REDDITCH United Football have unveiled an elite player pathway programme – a scheme which will aid the educational and footballing development of the club’s academy players.
The Reds have created a defined route for male and female homegrown talent to mature from prospects into outstanding young people.
They will enhance their footballing skills and talent by using the excellent facilities at United’s Trico Stadium and will also be guided by UEFA-licenced coaches, who will deliver six hours of football coaching per week.
Off the pitch, the player pathway also offers full-time scholars, from the age of 18, the chance to earn nationally-recognised college and university level courses. The qualifications earned will create a variety of career paths within professional sport.
For those who have a desire to work in football, students can enrol on FA-officiated coaching courses and other BTEC programmes. Staff will also provide personal support and advice in areas such as sports psychology, nutrition and conditioning to improve performance.
A typical student can expect to spend between 20 and 25 hours per week studying, training and developing their work experience.
Redditch United academy director David Faulkner said: “Our ultimate aim is to create a legacy of outstanding young people – not just footballers. Our staff will help create an environment which will produce well-rounded adults and role models for the future.
“This plan clearly demonstrates the club’s vision for developing talent within the local area and how we can provide unique opportunities for players to help grow their employability in football and other jobs in sport. This elite player programme has been greatly supported by the club and its directors.”
The investment in the club’s facilities such as a new floodlit 3G pitch, revamped changing rooms and main stand illustrates the commitment to influencing young people in the Redditch area, according to Reds chairman Chris Swan.
He added: “Redditch United considers the development of homegrown players as a key element of its football strategy for both male and female teams. This plan not only shows how we aim to develop high-quality players, but it also shows how the club and the academy specifically can forge links that are beneficial for the whole community.”
One player who has already taken full advantage of the fantastic work the Redditch United academy does behind the scenes is Jack Nicholls, who is now a regular member of the first-team set-up.
He said: “My opportunities have been greatly enhanced since joining the academy, which has seen me regularly train and play with the first-team. It has also provided me with an excellent window to progress even further.
“The facilities and staff at the club are fantastic and to have the opportunity to train and play on the 3G pitch is helping my progression.”
Redditch United academy are currently recruiting for next season and two trial dates have been arranged for April 4 and 11 (1pm-3pm) at the Trico Stadium. For more details visit www.rufcacademy.co.uk.
THE REDS suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Bishop’s Stortford in the Southern League Premier Division on Saturday.
Tim Harris’ visitors were much the better side in the first half but were unable to turn their superiority into goals.
Jed Davies twice went close, Adam Page shot straight at home stopper Calum Kitscha from close range and Stuart Fleetwood’s strike from a narrow angle was well saved.
The Reds continued to press and Ash Sammons’ long-range effort was pushed aside for a corner before five minutes before the break Davies’ free-kick struck the far post.
The second half was a different story and, once Marvel Ekpiteta had drilled the hosts ahead on the hour mark, the Reds folded badly.
Former Norwich City, Bristol Rovers and Reading striker Jamie Cureton curled home from the edge of the box to make it 2-0 on 68 minutes and Blues skipper Mark Hughes headed home from Darren Foxley’s corner to complete the scoring 13 minutes from time.
United, 16th in the table, visit rock-bottom Gosport Borough on Saturday.