City and St Bede's unveil new college partnership
- Fri 25 Nov 2011, 10:07AM
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
City are proud to annouce a unique new educational programme to help develop the stars of the future.
Eighteen talented players in the Under 14 squad are now full-time students at the prestigious St Bede's College in Alexandra Park, Manchester.
Previously, the players were taken out of their separate schools for training one day a week, with additional football work at Platt Lane in the evenings.
But thanks to this initiative, the first of its kind at a Premier League club, the boys now receive top quality education together as a group five days a week as well as training with City coaches every day.
While at St Bede’s the boys integrate with other students, but just as importantly the programme allows them to spend more time with their families in the evenings.
The three-year programme, which began last September, also meets requirements the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan which sets out to provide more coaching and playing time for young players alongside a strong education programme.
Mark Allen, Head of City’s Academy, says: “It's a pre-scholarship football and education programme, and we worked in partnership with St Bede's to give the boys a timetable that gave them appropriate education for their age with access to the right number of GCSEs.
We have married that with a full-time football programme that works towards our plan to create the elite players that we want at Manchester City in the future
“City, ourselves and most importantly the parents like the better quality of life that this is providing for the children,” says Andy Dando, Director of Studies.
“Now they don't have to do a full day at school followed by travelling in the evening before training, then getting home late. This is a much more integrated system which has benefits for everyone involved.”
And Jonathan Hill, City’s Under 14s coach, is already seeing the rewards that the programme is bringing.
“Integrating at the school has been good for their discipline, and that has transferred into the football,” said Hill.
“The boys have really got into the programme, and while daily training has been hard on them we have found that they have had very few injuries.
“It’s been really positive, the boys have matured and I can already see a big difference in them.”