The first presentation for prospective Berwick Rangers Football Academy students will take place tomorrow evening from 6-8pm at Shielfield Park, and club captain Jonny Fairbairn has praised the club’s plan to offer the course to young people in the local area.

Fairbairn will be around prior to the presentation to answer questions
Fairbairn will be around prior to the presentation to answer questions

Fairbairn, who followed a similar academic path explained: “I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for young people in the area. It provides them with a platform to make something of themselves, to build a career in football or sport.

“I was involved in something similar in the United States. I was in full-time football training whilst studying towards an academic qualification.

“Having a similar setup in Berwick would be a step forward for sport in the area and would represent a tremendous opportunity for ambitious young people.”

Students interested in studying an NVQ Level Two or Three Diploma in Sport are welcome to join us tomorrow evening to learn more about the course, delivered by Northumberland College’s Grade One Sports Department.

As part of the Academy, students will also form a team which will compete in the Association of Colleges League against the likes of Sunderland, Newcastle, Tyne Met and Middlesbrough.

The course consists of 7 modules, including coaching, tactics, fitness, training and a work experience module. Also included in the course will be a short qualification in either volunteering or coaching.

With an outstanding pass rate of 93% paired with the diversity of the course’s modules, many doors will be opened to students of the Academy, and Fairbairn reaffirmed his belief that the Academy will create a number of prospects for young people.

“There are many different avenues students of the academy could follow, whether they opt for further studies at university or a career in professional or semi-professional football.

“There are also examples of students in other Northumberland-based Colleges stepping straight into careers related to the qualifications gained on the course; such as physiotherapy, teaching and coaching.”

As party of being in the Academy, students will form a team who will compete in the Association of Colleges League, whilst there is also the prospect of progressing through Berwick Rangers’ development system. Players will enjoy six hours of club coaching per week.

Currently picking up experience for his UEFA B License, Fairbairn will provide sessions throughout the course.
Currently picking up experience for his UEFA B License, Fairbairn will provide sessions throughout the course.

Fairbairn revealed that he will be involved in providing tutelage as he continued: “The club are committed to offering a professional set up in terms of the coaching and preparation for college games – as well as providing a professional set up on the training pitch.

“Myself and John Coughlin plan to offer programmes within strength and conditioning, and so use advances in football technology such as video analysis and aspects of sports science to help get the best out of the students as players.

“This commitment to the program, along with the excellent service provided academically by Northumberland college makes me very excited for what we can provide for young people in the area.

“We do need to move quickly to get the academy up and running this year, so I’d be more than happy to hear from anyone interested who has further enquiries via the details provided.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the opportunity, contact club captain Jonny Fairbairn on 07814 353903/ jonnyfairbairn10@gmail.com or Northumberland College’s Simon Duton on simon.dutson@northland.ac.uk.

Northumberland College will also host two further presentation for interested parties to learn more about the opportunity on the following dates:

  1. Tuesday 23rd August – 6pm-8pm.
  2. Thursday 1st September – 6pm-8pm.

Application forms are available from Northumberland College via download here. Applicants should send their application to to either Berwick.centre@northland.ac.uk or by post to Berwick Rangers or Northumberland College, Adams Drive, Spittal, TD15 2JF, though prospective students are advised to attend a presentation to learn more about the course first.