This summer Folkestone Invicta FC captain, Liam Friend joins the team at Castle Community College in Deal to run the football academy.

The Community Trust at the Gills currently works in partnership with the college to provide sporting and teaching opportunities for the students. The school has already seen four students from the academy join the Trust as apprentices who are currently training to become Teaching Assistants and Sports Coaches.    

The job at the college was a very attractive opportunity for Liam, who said: “I saw the opportunity to combine my current school coaching and also team coaching into one position and being able to deal daily with the same group of students and help them develop, not only as footballers but also their general fitness and school work.

“The facilities at the school are first class, the new 3G pitch is in superb condition and we also have use of the sports hall, cardio room and a weights room.” 

Liam is a vastly experienced centre-half having played over 450 times for Folkestone and captained the team for the last five years; he began coaching six years ago when asked to assist with Folkestone Invicta U18s. Really enjoying the experience Liam decided to pursue a career in coaching and after gaining more experience coaching in schools in the South East he took over the U16s at Folkestone, staying with them to U18 level.

“I feel that with my experience as a player at the semi-professional level I can demonstrate the required ability and attitude that will spur the students on to forge careers in football either as a player or as a coach. I believe the students at the academy can also act as role models to rest of the school and the academy can become something that students in younger age groups can look forward to and strive to be part of.”

To find out more about the academy at Castle College please contact Liam, LFriend@Castle.Kent.sch.uk or 01304 373363.