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Football & Education Programme Update

9 December 2020

As we approach the end of a strange 2020 our three Football and Education Programmes are moving forward at a high pace.

With lockdown 1.0 coming to an end our three programmes at Bishop Laney, Impington International College and Thomas Deacon Academy welcomed the class of 2020/21 in September for pre-season training. With uncertainty over games and training seemingly behind us, our male and female players took to the pitch and soon the balls were rolling and after the long break, the fitness and ability of our players were on full show.

This year we have welcomed Impington International College into our family and with coaches Clive Taylor, Sammy Whittaker and Dominic Ankers at the helm the programme has made an impressive start with the quality in training sessions there for all to see. With the league seasons not set to start until January, our male team faced their first ever friendly in Norwich colours playing against the Youth Dreams Project All-Stars from Peterborough, a fantastic performance and some well-taken goals saw us run riot in a 5-0 victory, for highlights of the game click the link below.

Over in Peterborough, our students at Thomas Deacon Academy have settled back into life at the RDP comfortably with coaches Conor Murphy and Michael Browning working hard with the group to build on the academic and on-field success our class of 2018 brought. Training sessions have been of an excellent standard with players showing their skills and teamwork. Despite only having one fixture so far against next-door neighbours Peterborough Regional College and despite the score ending in a 4-2 victory to our opponents the players showed much optimism for the season ahead in their performance.

Finally, our longest serving programme at Bishop Laney Sixth Form College in Ely continues to go from strength to strength. This year we welcomed our biggest ever cohort with over 40 players coming through the doors and a huge development for the course our female programme. New coordinator Jamie Raynor has been ably assisted by Alex Cook and former Bishop Laney players Phil Turner as our girls' coordinator and Thomas Upshaw as our goalkeeper coach. This is a real development for the programme with our former students coming full circle to coach on the programme, this truly highlights the range of progression opportunities within the RDP.

The Regional Development Programmes Junior Coaches Club is also now in full swing giving year 13 students the chance to take their first steps in to coaching.

The programme provides students with the opportunity to gain 30 hours of practical coaching shadowing our staff at our various centres, whilst receiving feedback to hone their craft and in return, the students gain their level 1 coaching badge through the RDP, a chance to apply for our Apprenticeship programme and ultimately employment as a coach with the RDP.

Finally and we are all very excited that the RDP will this year be again returning to the road on tour. Our male players head to Eindhoven, Holland to take part in the Easter Open International Tournament. Here we will travel with our under 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 Elite PDC squads to take part in a two-day tournament. Players will play in 6 games against other under 19 players from across the world. 

Our female players will also be travelling to Sussex to take part in residential training camp and fixtures with Brighton and Hove Albion and other development programmes. On the trip, the players will also have the opportunity to take in a Women’s Super League game to see first hand the stars of the female game do their thing. 

Both tours will provide a fantastic opportunity for our players to put into practice all they have learned over the year at our three colleges whilst having a memorable time with their peers.

If you would be interested to hear more about our three Programmes please contact Football and Education Manager Pip Davis:

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