Allerton Grange, in Leeds, has formed a partnership with Farsley Celtic FC, giving young players, between the ages of 16 and 19, an opportunity to train and play as semi-professional footballers, whilst studying in the sixth form.
The full-time football programme will see players complete a Level 2 or Level 3 qualification in sport, delivered by teachers from the school at the Throstle Nest ground, bringing together all the resources required to help them achieve their full potential, both academically and in football, within one environment.
As part of the academy, players will have the opportunity to compete in the national Under 19s Alliance League, which is regarded as one of the best youth competitions outside of the professional game and is regularly attended by professional scouts.
In addition, the team will be entered into the prestigious FA Youth Cup.
Michaela Child, assistant headteacher, who is overseeing the partnership, said: “Farsley approached us and we thought it was a really good idea. It is catering for a need and an interest that normally secondary schools and colleges do not cater for. It gives students that opportunity to study and develop sport.
“What I’m really pleased with is the progression route we have planned for them so they have the option to take their careers through higher education.
“I believe it to be one of the first partnerships of this kind in the country.”
Headteacher Mike Roper added: “We’re delighted to launch this new partnership with Farsley Celtic.
“This provides an exciting opportunity for 16-19 year olds to be able to develop both academic and sporting skills at a high level, leading to university or careers within the industry.”