Worth has taken its football coaching to another level with the introduction of the Football Performance Programme.
Rather than football being only played in the Lent Term, autumn cup fixtures notwithstanding, our most able footballers are now able to train all year round through the activities programme, working with highly qualified coaches as well as playing additional fixtures to further develop their abilities and experiences.
Head of Football Mr Daniel Collins said: “We now offer opportunities for footballers throughout the year. For example, during the traditional rugby term we will have two football sessions every week with myself, Mr Everest and coaches from Crawley Town. This is in addition to still being able to play rugby as the main autumn sport and, of course, the usual football programme during games in the Lent term.
“We are also looking to provide a more varied diet of fixtures throughout the year, for example, against local non-league clubs, the Crawley Town Foundation and schools we would not normally play during the Lent SKIL League. The idea is to give our footballers a variety of experiences to aid their development: in some fixtures we will have a lot of the ball and in some we won’t see much of it; we will face different formations and styles of play; we will play games on different surfaces and under floodlights. We hope this will support the development of adaptable footballers and provide an enriching environment that helps to prepare them for when they leave the school to play club, university or US college soccer, as more of our players are now choosing to do.
“It’s great to see that many Worth players are now continuing with the sport at a good level beyond their time here and we want to support them so they are equipped for those experiences. It’s about inspiring our students and adding to their enjoyment – part of that is simply allowing them to play more football.”
The Football Performance Programme is open to boys and girls in Years 9 to 13. As a school, we also continue to offer a dedicated girls’ football programme, as well as a casual programme.
The programme is led by Mr Collins, who is currently undertaking his A licence and is also the Head Coach of the Great Britain Medical Team. He said: “The standard at Worth has definitely gone up in recent years. We have had school-best runs in the ESFA National Trophy, we got to the last 32 of the IFSA competition (the premier competition for independent schools in the UK) with our U15s fairly recently, we were challenging for the SKIL League with our senior team in the last completed season and some year groups were on course to win their leagues before the national lockdown came.
“I think, just as importantly though, students who didn’t previously enjoy or play much football are discovering a life-long passion for the game, so we’re catering for pupils at ‘both ends’. The opportunities are there through this new performance programme if you are a talented, keen footballer who has played in the club environment, but we will also assist and encourage those who are new to the sport and require other forms of support.”
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