ABOUT THE FOOTBALL
WHY IS THE SL FOOTBALL ACADEMY SO UNIQUE?
The bespoke football aspect of the programme is unique to any other football & education programme in the country and a concept no other can provide.
We are the first dedicated football and education academy league linked to a major feeder league in the country, added to that it is the first football and education league to be sanctioned by the Football Association.
The Southern League Football Academy is only similar to programmes that are in operation at colleges, trusts, independently run or at a local hub centre in the sense of the educational national BTEC sports course being delivered, but that is where the similarities ends.
The reason why this concept is vastly different and has caught the imagination of those involved in the professional and semi-professional game and one of the main differences with the SL Football Academy, is that all the students will be representing their local non-league (semi-professional) football club in the academy league and national cups, in an organisation and management structure respected and known throughout football, the Southern League.
The concept is also different in many other ways a few to mention are:-
All of our coaches have to be at UEFA A or B status (or on obtaining the position be working towards the award) we also have coaches working at our clubs that are currently working in professional club academies and are fomer and current professional and semi-professional players.
In relation to squad numbers, group size will only be of 16-23 students who will work together consistently through coaching and education and together represent the football club on and off the pitch for that year intake only. Therefore a team will not be picked from a large group or hub of students differently each week.
Also as a sanctioned league 85%-90% of games are played at the main stadiums of the Southern League clubs, as opposed to college/park pitches. The SL also ensure officials are all of the required standard.
Our growing reputation has also ensured our enrichment days for students are linked to many renowned football venues such as St George’s Park home of the Football Association and Premier League Clubs.