From today, 15 to 18 year olds can apply at Bolton College for a full-time place at the new Academy, prior to programmes kicking off in September.
Academy students will perfect their skills at Bolton Wanderers’ training ground, the Lostock Academy, where they will receive expert coaching from Community Trust professionals. This includes use of Wanderers’ new £350,000 indoor domed facility, ensuring that during cold winter months, coaches are able to focus solely on training sessions.
Depending on footballing ability, students will be enrolled on to either the standard Football Academy programme or, if displaying exceptional skills and ability, be part of an elite football development squad. Students in both Academies will compete in weekly league matches against rival teams from across Greater Manchester.
Outside of training, Academy learners will study at the College’s Deane Road campus for a BTEC in Sport, a qualification that can lead to an apprenticeship, university or employment.
Bolton Wanderers Community Trust already provides footballing opportunities for children and young people via its Soccer School. Its partnership with Bolton College builds on its purpose to deliver innovative services that inspire and raise aspirations, whilst supporting physical and personal development to create an active and healthy way of life.
Bill Webster, Principal of Bolton College, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for young people with a love of sport and football. The Academy will nurture young talent whilst giving our students an important qualification that opens the door to a range of progression opportunities after leaving College.
We very much look forward to working with the Trust and we can’t wait to welcome our new Football Academy students in September.”
Phil Mason, Head of Bolton Wanderers Community Trust said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the College in this new programme. As a charity we believe it is important that the people we engage with have every opportunity to realise their potential in life. Here is a partnership that allows those with a passion for the game to do just that.”
Mike Bruns, Head of Sports and Public Services at Bolton College, added: “We always strive to provide the best for our students and the facilities at Wanderers really are first-rate.
“The Academy coaches have a wealth of experience that will bring out the very best in our young players. Who knows, Academy students could even go on to play for professional teams – it’s not uncommon for talent to go unspotted and fall under the radar, so the possibility is always there.”