Football club and school team up to educate players of the future

Young Sheringham FC player

Sheringham FC has launched a new partnership with the Open Academy in Norwich. - Credit: Sheringham FC

A Norwich school has teamed up with an ambitious Norfolk non-league football team to allow aspiring footballers to study alongside playing.

Open Academy has launched a new partnership that will see young players studying towards a BTEC sport development qualification alongside the opportunity to play for Sheringham FC in the Eastern Counties leagues.

The partnership, which will start from the new term in September, builds on links between the school in Heartsease, which is part of the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT), and the club.

Six former students featured regularly in the Sheringham FC first team last season.  

Jon Ford, principal of Open Academy

Jon Ford, principal of Open Academy in Norwich. - Credit: DNEAT

School principal Jon Ford said: “Open Academy is well known as a strong choice for football post 16 in Norfolk. 


You may also want to watch:


“The program makes full use of our fantastic facilities including the excellent 4G pitch, experienced and skilled coaches and teachers and a reputation for individualised support. 

Open Academy's 4G pitch. 

Students will learn sports coaching and management, as well as training with UEFA qualified coaches on Open Academy's 4G pitch. - Credit: Norfolk County FA

“This exciting partnership secures the next developmental stage for our football program, and we are delighted to be partnering with the ambitious Sheringham FC.”

Most Read

Suzanne Cherrie, secretary of Sheringham FC said: “The partnership is a major milestone in the future direction of the club.  

“We are immensely proud to be able to play a part in assisting students on the start of their chosen career paths and understand the responsibility this brings.”

Sheringham FC player

Six former Open Academy students featured regularly in the Sheringham FC first team last season. - Credit: Sheringham FC

Students will learn about aspects of the sports coaching and management, as well as anatomy and physiology, fitness and sports injury.

They will also get eight hours per week of practical football training with UEFA qualified coaches and the opportunity to play in the Thurlow Nunn senior and youth league and Norfolk-wide cup competitions. 

Among the course teachers and coaches is former Norwich City player Cedric Anselin, who played for the Canaries from 1998 to 2000.

Pupils at Open Academy

Pupils at Open Academy. - Credit: DNEAT

Oliver Burwood, DNEAT chief executive, said: “Open Academy has successfully delivered this course for the past 10 years, offering an exceptional educational provision with many of their former students attaining university placements in the UK and scholarships in the USA, along with playing semi-professional football.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus