We are incredibly excited to be partnering with the leading Elite independent Academy in Kent, Soccer Elite FA.
Sheppey United CEO Shelley Holtam said, “We are very proud to be able to offer all 16-18 year old students in Swale the highest quality of education and football coaching.
“SEFA have a rich history in youth development and to bring this expertise to our football club will create a wealth of new opportunities and experiences for our current and new students.
“The partnership will bring huge benefits to both our students and our community as a whole. The unique opportunity to work with the coaching team and experience an elite sporting set-up, demonstrates the academy’s commitment to driving our football clubs 16-18 provision to the next level.
“Both Sheppey United FC and SEFA Football Development team will work alongside one another to deliver training methods developed within the club’s academy, and designed to help students reach their full potential.
“As part of the programme the coaches will monitor the students giving them the opportunity to learn and develop their skills as part of our Swale campus and if ability allows to become part of their elite academy team at Star Meadow.
“We have always endeavoured to develop confident individuals both on and off the pitch.
“We are looking forward to working with students who are enthusiastic and committed and will benefit significantly.”
Speaking about this new and exciting partnership, Lee Radford, Education Programme Manager added, “We are thrilled to launch this new Programme in Swale.
“Sheppey United made a proposal for us to come in and take over their existing post-16 setup, and it quickly became clear after discussions between both parties that this would be an arrangement that works for the Swale community, Sheppey United and ourselves.
“We are committed to providing the best post-16 football provision around, and this agreement broadens our reach within Kent and gives another region a local SEFA centre. By combining our expertise in coaching and education with Sheppey’s exceptional facilities and pathway into step 4 football, we believe together we can offer an unrivalled and outstanding proposition to the young people of the Isle of Sheppey, Sittingbourne and the surrounding areas.
“Meanwhile, with the Swale site being a Soccer Elite venue, the opportunities that Sheppey United can provide extends to all of our students across our sites, creating another outstanding pathway into senior football for SEFA players.
“In fact, we have already seen a number of SEFA players play for Sheppey over the years; Lekan Majoyegbe, who played every minute last season and won the Ites players’ player of the year, was key part of our UKAT Post-16 Programme, and Josh Wisson attended our Maplesden Noakes centre. Bailey Catherick, who has been in and around the first team as a 18-year-old, is still a student with us at Soccer Elite.
“We are looking forward to developing more players on and off the pitch and can not wait to get started!”