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Academy Player Seals University Spot
When it comes to football, many players are used to having to make sacrifices; to train, travel to games, get school work done and so on.
Since its launch last year, Margate FC has been able to offer a unique provision that means footballers do not have to sacrifice their academic ambitions to play and train full-time at Hartsdown Park.
In partnership with Herne Bay High, the Margate FC Academy offers a ground-breaking post-16 choice to study A-Levels or BTEC with over 43 different courses available.
Playing in the National Youth League Alliance, players get to improve their game with UEFA A License coaches but are pushed to achieve their best academically.
Margate Youth player Tom Webster is just one of the inaugural co-hort who will be preparing to go to university later this year, having spent most of his life playing for The Blues.
“I’ve been playing football for almost as long as I can walk” said Tom.
“At 13 I was asked to join Margate Under 14s, it developed my game massively and when I was 15 I began playing for Margate Under 18s. Eventually I progressed to playing in the FA Youth Cup and occasionally for the under 23s.”
When Margate launched their new academy, it was a no-brainer for Tom to go along to trial.
“I joined the Margate academy because I was aware of the high level of coaching on offer. I knew that this would help develop me as a player even more. Alongside this I’d be playing at a very high level while pursuing my goals to go to university.”
Tom added, “The balance is perfect, we train enough to ensure we’re prepared for our matches and continuing to progress as players. But we make sure we have the time to ensure our class work is completed to a high standard.”
Courtesy of Margate’s partnership with a high-achieving school, Academy players are able to be pushed both on and off the pitch, as Tom revealed:
“Most of our modules have been really interesting. I particularly enjoy scientific subjects, so sport psychology, anatomy and physiology have been really inspiring for me.”
“Playing football is a massive part of being in the academy but the academic side is taken just as seriously. When applying for university it was important that my academics where taken seriously. Maintaining this balance will help me to get the grade needed to get to university. “
“The Level 3 BTEC in sport has helped me prepare for university better than any other course in sport could have. It has taught me the referencing system and how to manage my time and reach deadlines.”
As part of the Academy set-up, Tom also received support when applying for university and has recently received positive news with regards to his application.
“When Gary and Ricky became aware that I wanted to apply for university, they took the time to talk me through possible options, career paths and the degrees to choose”
“This helped me make my decision. They also helped with my UCAS application and with writing my personal statement.”
“I plan to finish my science and football degree at Liverpool John Moores University and hopefully pursue a career in science and football. I also hope to play football at the highest level I can.”
With Academy trials taking place on Thursday 21st February 2019 from 10am to 12pm at Hartsdown Park, Tom encouraged others to consider choosing a future at The Gate to get the best out of themselves.
“I would say to be prepared to work really hard both academically and in training. Ricky and Gary are great at getting the most out of students. In order to go to university you’ll need to get a good grade at the end of your course meaning managing time well In order to complete work to the best of your ability.”
Click here to find out more information about the Margate Academy trials taking place.
Friday, 11 January 2019
By Charlotte Richardson