The partnership between the GFC Community Trust and the Canterbury Academy is now in its second year

Gillingham Football Club’s Community Trust is now in the second year of a partnership with The Canterbury High School and Canterbury Academy.

Dean Grant, a Community Trust Coach, is based at the school and runs the Sixth Form Academy football team as well as assisting with PE lessons, leading PRU lessons and branching out to work in the local Primary Schools in the East Kent area.

The Gillingham Football Academy at Canterbury High officially started this season and currently has a squad of 18 players. The players train every day of the school week alongside lessons in their other chosen subjects. 

On Monday and Tuesdays the sessions are practical based, with training consisting of a variety of technical and tactical based work. Wednesday is game day, while Thursday allows for a debrief on the previous days game followed by a light practical session of jogging and stretching.

Friday is gym day where the players are able to work through their individual fitness programmes, assisted by the onsite Strength and Conditioning Coach.

The aim of the programme is to support players in progressing to the highest level. The philosophy we have in place is built around developing their technical and tactical skills and knowledge, their understanding of what is required to be successful in amateur football and to aid progression through Club and Ryman League Level and beyond.

We currently have players who are determined to be the best player they can, which shows in training and on the pitch.

Players that turn up wanting to learn and have the right attitude to training are the players that will benefit most from the programme. Every youngster dreams of becoming a professional footballer and you don’t get much closer than being part of the Gillingham Football Club Academy at Canterbury High School.

“I feel I have started to develop more as a player since joining the academy through the training and help that is provided by the top class coaches.” Academy player, Toby Wood.

“Being in the Gillingham Academy hasn’t just made me a better footballer but also a better athlete, mentally and physically.” Academy player, Charlie Hallett.

“The football academy has helped me develop my game to a much higher standard compared to when I started. Not only do the coaches work on the physical side of the game they also prepare you mentally to go into games fully focused on the task.” Billy Mason, Academy Player.

The Academy has an outstanding £4 million Sports Centre and gym facility providing top class equipment to support development, including an innovative and personalised strength and conditioning programme. The academy has an elite Sports Physiotherapist and Sports Masseuse on site as well as a professional Fitness Coach.

A full time Sports Scientist conducts scientific testing throughout the year and offers players the opportunities to go to the University of Kent’s Sports Science lab. Players also take part in workshops on nutrition and lifestyle management and psychology and personality profiling are included in the programme, which all combine with their academic study.

To find out more about the course and about how you can join the squad please contact Jesse Sazant, or Dean Grant,