New College Lanarkshire has announced an innovative partnership with Clyde Football Club to provide students with a unique opportunity for development in professional football.
Clyde FC has endorsed the College’s NQ Football Performance programme, offering students on the course the opportunity to be selected for its Under-20s team.
Students who display exceptional football talent while studying on the course will be considered for the squad, which has a proven track record for developing young football talent.
The partnership reaffirms New College Lanarkshire and Clyde FC’s mutual aim to develop highly-skilled footballers while providing an industry-recognised qualification in state-of-the-art facilities.
The move will provide students on the course a complete pathway for development in football and sports as they expand their skills and technical ability in football while gaining an industry-recognised qualification.
Team members already on the Clyde FC Under-20s team will also be given the opportunity to undertake the National Qualification while continuing full-time training.
Todd Lumsden, Curriculum and Quality Leader at New College Lanarkshire, said: “It is vitally important that as a college we offer as many ways to progress as possible, and this partnership gives young people the opportunity to play with a professional team while gaining a qualification that may help them achieve their goals in the future.
“Students on the course will benefit immensely from the expertise of our teaching staff, including former national football players and experienced coaches including Celtic legend Davie Hay and former St Johnstone player Allan Moore.
“Along with developing football skills and techniques from experts, students will learn the theoretical aspects of the sport, including recovery, health and nutrition.
“Having the opportunity to train in the professional setting of Broadwood Stadium and get the support of Barry and his coaching staff at Clyde will be invaluable for the students. With Clyde FC as partners, students will have unique exposure to the team and the benefits it can offer.”
Students joining the course and selected to join the Under-20s team will undertake twice-weekly training sessions side-by-side with Clyde FC’s first team and their manager, former Scotland and Rangers star, Barry Ferguson.
He said: “I’m really excited about this new partnership with the College. I’m a great believer in developing young players in a full time setting, while allowing them to further their education at the same time.
“To me it’s a win-win initiative, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the successful applicants coming in and developing their football skills.”
John Alexander, Chairman of Clyde Football Club, said: “As a club, we pride ourselves in our status as a Community Interest Company. Our ethos is to serve our community, and the game, in any way we can.
“Like Barry, the club takes great pride in offering aspiring young players the chance to make their way in the game while, importantly, giving them the skills and qualifications for life, through this educational partnership.”
Blair Munn, a NQ Football Performance graduate and current student on the HND Sports Qualification course at New College Lanarkshire, has been offered a soccer scholarship in Canada at the end of the year.
The 20-year-old from Cumbernauld commented: “Starting out on the NQ Football Performance course at New College Lanarkshire really helped me to get to where I am today as along with developing my football skills I have gained an academic qualification.
“I would really encourage others to join the NQ Football performance course, especially those with an interest in football development but also focused on gaining an academic qualification. The pathway is great and if hard work is put in they will get the rewards.”
For more information or to receive an information pack about the course, please email Todd Lumsden, Curriculum and Quality Leader (firstname.lastname@example.org)