Sign up for our first EDP trial later this month
Youngsters looking to get a first class education whilst participating within a professional football club environment are encouraged to trial for the Stevenage FC Elite Development Programme (EDP) later this month on Saturday 21st February.
The Elite Development Programme at Stevenage FC is a two year scholarship for boys aged 16-19 years old, during which they study for BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport, the equivalent of 3 A-Levels. This will allow youngsters to get to university whilst also gaining qualifications to work in the sports industry, including FA coaching badges. They will also train for up to eight hours a week with UEFA 'B' qualified Stevenage FC Academy coaches and represent the club in the British Colleges League.
There are a number of similar college schemes out there but what sets the Stevenage EDP apart from the rest is this direct access to elite Academy coaches and facilities. Not only can we provide a first class education at the £43m state-of-the-art Marriotts School in Stevenage but the training facilities both at Marriotts and at the Stevenage FC Academy are exceptional. Participants also have the chance to be selected for our elite club under-18 squad.
Apart from the cost of training kit, there is no fee to this programme. Transport is provided to game via club minibus and players also have free medical access to Stevenage FC Academy physios for any injuries.
Head Coach Tom Hart, who himself went through the programme a decade ago, tells us, "I think the biggest selling point for our EDP scheme is you’re working with full academy coaches. There’s a clear pathway into the academy if you’re good enough. You don't get that on other courses where the college scheme is more separate from the club.
"All our coaches here are ex-academy players from the football club. I did the same programme as these boys 10 years ago and now I’ve got the best job in the world. I wouldn’t change the pathway I took. If anyone was interested or maybe all they know is football, it’s the best environment. If you’re good enough and work hard there’s an opportunity every day to become better."
Many graduates of this college scheme over the years have gone on to enjoy successful careers both on and off the field. Professional footballers including Burnley star George Boyd, Leyton Orient winger Shaun Batt and experienced defender Sam Hatton are just three to have come through the club's ranks as part of the previous EFCO scheme, with many others currently enjoying careers within football and other sports in roles ranging from coaching to sports science and analysis.
It's clear therefore that the Elite Development Programme at Stevenage FC is an excellent way for young, willing talent to build a platform for their future playing and non-playing careers.
Youngsters interested in the course, which will start in September 2015, are invited to apply for one of two trials being held at Marriotts School in February and April. A third trial at The Lamex Stadium in May is by invite only.
Saturday 21st February - 12pm-4pm - Marriotts School, Stevenage
Saturday 18th April - 12pm-4pm - Marriotts School, Stevenage
Saturday 23rd May - The Lamex Stadium - Invite Only
To register your interest please download a trial form HERE or email Tom Hart on email@example.com for any further questions.