Applications have opened today for places at the Maidstone United Football Academy from September 2017.
Students currently in Year 11 are invited to apply ahead of an open evening and trial at the Gallagher Stadium on Monday 19 December.
The club’s academy programme is now in its fifth season and applications have consistently outstripped places. During the two-year programme, which is provided in association with MidKent College, students have the opportunity to study a BTEC Sport at Level Two or Three, while training and playing at the home of the Stones.
First team manager Jay Saunders and player/coach Jamie Coyle are part of the academy’s coaching team, alongside Tom Parkinson (first teamer at Tonbridge Angels) and Jim Bodle (former player and reserve team boss).
Jay said: “Our set-up is unrivalled, with the boys doing their football and lessons here at the Gallagher. We’ve already had a lot of interest for next September and that’s credit to the reputation the academy has built up in recent years and the success of the first team.
“The chance to be part of a National League club is a big draw and those we’ve got here know that if they impress, there’s an opportunity to train with and be part of the match day squad. Jack Richards from the academy signed for the first team this summer and I’ve got half a dozen other lads registered to play.
“For me, this is the place to be with the facilities and opportunities we can offer during the two-year course.”
Two academy squads compete in the National League Under 19 Alliance – one of the largest leagues in the country – featuring academy teams backed by professional or semi-pro clubs. Maidstone United Ambers are the current Division B champions.
Players also represent the club in the prestigious FA Youth Cup, where this season the team made the first round, losing out to Charlton Athletic on penalties.
A number of players have been called up to the first team squad, with several others dual-registered with clubs in the Isthmian and Southern Counties East leagues.
- Those who are successful at the trial will be invited along to training session during spring 2017. There will be an interview early summer and all students are expected to gain at least five GCSEs at A* to C, ideally including English and maths.