The Foundation Academy have had a terrific start to our National Youth League campaigns this season. In fact, it is without a doubt the best start we have ever had as an Academy in terms of squad togetherness, application and attitude, as well as results.
We are currently joint 3rd in the South Championship (W4, D1, L1), joint 1st in the South Reserves (W7, D1, L1) and are still going strong in three Cup competitions; the National Football Youth League Cup, where we face Cambridge United in the next round, the Sussex Schools 1st XI County Cup, where we face Bede's Sixth Form from Hailsham in the quarter final, and the Sussex Schools 2nd XI County Cup, where we face Varndean College from Brighton in the quarter final.
On top of the on-field success, two of our students have recently been selected for the National Youth League All-Star South Squad after a successful trial in October. Next year, the South Squad will play against the North Squad at St George’s Park for the final trial. Congratulations to Joel Ogilvie and Ryan Yoro Thomas on this fantastic achievement!
Through our successful partnership with Holy Trinity Sixth Form, our students have made a strong academic start with 9 students achieving straight distinctions in their assignment work so far. With all students working very hard to achieve their highest possible grades and will be expected to push on with their academic targets after the Christmas break.
Over the break, two of our current students, Declan and Harvey, are taking part in a US scholarship showcase tournament, hosted by Player Path at St George's Park, the home of the English Football Association. US Scholarships have become a key pathway for a number of our students and Player Path continue to provide an unrivalled service in supporting young academic athletes achieve their goals of studying and playing in the US College system.
The Foundation Academy are also really excited by the new year 11 prospects that have been recruited ahead of next year. With over 100 applicants so far who have attended football trials and/or been interviewed, the Foundation Academy have offered and confirmed the top 20 future academic athletes to join the programme next year.
Out of the successful applicants, a number of students have previously played for professional academies, and the majority are already playing high level under-18 football for the likes of Horsham FC, Horsham YMCA, Dorking Wanderers, Lingfield, Oakwood, and Crawley Down Gatwick.
Academically, the recruits are all pushing for strong passes at grades 5-7 in their GCSEs in order to go straight onto our BTEC Sport Level 3 programme next year, and will be actively pursuing routes into higher education and/or careers in the sports industry.
The Foundation Academy will be hosting training events with the recruits, alongside the current first year students in the school holidays, beginning in February, in order to help the students get to know their new team and class mates ahead of joining the programme full-time for pre-season in July 2022.