Redditch United Football Club are delighted to unveil an elite player pathway programme, an innovation that will aid the educational and footballing development of Redditch United Academy players.
The Reds have created a defined route for male and female home-grown talent to mature from prospects into outstanding young people.
They will enhance their footballing skills and talent by using The TRICO Stadium, the home of Redditch United and one of the region's finest football facilities. They 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 that 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 that 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 Redditch United Chairman, Chris Swan.
He added: "Redditch United considers the development of home-grown 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 that 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 the 4th and 11th April (1pm-3pm), at The TRICO Stadium. Players that would like to be considered can apply online via the academy's website: www.rufcacademy.co.uk
Updated 15:18 - 23 Mar 2018 by Tom Henman