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Q & A - Margate FC's International Academy
When it comes to exciting partnerships, Margate Football Club’s recently collaboration with St. Lawrence College to deliver a Football Academy certainly caught the eye.
Community Ad Magazinerecently caught up with our General Manager, Deny Wilson, to find out more about this new partnership and to ask what else the club planned for in the future.
How did the idea to work with SLC come about?
The Vice Chairman, Ricky Owen had already set up the Football Academy which we currently operate with Herne Bay High and we were looking at other ways to widen our “footballing net” to give us the greatest opportunity to bring young talented footballers to Margate Football Club.
Ricky and I both have backgrounds working in Public Schools; Ricky as a Coach and me as Sports Manager. We were very aware of St. Lawrence College by its great reputation within the public-school community; it’s well known for the quality of its hockey and rugby provision. We felt we could bring the same quality of Football coaching to the school and eventually, the same level of success.”
We contacted, Antony Spencer, the St Lawrence Principal who is very switched-on and after the first meeting he immediately saw the potential in the partnership; football is the global sport. He understood that by working with the Club there was a genuine player pathway into playing First Team Football. Many academies talk about this, but the reality is very few make it happen.
Is the course open to anyone?
Yes, this is truly an International Football Academy, as the applications are open to anyone and everyone from the UK and anywhere else in the world. We are hoping this gives people the chance to come to the UK and gain an excellent education whilst playing football at the highest level outside of the professional game. Who knows, the next Sadio Mane might come through this very academy before going on to play in the Premiership!
You mentioned that Margate FC already have an Academy set up with Herne Bay High? When did this start?
The Herne Bay High Academy was launched in September of this year and compete in the National League U19 Alliance, as mentioned, this is the highest level outside of the professional game.
The students study A-Levels or BTECs and train twice per week with matches talking place on Wednesday afternoons; home matches take place at Hartsdown Park. The team have already played the likes of Crystal Palace, West Ham and Millwall.
The team are already making great strides in the quality of their play; this is made possible by the quality of the coaching on offer. Players improve greatly with regular training under UEFA A and B licenced coaches. We are already recruiting for 2019 as word is spreading that the club is going places.
The Club hit the headlines earlier this year when you signed the Libertines to become Shirt Sponsor. What effect has this had on the club and is there anything happening with the band in the future?
Interest in the club has skyrocketed and the response has been incredible! The Club has received so much interest from all over the world with a lot more people buying the shirt. I have been sending shirts to countries including Brazil, Japan, Russia and USA to name just a few.
More than this, people are sending us pictures of themselves wearing the shirt from their home towns; the recent picture from a supporter in on a stunning beach in Australia made me quite jealous.
We are currently trying to tie up diaries for the band to attend another game; they brought us a bit of luck on their previous visit to Hartsdown Park, a 3-2 win in the FA Cup over Horndean FC.
Did you have anything you wanted to let our readers know about?
We have a packed Christmas fixtures list and we would love to see people visit Hartsdown Park and support us in a league game.
We have three home games in December and a good crowd really makes a difference to the players; especially on a cold winters evening! If you can’t make it to a game be sure to watch the action on the Club’s You Tube Channel “GateTV” where we show highlights from all our home fixtures.
Monday, 24 December 2018
By Charlotte Richardson