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Club News

College Academy trials

3 April 2013

You can follow in Jim Fenlon's footsteps

The AFC Wimbledon College Academy trials have been rescheduled for three new dates and young footballers who have not yet applied will still be considered for this exciting opportunity.

Originally earmarked for two dates in March, the trial days had to be rearranged due to the weather and they will now take place tomorrow (Thursday), Sunday 21 April and Sunday 19 May.

Footballers who meet the requirements and did not apply to our advert in January can put themselves forward using the link below.

For those who missed it, we reproduce the information below about what the AFC Wimbledon College Academy can do for you.

If you’re a footballer with potential and considering your next move after leaving school, then AFC Wimbledon’s Football Academy can help you earn a career in the sport.

Players applying should ideally be currently playing Under-16, but we do accept older candidates.

The Academy’s full-time sports and education programme, run in conjunction with South Thames College Merton Campus, has in recent years helped the likes of Jim Fenlon (pictured after scoring his first senior goal at Oxford United), Brendan Kiernan and Huw Johnson progress into the Wimbledon first-team set-up.

However, the academic side of the programme also provides a platform for alternative careers if you do not make the grade. There is an opportunity to leave South Thames College with a coaching qualification to become a football coach or study for a career in business.  If you do earn a place in the AFC Wimbledon Football Academy, you will attend training sessions three times a week under the guidance of our professional coaches and play matches in the Football Conference Youth League Premier Division.

Head of Wimbledon’s South Thames College Academy, Michael Hamilton, says the programme has gone from strength to strength since it started five years ago.

“With Wimbledon’s professional academy having only started a year-and-a-half ago after the club got promotion, players such as Jim Fenlon, Brendan Kiernan and Huw Johnson came through the college programme we put in place,” Michael said. “It has been very successful. In the beginning, it was just a matter of putting a team together, but we have managed to move it on under the guidance of Academy Manager Mark Robinson.

“We have been getting about 200 applicants in recent years when we have opened up the trials. I look mainly at what the boys can do on the pitch, but we also want individuals who will stay motivated because if things are not going their way, then they can pursue alternative careers. The programme also offers a level 2/3 sports coaching qualification. Matt Drury is one of our current coaches who came through the college process.”

 , stating your name, address, date of birth, contact details and football playing experience.College trialsAnyone interested in attending the trials to be considered for the AFC Wimbledon Football Academy should send in their details to Michael Hamilton. Please e-mail us by clicking on 

A list of frequently asked questions is published below:

HOW LONG IS THE COURSE? Definitely is the answer. We have a team of full time and part-time medical staff who will cater for all your physiotherapy needs.
Fully qualified tutors from the college will be responsible for helping you gain your academic grades, while your football coaching will be overseen by Michael Hamilton, Head of College Academy.
You will be supplied with the club’s official training kit. This kit is worn by every team at the club from the academy Under-9s through to the first team.
We are confident that all training you will receive from us will be second to none and provide every opportunity to fulfill your dreams. On the pitch, we will be looking to develop you in the technical, physical and social areas as well as off the pitch training, where you’ll receive advice on nutrition, fitness and conditioning regimes.
We train at two venues, the main base at Nursery Road in South Wimbledon. This is the training base for the College Academy and is situated about 10 minutes from the college. The second venue is at KCL Sports ground where the first team and youth team also train. The New Malden sports ground boasts 10.9 hectares of playing fields, a gym and houses the club’s physiotherapy rehabilitation clinic.
You will study at South Thames College - Merton Campus. The Campus address is Merton Campus, Morden Park, London Road, Morden, Surrey SM4 5QX.
The Academy programme runs for a two year period – during this time students will study for a BTEC in Sports level 2 or 3 (dependent on GCSE qualifications) or a BTEC in Business, while receiving approximately 6-9 hours per week in active training.
It is for boys who are between 16-18 years of age that want to further their knowledge, understanding and ability in football, while at the same time continuing their education.
The courses last from one to two years, depending on your age, course chosen and GCSE grades.

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