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Kesgrave High School and Leiston Football club join forces for exciting A-Level programme

PUBLISHED: 09:57 12 January 2017 | UPDATED: 18:23 13 January 2017

Leiston FC and Kesgrave High School are joining forces in an educational link up.
L-R Tony Kinsella,Rhys Swales,
Peter Douglass,Sarah Wheatley,Glenn Driver.

Leiston FC and Kesgrave High School are joining forces in an educational link up. L-R Tony Kinsella,Rhys Swales, Peter Douglass,Sarah Wheatley,Glenn Driver.

Archant

Prospective AS and A-level students could soon be pulling on a Leiston shirt, after the Ryman Premier League Blues teamed up with Kesgrave High School this week.

The brand-new partnership will allow male sixth-formers to sign for the Blues, receive four hours of top-class tuition the likes of first-team coach Tony Kinsella, and be available for the club’s under-18s, reserves and, ultimately, it is hoped, the first team at Victory Road.

All this whilst studying three different subjects, the link-up – for which the application deadline is February 3 – looks set to be a winning combination.

“We looked at this two or three years ago and wanted to go down the traditional academy route but it didn’t really fit and we could not put it together,” said Leiston director, Peter Douglass, who confirmed that the coaching would be held at the school’s facilities, which includes a 4G pitch.

“We thought there was a gap in the market for bright students who wanted to do A-levels but were also good at football.

“Ultimately what we want to do is be bring in more local players to Leiston because, despite recent comments, we don’t have a bucketful of money, so we got to bring local talent through.”

Head of sixth form Sarah Wheatley added: “The key thing is that these boys won’t be separate to everyone, they will be fully integrated within the sixth form.

“They will be in classes with other students and the only time it would be any different would be when they did their four hours of coaching a week.

“They will be given a free choice in terms of what subjects they wish to study and we write the timetables around the students.”

Leiston head coach Kinsella, enjoyed a successful professional career with Ipswich and most notably, Millwall, and also represented Republic of Ireland at under-21 level.

Douglass added: “Tony (Kinsella) was brought up with his parents and education came first and football second.

“Obviously he was good enough to be able to combine the two, but we have stressed all along that education is the key and if the applicants don’t meet Kesgrave’s entry requirements, then it doesn’t matter how good a footballer they are.

“Football is a bonus for them and potentially for us a bonus too.

“The focus will be purely based on football coaching, we won’t be preparing them to become coaches, it’s purely football and will be all activity-based. There will be no classroom base at all.”

Two of Kesgrave High’s most famous sons both went on to become professional footballers.

Jordan Rhodes, who was on Ipswich’s books as a youngster, currently plays for Middlesbrough, while Richard Hall played at the 
top level of English football in the 1990s with Southampton and West Ham and currently works with the academy players at Colchester United.

Successful applicants will be asked to go for trials for the football course in April.

FOR MORE INFORMATION contact Peter Douglass - pdolfc@gmail.com or visit www.kesgrave.suffolk.sch.uk

BTEC courses are also available.

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