Buckswood School has been the home to the Buckswood Football Academy (BFA) for five years and has developed a worldwide reputation for delivering expert football tuition combined with a British boarding school education.
Past graduates have gone on to study at some of the UK’s best universities or start careers as sports professionals for clubs such as Brighton and Hove Albion, with one young player currently on the cusp of a career at AC Milan. Players regularly play at County level and the academy has even had players trial for England Youth sides. The Academy players were crowned 2015 ‘Champions of England’ last season in the FA’s Small Schools competition.
Building on the success of the Senior Academy, Buckswood have been working with Premiership giants Chelsea Football Club to launch a new Junior Academy in association with Chelsea FC Foundation, the first Premiership club to run a full-time academic academy in the UK.
Senior Football Academy with coach Daryl Willard
The new Junior Academy is targeted at boys and girls aged between 11 and 13 years, with both day and boarding places available. Junior Academy will benefit from full Chelsea FC Foundation training kit, visits to Stamford Bridge and the Club’s Cobham Training Ground and regular scouting opportunities for both Junior and Senior Academy players. Practical coaching elements of the programme will be supplemented by competitive fixtures, with individual player reports and post-match team analysis provided.
The Academy is coached by Ed Stimpson from Chelsea Football Club Foundation, who will be performing a dual role spending half the week out and about in the community delivering healthy lifestyle initiatives.
Chelsea FC Foundation coaching in session at Buckswood School
“We at Buckswood School and our friends at Chelsea Football Club Foundation strongly believe that this model of community engagement will greatly benefit our local area and will help our young people reach their full potential, whatever that may be, in one of a number of sports, not just football.” said Mark Redsell, headteacher at Buckswood.
Part of the community aspect of the project is the new Sports Development programme. Targeted at boys and girls aged between five and 12 years, the programme will be open to the entire community as well as students of Buckswood. The new programme of sessions will start in September 2015, running three evenings per week, each night with a different focus to ensure all young people have a great time while ultimately developing and reaching their full potential.
The development centre will enable young people to receive high quality coaching, hone and perfect their skills and the opportunity to train and play in organised fixtures with players of similar abilities. Progression into the Chelsea Football Club Foundation Development Centres and the Clubs Academy are amongst potential progression pathways for young people.