New term and a new partner for Maidstone United Football Academy.
The club have teamed up with Essential Sports Training to provide a high quality education course for students during the 2017/18 season.
Now entering its sixth year at the Gallagher Stadium, the popular programme combines academic study alongside football matches and training – all of which takes place at the home of the Stones.
Stones boss Jay Saunders is part of the academy coaching team and he works alongside Jamie Coyle (Welling United player/manager), Tom Parkinson (Tonbridge Angels player), Jim Bodle (former Stones reserve team manager) and Brad Brooker (former academy student). First teamers Lee Worgan and Stuart Lewis are also involved during the week.
A number of students have been signed to the first team in recent years, most notably Jack Richards who was the first to earn a contract with the club.
Club co-owner Terry Casey said: “The academy is an essential part of what we do as a football club and I am delighted that we can build on our excellent reputation in partnership with Essential Sports Training.
“Our academy really is a unique set-up in that all the classroom activity, matches and training all take place at the stadium. It makes such a refreshing change after 11 years in a school environment and that’s why we’re oversubscribed year in, year out.”
EST’s Education and Coaching Manager David Hay added: “We are proud to be associated with such a well-established and prestigious football club, who share many of our community values.
“We look forward to supporting the students in their development towards first team football, while providing the boys with nationally recognised qualifications and employability skills.”
Essential Sports Training already have successful partnerships up and running at Ramsgate FC and Crowborough AFC.