What is the Altrincham Football Club Academy?
The academy is a two-year programme combining football with a high standard academic course for 16 to 18-year-olds. The academy was launched for the 2020/21 season for men and now a programme for women is due to commence next September.
Why and when is the women’s academy launching?
The football club have committed to launching in September 2023 subject to meeting the minimum number of students.
The club has an ever-growing junior girls section with more than 20 teams playing in Alty colours. Additionally, we have an outstanding set-up at senior level which is run by Head of Women’s Football Nick Pearce. The academy is designed to enable full-time football opportunities together with a high standard of education. This programme does not impact current weekend playing arrangement.
That combined with the fact that women’s football is thriving in England thanks to the Lionesses victory in the European Championships this summer, there is no better time to launch the programme.
How long has the men’s academy been running?
This academic year (22/23) is the third year it has been in operation and it has been a huge success so far.
Last season, we saw Ryan Morton become the first-ever academy player to make an appearance for the senior first team when he came off the bench in the Vanarama National League against Bromley in May.
Subsequently, six players (Ryan Forde, Amaar Hussain, Harlan Rodgers-Morris, Jayden Matthew, Joe Cooney and Ryan Morton) were signed on for the 2022-23 season following their graduation to join the first team in their first ever season as a professional full-time outfit.
What can I expect from the course itself in terms of education and football?
The education element of the academy is run in partnership with Trafford College at their Altrincham Campus facility which has an OFSTED rating of good.
The programme is the next step in education studying for a level 3 BTEC (equivalent to 3 A-levels) whilst increasing football contact time to 12-15 hours a week. It is a student athlete programme.
This academic qualification carves pathways for apprenticeships, scholarships and university opportunities with the exception of Cambridge or Oxford.
Outside of the classroom and out on the pitch, there is around 12-15 hours of football training and matches.
What do I need to do to apply?
You’ve got to get your grades! The entry criteria is 5 GCSEs grade 5 or above including Maths and English. You should currently be in Year 11 and on track to obtain the minimum grades for entry.
First things first though, you need to contact the club expressing your interest in attending one of the upcoming trials. The first of which are next week.
When are the trials for the Academy?
Women’s trials - Monday, October 24th (1-3pm)
Men’s trials - Monday, October 24th (10am-12pm) and Friday, October 28th (5-7pm)
Send an email with your football CV and an expression of interest letter to firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend the trials.
There will be further trials in February and April 2023 which will be announced in due course.