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Foundation degree hope for Kidderminster Harriers Football Academy

Dudley | News | Published:

Boys and girls at a new football academy could be the first in the West Midlands to graduate with foundation degrees – as well as the chance to be snapped up as professionals.

Kidderminster Harriers Football Academy, based at Stourbridge College's Centre of Sporting Excellence, kicked off in March and opened a new section for girls just last month.The college is hoping it will get Government funding approval, through the University of Worcester, to launch a new foundation degree in football studies business management.

The two-year course, costing £4,500 a year, would be a passport for students to move on to a Bachelor of Arts in business management at the university.

"Our students live, sleep, eat and breathe football – but they can't all go on to become a professional footballer," said Stella Raphael-Reeves, Stourbridge College's director of sporting excellence.

"If you think how huge the global football machine is now, there are many careers in UK clubs and around the world, in coaching, management and education and we can equip them for that."

Career

Ex-Birmingham City player Jerry Gill, who is manager of the Kidderminster Harriers Football Academy and a newly-appointed scout for Norwich City, said: "The qualifications gained here will provide a safety net for the students if they don't become pros or for after the end of their footballing career. I wish there had been something like it for me when I was growing up."

A total of 81 students, from all over the Black Country and Birmingham, currently attend the academy, based at the 40-acre former Brintons Field and Chain Wire Club in Zortech Avenue, Kidderminster.

There are eight football pitches and the students turn out in leagues playing as Kidderminster Harriers Football Academy teams.

The Harriers first team players regularly train with them.

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