Aspiring footballers are being offered greater opportunities as two leading organisations are set to team up ahead of the new season.
Lowestoft Town FC is set to form a new partnership with The SLT Group (SLT) and the Football Industry College, providing a single, central education and academy programme for the town.
Drawing on the expertise of both organisations, it means that Lowestoft’s scholarship partnership with education provider SCL Education & Training is coming to an end.
And as of September, the new programme for 16 to 18-year-olds is open to any local boys and girls wishing to combine their education with full time professional football training.
With the chance to become an Lowestoft Town scholar, “more academic and footballing opportunities” are being offered with new link-up at the Lowestoft Town FC Academy in partnership with SLT.
A Lowestoft Town FC spokesman said: “We are teaming up with SLT and the Football Industry College to provide a single education academy provider in the town.
“It is very exciting.
“After discussions with SCL it was mutually agreed to end our contract with them early and led to us having discussions with SLT about the potential of a joint venture.
“After some really positive chats it has led us to this point. The board would like to thank SCL for what they have done for the club.
“It means this will all come together into a single partnership provider for September 2019.”
As well as providing educational sessions at Barnards Soccer Centre, with the chance to gain BTEC Level 2 and BTEC Level 3 qualifications and GCSE’s in English and Maths, there is also the opportunity to play in two U19 leagues, with matches at the Amber Dew Events Stadium and Barnards Soccer Centre.
And through The Football Industry College national network, students will also have the opportunities to participate in tournaments nationally and develop pathways into the UCFB; bespoke football degrees at Wembley Stadium and The Etihad.
The Lowestoft Town spokesman added: “We are looking to provide the best education and football experiences possible, and this will be possible now.
“It now means with the programme scholars can use both organisations in the best possible way for their education and football.”
The programme is open to schools leavers – for those now considering their options in year 11.
The spokesman added: “By creating a single provider now it means we are able to work together to offer better opportunities for youngsters locally.
“We can offer more football opportunities for the players alongside using some of the best facilities in the area.
“Football academies are not so unique nowadays with many clubs running them, but this has the potential to stand out from the rest.
“Playing under the Lowestoft Town banner will allow us to expand the playing opportunities available and using the vast networks SLT have in the sports and leisure industry it can really help to shape the futures of local youngsters.”
Andy Wilson-Sutter, chairman of The SLT Group, added: “Supporting local clubs is an important part of what we do.
“With the national reach of the Football Industry College and the local power and connection of Lowestoft Town Football Club with the local community, combining both programs just makes sense.
“It will enhance and create better progressive pathways both for players and students, who want to progress into the football industry within the many other professions that are required in the game loved by so many – football.”
Visit www.footballindustrycollege.com for further details.