Twenty one of the UK’s top young footballers have signed for a new and unique programme with Trafford College and Academy 92, an initiative founded by the Class of 92 and Salford City FC.
The idea, inspired by Gary Neville, sees talented young players aged between 16 and 18 sign up for a 2 year programme offering a range of qualifications, personal skills development as well as football skills to prepare them for a range of future careers.
Lesley Davies OBE, Principal at Trafford College said: “We are delighted to be the education partner for Academy 92. Our ethos of treating every student as an individual, tailoring their study programme to enable them to achieve the skills, not just the qualifications, to succeed in their careers, is an excellent match with Academy 92. We’ve developed a truly innovative programme which will see every student having a personal development plan, helping them develop their personal skills and becoming great citizens and role models.”
Gary Neville commented: “From the very beginning, our vision was always to create an academy with Salford City FC. It was important for us to create an opportunity for young people and to finally fulfil that vision is a very special moment. Academy 92 will be unique, it will focus on skills development working and complementing the football development. We have signed hungry and talented players however the football industry is a challenging one, which can see players’ careers end prematurely. We have teamed up with Trafford College because our beliefs and ethos are the same. Their approach is innovative, exciting and they clearly want the best for their students, as do we. Our Academy graduates will leave in 2 years and they may go onto university, have successful playing careers, work within the sports industry, coach or even go into the business sector. Whatever they decide the best option is, they will be prepared and ready to take on that challenge”
The first players signed their contracts at an event based at Trafford College along with Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs. Alex Doyle, 16, and future Academy 92 graduate said: “This is such an amazing opportunity. Not only will I get to improve my football skills and learn from the very best, I will also leave with a range of qualifications and skills to help me in the future. It’s important to keep your options open when it comes to football. I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket. I’m already inspired but know I will leave the Academy in 2 years an even better person ready to seek out the many opportunities that will be available to me.”