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, Community Trust Coach is based at the school and runs the 6th Form Academy football team as well as assisting with PE lessons, leading PRU lessons.
The Gillingham Football Academy at Canterbury High officially started last season and currently has a squad of 22 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.
“The Academy has been the most beneficial training I’ve ever had throughout my footballing life, it’s a very professional set up and I would highly recommend it to anybody who is looking to progress in football” Callum Gore, Academy player.
“As a player I have developed with both my technical ability and character as a person. The training has enabled me to improve every aspect of my game mentally and physically which has made me progress through my club and be part of the first team and match day squad at Margate Fc in the Conference South” Academy Captain, Harry Phipps.
“I enjoy the way that the Football Academy mirrors what life is like as a Professional Scholarship player. The structure and mental training has helped me both on the pitch and in the classroom with my school work. Being coached by top class coaches has improved my game and given me the a glimpse of what it takes to earn a living in the professional/semi-professional game” Academy top scorer Nathan French.
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.