29th January 24
The Football Academy students recently had the unique opportunity to participate in a football masterclass at Broadhurst Park, Manchester, led by football legend Mike Phelan and his team.
The intrigued students, who are part of the innovative Academic Studies with Football training programme, started the day with two seminars guided by Dave Horrocks, an elite sporting performance expert. Dave shed light on career opportunities in the sporting industry and the qualifications required for various roles. He also explored different fitness benchmarks and specific football positionings, with insight into training techniques for each position.
Following the highly informative presentation, the young trainees engaged with professional football coaches Mike Phelan and Matt Burton for masterclasses on possession tactics and finishing drills, empowering the students with valuable insights and practical skills. The interactive sessions culminated in a thrilling mini-match which incorporated all the technical and practical aspects of the first two sessions.
Mike has a wealth of expertise from a strong footballing career, starting as a player with Premier League Burnley FC and then moving on to play for Norwich City, Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion, before moving into coaching. As a coach and manager, Mike has been at some of the biggest clubs in England; he was assistant manager twice at Manchester United, alongside Sir Alex Ferguson and Ole Gunner Solskjaer. Throughout the day, Mike spoke openly about the finer details he used to instil in players he coached at United.
The Football Training programme, offered by Abbey College Manchester in partnership with International House Manchester (IHM), seamlessly integrates professionally led football training sessions with a range of the college’s academic programmes for those over the age of 14. This allows students to split their time between pursuing academic qualifications for entry to university, and intensive professional football training which is a potential gateway to a professional or semi-professional football career.
Chris Randell, Principal at Abbey College Manchester, expressed his enthusiasm stating: “Mike, Dave and Matt hosted an extraordinary masterclass for our students – a truly enriching experience. It was a fantastic opportunity for the team to learn from respected figures in the world of football, with their knowledge and mentorship highly valued.
“The integration of professionally led football training alongside our academic curriculum has been transformative for our students. This immersive approach not only equips them with essential academic qualifications but the invaluable life skills such as resilience, teamwork and effective communication.”