Since 1881, Watford FC has been at the heart of our community and, during those 140 years, developing the players of the future has taken centre stage.
At the moment, there are lots of exciting plans in place for Watford FC, including a collaboration between the Club’s official charity Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust (Trust) and Whitmore High School. We had a chat with the club’s Football Development managers, Brima Johnson and Richard Bulling, to find out more:
Scoring a place at Whitmore High
The Whitmore High School Football & Education Scheme has just completed its ninth year and has proved to be incredibly popular. The scheme runs trials throughout the year during every school holiday and, hopefuls are assessed on technical ability including passing, dribbling and shooting as well as on their interpersonal skills such as manners and time-keeping.
The scheme allows students to study a BTEC Level 2 or 3 in Sport with excellent academic provision. The students that are on the course often make the top 10% for progress nationally.
It also offers support with Level One in Coaching Football qualification and other qualifications if appropriate. Once qualified, players can be employed as casual coaches for the Trust.
At the moment, the scheme is only available to male players but, Brima says that he keeps a close eye on the level of interest for female players and, if appropriate, is open to a conversation with the school at some point in the future.
Within striking distance
The Whitmore School initiative is just one of many for Watford FC’s Development Centre which has been an integral part of the Community Trust in Watford for many years.
The Player Development Centre (PDC) Programme is delivered by the Trust and funded by its customers at around £5 per session and offers high quality coaching to enable players to improve their skills, techniques and overall understanding of the game. All of the programme’s coaches are minimum FA level 2 qualified and, many of the programme’s players have gone on to sign for Watford FC’s Academy.
Richard Bulling says, ‘Our main aim is to improve young football players whilst supporting the local grassroots football clubs.
‘Our program gives outstanding players the opportunity to further develop their skills and even forge a path to a career in football’.
As Football Development Manager, Richard wears many hats during a typical day and liaises closely with coaches, parents and players as well as performing essential admin duties to ensure that participants enjoy the best possible experience.
For parents looking to secure their child a Watford PDC trial, opportunities are available throughout the year and, more information can be found HERE.
For many young people, football offers social interaction as well as engendering a lifelong love of the game and, initiatives such as those of Watford FC and Whitmore High School offer young players the opportunity to develop their skills and take a shot at a place with the prestigious Watford FC Academy.
Contact Brima Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org 07827851748. Also follow them on Instagram @wfc_whitmore