Five graduates from our successful Academy side were presented with certificates to recognise their completion of a full Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence at The Lane last week.
Danny Hutchins, David Hutton, Jake Livermore, Kyle Fraser-Allen and Takura Mtandari were all members of last season's Under-18 side that achieved a record number of points in the Academy Premier League and competed in six international tournaments alongside some of Europe's elite side, reaching five finals and winning three titles.
The Apprenticeship Programme is designed to support all aspects of a young player's football development while giving them opportunities for academic qualification to help them once their football career finishes.
To achieve the full Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence, the players need to pass three different components.
Firstly, the NVQ in Sporting Excellence. This develops a player's understanding and knowledge in the technical, tactical, physical and mental strength areas of their football development.
In addition, the players undertake a series of courses and seminars which look at areas such as media training, financial management, alcohol and drugs in sport, driver awareness and communication skills.
The second part is a technical certificate which involves the players completing their BTEC National Certificate in Sport, Performance and Excellence.
Thirdly, the players must pass a range of key skills in improving their own learning, working with others and problem solving. The Apprenticeship programme also includes the players undertaking a referee's course.
See pictured the current Academy group as they work towards becoming the next recipients of the award.