WIVENHOE Town are hoping they have found the perfect match after teaming up with Ipswich Town to offer academic, footballing and career development to youngsters.

The new football college, for young people in East Anglia aged between 16 and 19 years old, will be based at Wivenhoe Town FC from September, 2022.

It is part of Ipswich Town's Community Trust Post 16 Football & Education programme pilot scheme, at Portman Road.

It will offer our students the opportunity to study alongside a full-time football programme.

Ipswich Town Football and Education Students at Wivenhoe Town FC will be given the opportunity through the EFL club's education provider SCL Education.

Students will undertake the NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport & Physical Activity, the equivalent of three A-levels.

They will follow a carefully planned pathway of modules to provide their students with a broad range of knowledge and experience, whilst remaining linked to potential career pathways in sport at Ipswich Town FC.

Numbers for the programmes are limited, with students needing to meet the entry requirements of four GCSEs at grade 4 or above to include Maths and English to be accepted first and foremost.

Football levels will also then be assessed to ensure they are going to be able to compete at the highest level for the leagues identified for their chosen programme in the SCL Development Leagues against the likes of West Ham, Barking, Dartford and Crawley Town.

Unlike other schemes where players are tied to that particular club, both the Football and Education programmes looks to complement existing grassroots football provision and allow players the freedom to continue playing for their current teams.

They are able to help any player who may be in a transition period from youth football to men’s or women’s football by helping and assisting with finding a suitable club for their development.

The education aspect is delivered by SCL Education staff at an exceptional level with high expectations, while the football coaching is taken by UEFA qualified and experienced Ipswich Town staff.

Numbers on the programme are limited so they will be looking to recruit the best players available to them in order to be competitive and represent Ipswich Town.

Players represent Ipswich against professional clubs and representative sides providing players with the opportunity to show off their skills to scouts and coaches.

The football club will provide behind the scenes visits to Portman Road and Playford Road Training Centre, along with hosting seminars and speeches delivered by past and present staff.

Thanks to the flexibility of the NCFE and practical elements of the course, students also have the opportunity to move on to university to study a vast array of degrees if they wish and/or career progression in a variety of different roles.

If students want to continue down the football route then pathways are open to scholars to become employees at Ipswich Town in any number of roles, or part-time coaching work in the club's community programme.

Strength and conditioning opportunities with partners such as Fortitude Fitness, University of Essex and Abbeycroft Leisure are available to all student scholars.

Work experience opportunities will be supplied by working closely with ITFC Community Trust, while matchday tickets will be provided to students who excel both in the classroom and on the football pitch.

Trials will take place at Wivenhoe Town FC on Monday October 25, between 12pm and 3pm.

Go to https://www.participant.co.uk/ipswichcommunitytrust/event/wivenhoe_town_football__education_boys_post_16_trials_20092021#init to register by October 24.

The events are pending COVID restrictions – however students are encouraged to register so they can keep applicants updated on any potential revised dates or further developments.