To create a platform for young Nigerians to study and play professional football in the United Kingdom, a unique collaboration has been launched between Cambridge College Ikeja and Brooke House College in England. The programme comprises four-week preparatory course in Lagos after which the students will progress to Brooke House College Football Academy in England to complete three terms between October and June of the academic year.
Based in the outskirts of Market Harborough, the facilities at the academy include 3G and 4G artificial full-sized training pitches, grass pitches and changing and relaxation areas. The students are tutored by certified coaches and playing sessions are attended by scouts from various professional football clubs across England for trials to join their teams.
Speaking on the rationale behind the move, the Proprietor of Cambridge College, Ikeja, Wale Odunlami stated that “we recognise that a lot of our youngsters want to study and hope to have careers in football, so we decided to launch the programme in Lagos to enhance academic and technical training that provides them with such opportunity. This way, the children will have all-round development physically and mentally.”
To keep the students engaged at all times, there are competitive fixtures in the local league and cup competitions. The academy also plays friendly matches with youngsters from Newcastle United, Manchester City, Hull City, Leicester City, Nottingham Forest, Barnsley, Reading FC and Stoke FC.
The performance and playing statistics of participants is managed through a professional data system to evaluate each player’s performance and can be accessed by the parents and students. The academy also boasts of competent sports therapists who work closely with it to ensure that the students are protected from injuries that can deter their career.
“It is important that we create a luminous future for our children and overtime, students have not been encouraged to study and play football at the same time because people believe one might affect the other. However, this programme will ensure that they can learn from both disciplines and have a positive impact on themselves and the society.”
With upgraded facilities at their location in Ikeja, catering for modern learning and a conducive environment, Cambridge College is set to pave the way to an exciting career as they also offer secondary education and prepare students for A’Level examinations. The school also boasts of boarding facilities which ensure that the students are exposed to minimal distractions while getting used to independent life away from their parents.
With admission on-going, the school also offers sixth form programmes, as well as A’ Level courses, IGSE and university foundation programme which qualifies students for entry into over 44 universities in the UK and other parts of the world.
The A’ Level courses have two option durations: an accelerated one-year programme designed for exceptional students who have been tested and are found capable to complete the A’ Level examination within an academic session; and a standard two-year programme. Students can also opt to take the A’ Level and foundation programme simultaneously.