Stevenage FC three college schemes get back underway this September and spaces remain available for youngsters aged 16-19 who would like embark to on an exciting two-year programme offering a first class education whilst participating within a professional football club environment.
Youngsters who maybe didn't get the GCSE results they were looking for, or onto the course of their choice may be interested in the news that spaces remain available in the Stevenage and Cheshunt areas thanks to partnerships with Marriotts School in Stevenage, Cheshunt FC (Elite College Programme) and most recently Biggleswade United. Youngsters study for a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport – the equivalent of three A-Levels – and train for up to eight hours a week with UEFA ‘B’ qualified Stevenage FC Academy coaches.
This third new scheme in partnership with Biggleswade United sees coaching provided by Pro Licence coach Crisitan Colás with existing facilities in Stevenage used for both education and football. Read the thoughts of Sky Sports presenter and Biggleswade United Director of Football Guillem Balague about the new programme here
The latest scholar to the Stevenage Under-18 ranks is Macsen Fraser, a graduate of the EDP scheme at Marriotts School.
Academy Manager Robbie O'Keefe explains, "Macsen was with us as a young player and actually got released at Under-14 level but went away and worked really hard at his game. He joined our Elite Development scheme at Marriotts School at Under-16. He worked really hard there, we kept watching him and then invited him to training with the scholars.
“He did really well at the end of last season in training and games so we invited him back in for pre-season. He’s been in every day and has come back the fittest, strongest and quickest player, so you can’t ask for anymore than that. Through those physical attributes he improved technically because he could last longer in games, he was more agile and was quicker. His performances then warranted a serious look at him. He went up to train with the first team and he had a couple of training sessions there and did well, so we then offered him a scholarship.
“This is where this football club is so unique. Other clubs do run college programmes but those programmes couldn’t be further apart from the club, not just in terms of who runs them (Stevenage’s college programmes are run by our Academy coaches) but also in terms of geographical areas. I’m hearing stories of Premier League clubs having college programmes 60 miles away – those players are never going to experience the club.
“Macsen is a Stevenage boy who experienced rejection, has put his head down, come back better, got into his college programme and worked really hard. Because of the way we run our college programmes, the best participants come in to train with our scholars and when they do that they add to the session with quality.