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STFC C6: A Life After the Academy


Posted May 17, 2022

For all young footballers, the dream is to achieve a long-term professional contract within the game. However, with competition being at all-time high, many young players will depart the academy system without the chance of playing professionally.

Being released from an academy is an all too real possibility, so many academies have embedded the trend of ensuring their scholars adopt a Broader Identity’. This term relates to the idea of players having a focus and interest outside the walls of the academy. 

Ethan, a former EFL academy player, recently attended a Beyond Academies’ event, delivered by The Premier League. The event had a focus on educating young players on the potential avenues they can explore, in and out of football, and preparing them for life after the academy. Ethan found the event an invaluable experience:

The Premier League experience was fantastic. It made me realise that there are so many other options still floating around! It’s 100% made me more determined to succeed. Meeting professional players, referees, media teams, and the coaching staff from all over the Premier League has made me put my future into different perspectives. There are so many different aspects which I could look into, whilst being in or out of professional football.”

Ethan has recently been accepted onto the Community Foundation’s Post 16 Education Programme ‑STFC C6. The education programme provides the opportunity for talented young players to combine their academic studies with a fully comprehensive football programme. Teams compete in the CEFA league system, affiliated under the English Football League. The chance to play at a high standard and thrive academically was a real factor in Ethan exploring C6 as an option.

In my eyes, education is so important, and has to take first priority. This is an awesome chance to play football and get some coaching experience, all while getting a good education, it’s a win-win for me!”

Whilst Ethan still has ambitions to achieve his dream of a career on the pitch, he has also set his sights on becoming a future Goalkeeper coach, passing on his increased knowledge and experience to other young aspiring players.

I would love to look at coaching. That feeling of success can be felt through others’ achievements and this great opportunity will not only allow me to play, but to get started in goalkeeper coaching. I’m looking forward to working with Will, who has played professionally, but is now coaching alongside his National League commitments. I’m also really considering the American route and maybe even doing a scholarship there.”

Alongside his studies, the Community Foundation will support Ethan in providing him with opportunity to coach on a weekly basis, and to complete his coaching qualifications through the Foundation. Not only this, but Ethan will be supported by both Swindon Town Football Club and Commonweal School in exploring and choosing his next step, whether this be apprenticeships, university, or international scholarships. 

We’re delighted that Ethan has joined up with our C6 Education Programme and we hope to continue supporting ex young academy players, just like Ethan, in the very near future. 

If you’re an ex- or current academy player, or are currently considering your post-16 education options and our STFC C6 programme interest you, please email shane@​stfcfoundation.​com for more information. 

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