The partnership between Exeter City Football Club and Exeter College continues to go from strength to strength.
The organisations have worked together, along with the club’s partner charity, Exeter City Community Trust, for more than 18 years, since the Exeter College Sports Academy was launched in 2003.
And some famous names have come through that partnership to go on to great things, including Matt Grimes, who has just signed a new three-and-a-half year contract with Swansea, and Ollie Watkins, who now plays for Aston Villa and recently made his England debut.
The partnership includes opportunities for both male and female students, and includes the Men’s Football Academy and the Women’s Football Academy and Futsal Academy, with the latter two being delivered by Exeter City Community Trust.
Julian Tagg, president and director of football at Exeter City Football Club and chair of Exeter City Community Trust, said: “We are extremely proud of this partnership. Exeter College really is an outstanding asset in our city which creates amazing opportunities for students. It’s really important for our club to have such a close relationship which we want to continue to grow and develop, ultimately giving a fantastic education to local young people.”
The Exeter College Sports Academy provides a quality coaching provision encompassing three training sessions per week and competitive fixtures for male and female players. Exeter City coaches attend all sessions and assist College staff with the men’s first team, Women’s, and Futsal teams who both play in the AoC Sports and English Colleges Football Association Leagues.
The college’s Level 2 and 3 provision through BTECs and A Levels also extends to a Foundation Degree in Football Coaching Development. In addition, the College provides the academic delivery for the club’s apprentices, all aspiring to earn contracts for the club or take the next step in their football careers.
Julian added: "Both Exeter College and ECFC have desire to create a positive ethos and culture, while having a constructive impact in our community. Examples of how this synergy is having a positive impact on the club can be seen in many different ways."
ECFC and College alumni staff include Exeter City Academy manager Arran Pugh, Under 23s manager Dan Green and Exeter City Women’s head coach Aaron Wakley.
Rob Bosworth, Vice Principal and Deputy CEO for Exeter College said: "The effectiveness and impact of our partnerships is something that uniquely defines Exeter College and our work with Exeter City Football Club is something we are incredibly proud of. This partnership has grown rapidly over the years which is a testament to the talent and hard work of everyone involved.
Our Sports Academy is designed to provide training and opportunities for individuals who wish to pursue a career in sport, whilst gaining invaluable vocational and academic qualifications. The Men and Women's Football and Futsal Academies are an integral part of this mission. We have seen numerous alumni go on to achieve great things and we look forward to many more years of success."