A brand-new elite football development programme is giving youngsters the unique opportunity to ultimately progress to a professional playing contract, thanks to a new partnership between Sheffield Wednesday FC and Rotherham College.
The programme will see students study towards a BTEC Level Three Diploma in Sport, which offers young people the chance to combine professional level football training with academic studies.
Students will also have the option to study additional short courses to enhance their employability such as the FA Level One coaching award and the FA youth module.
Local businesses Arnold Clark, Bahco, Graham’s Plumbers and Inteserve have thrown their support behind the programme by sponsoring the team through various initiatives, such as covering the cost of travel, match fees and sponsoring the club’s home and away kits.
Ken Merry, associate principal at Rotherham College, believes the programme will give young people the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification whilst participating in an elite football development programme.
“This unique scheme will give promising young players a platform to perform, with those who excel on the programme provided with a potential path way to professional and semi-professional football,” he said.
“The students on the course will work with elite coaches at Sheffield Wednesday, whilst they will develop their theory knowledge of football and sport at Hillsborough stadium, with the support of Rotherham College.
“It’s a fantastic partnership and the support from local businesses, partners and sponsors has been phenomenal.”
The elite men’s football first team kicked-off the 2015–16 campaign in style with an emphatic 6-3 victory over Bradford College last month.