OXFORD City Football Club is offering a new programme for young people, that will focus on their education as well as sporting achievements.

The first crop of Velocity Football students kicked off the initiative this week, after getting a taste of the action during a pre-season camp in August and an induction week at the start of the month.

Velocity Football is a new full-time football and education programme open to male and female students aged between 16 to 18, and 19 to 23.

Dozens of students from across Oxfordshire began Velocity Football’s BTEC, HND, and HNC programmes on Monday.

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The courses have been designed to provide a progression pathway for football, further education, and career opportunities in a post-GCSE environment.

Velocity Football director Justin Merritt said: “This is an exciting landmark week for football education in Oxfordshire and we’re proud to welcome our first intake of full-time Velocity Football students.

“There is a great vibe at Oxford City FC as the students and coaches look forward to the new course and progressing together.

“Velocity Football will provide our students to education and wider career development opportunities that are unrivalled in the county.

“Our coaching team are an experienced, progressive group of UEFA A and B licence coaches with real-life experience in the professional game that want to lead football education by example on an international scale.

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“It is the culmination of years of delivering education programmes and Velocity is the ideal course for teenagers who wish to pursue a career in sport.

“Not only will they learn in a supportive environment, they will be given practical real-life work experience opportunities within the football club and our partners.”

Head coach for the female programme Lauren Haynes shared Mr Merritt’s excitement at the start of the academic year.

She said: “Being based at Oxford City FC, we have the opportunity to encourage the very best from of each student both on and off the field through use of the club’s two 3G pitches, mini-gym, classrooms, and hard courts, alongside our excellent coaching teams.

“The club’s analysis hub and pop-up healthy canteen will be used to develop performance levels on the pitch too, and students will leave Velocity having gained real-life work experience through our built-in programme that offers roles in football business, strength and conditioning, coaching, analysis and more.

Oxford Mail:

“All of the above components are what convinced me to join Velocity Football, and I’m excited to be part of the team Justin has created to teach the next generation of professionals in the football and wider sports industry.”

Velocity Football has been created in conjunction with partners Ignite Sport UK and Oxford City FC, who have been delivering education programmes for almost 20 years.

Oxford City FC play in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football, three below Oxford United.