The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London’s Football Academy , officially known as the Leyton Orient Development Squad, enables students to study full time at the College whilst gaining professional football coaching. The scheme has proved extremely successful with over 100 students who have signed up since September.
The Academy, which has been set up in partnership with Leyton Orient Football Club, is for 16-18 year olds and provides six hours of coaching a week alongside studying full time for a College qualification. So far the Elite team has excelled in the league having lost just one match and bringing in big wins; 14-0 against Barking & Dagenham, 8-3 against Millwall Community and 5-0 against Leyton Orient Community. The Second team remains unbeaten in their league, again with high scores such as 12-0 against Westfield Academy and 6-0 against Waltham Forest.
Head Coach, Mark Bentley, said: “The Academy is really beneficial to students. They benefit from professional level coaching, which really helps them to develop their skills whilst, at the same time, getting an education which is our primary goal.”
Player, Rooney Kwakye, who is studying Sports Coaching BTEC Level 3 said: “The coaching is excellent and I’ve really made great progress since I started. They teach you how to be a professional player both on and off the pitch. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in football and wants to develop.”
Miguel Desouza, Head of Youth Recruitment at Leyton Orient Football Club and Manager of the scheme, said: “The Academy was set up so that students can study at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London to achieve their qualifications and benefit from professional coaching provided by Leyton Orient Coaches. We replicate the same training programmes as professional clubs so players have the best opportunity to improve their skills.”
College Vice-Principal for Curriculum and Learner Experience, Kurt Hintz added: “Providing an excellent education for our students is our number one priority. Schemes such as the Football Academy are excellent at ensuring that our students gain all the benefits that sport brings in health, fitness and interpersonal skills. The football coaching is to a high professional standard and quickly develops their football skills to maximise their potential.”
The next Football trials will be held in November 2015.