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Maidstone United Academy trial

In Year 11? Want to swap school for the stadium next September? Apply for a place at the Maidstone United Football Academy, ahead of a trial on Tuesday 9 November.

Based at the Gallagher Stadium, the club and Cornwallis Academy offer a two-year programme that combines academic sports studies, alongside football matches, training and qualifications.

You get to play and train like a full time footballer at this state-of-the-art venue. The BTEC Sport course is an ideal route for employment in the sports industry or a pathway to university.

Maidstone’s academy is headed up by former Leyton Orient, Exeter City and Crewe Alexander defender Billy Jones, who joined the club earlier this year. Alongside former student-turned-coach Brad Brooker are a coaching team that includes first teamers George Elokobi, Alfie Pavey, Joan Luque, Regan Booty and Tom Hadler.

Billy Jones said: “We’re looking forward to hosting our first trial next month. If you’re in Year 11 and would like the chance to transfer to the Stones next September, get your application in.

“This course is perfect for anyone who lives and breathes football. You get to train and play at the Gallagher and the BTEC coursework is done here too.

“I’ve brought some first team players into my coaching team and they’ve been great for us. To have someone of George Elokobi’s experience is massive, he’s an outstanding coach and superb role model for our lads.

“Whether you’re looking to try and make it in the game, go semi-pro or start a career in sport and leisure, this course will open up plenty of opportunities.”

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. Matches are played at the home of the Stones on a Wednesday afternoon. Academy students also represent the club in the prestigious FA Youth Cup.

A number of players have been called up to the first team and under-23 squads, with several others dual-registered with clubs in the Isthmian and Southern Counties East leagues.

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