industry-specific work experience and fixtures in the National Football Youth League.
On Wednesday afternoons, the Elite squad play in the NFYL South Premier, the Development team in the South Central Championship and the Women’s squad in the South Premier Women.
Primus has been impressed with the opportunities and support provided by the FEP.
“There are many chances to be coached by experienced coaches,” he added.
“We are also able to go on trips to places such as St. George’s Park and Loughborough University.
“If there are ever any problems, the coaches are very supportive and help as much as they can.”
First year student James Owen is enjoying the football side of the programme.
“The FEP is perfect if you want to play football whilst remaining in education,” he said.
“There are good quality coaches, and we play against other professional football clubs.”
The FEP supports students in reaching a wide variety of exit pathways, such as University, apprenticeships and opportunities in the sports industry.
There have been lots of football success stories created through the FEP.
Midfielder Scott Pollock became the first player from the FEP to play for the first team in 2019, before going onto make 29 appearances for the club while forward Ethan Johnston was an FEP student who signed a professional contract in 2020
Alex Dicks and Charlie Cooper both played important roles throughout Northampton Town Women’s title-winning East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League Premier Division 2021-22 campaign.
The former, a second year FEP student, scored her 50th goal for the first team in October 2022, and the latter is currently on a football scholarship in the USA.
The programme has allowed Primus to explore a number of options for the future.
“We are taught a lot about various exit pathways, for example I have a much better understanding of the coaching world thanks to the programme,” he said.
“The knowledge gained in units such as sports coaching and psychology even allows us to go to university if we want to.”
Follow @NTFC_FEP on Twitter to keep up to date with FEP news and results