Foundation of Light’s Football Scholarship gives talented footballers aged 16-18 years old, the opportunity to represent Sunderland AFC and gain nationally recognised qualifications through an extensive football and education programme.
- Students will represent Sunderland AFC in the National Football Youth League and EFL Community & Education Football Alliance against other club representative teams.
- The competitions are exclusively for development teams from Premier League and Football League clubs, meaning the football experience is as close to Academy football as possible.
- Home games will take place at the Academy of Light (Sunderland Campus) or Coxhoe Athletic FC’s Beechfield Park (South Durham Campus).
- Students will train up to five days per week focusing on the FA 4 corner model of Long Term Player Development, with full-time UEFA A and UEFA B qualified coaches.
- Coaching programmes are designed to mirror the ethos and schedule of players attending professional academies.
- Players will be given individual learning opportunities as well as position specific training.
- Specialist goalkeeper training led by UEFA B licensed GK coaches.
- Through our unique partnership with Tyne Coast College (South Tyneside College and TyneMet College) we offer a main and secondary educational pathway.
- Our main academic programme allows students to develop the essential skills, knowledge and qualifications required to progress into a career in sport and leisure, either directly, or through higher education.
- Students will study a full-time Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity Development (equivalent to three A Levels) under the guidance of the Foundation of Light’s expert Education Officers.
- Classes are delivered over a period of two-years with a mixture of theory and practical sessions and assessed through external exams, observed practical assessments, written reports, presentations, discussions, case studies and workbooks.
- The secondary pathway allows students to study a range of A Levels. This route may limit access to football due to the academic timetable, but each student would have a bespoke experience dependent on their subjects.
- All students will be given the opportunity to gain an FA Level 1 in Football Coaching.
- Train at the Beacon of Light and Monkwearmouth Academy (Sunderland Campus) and Sunnydale Leisure Centre and Alan Armstrong Centre (South Durham Campus).
- The Education element of the programme will take place at the Stadium of Light (Sunderland Campus) and Foundations in Shildon (South Durham Campus).
- Additional training opportunities at official Sunderland AFC’s Academy of Light.
- Play in the Sunderland AFC official Adidas home and away strips.
- Train and learn in the official Sunderland AFC official adidas team wear.
- Individual and squad photo shoots at the Stadium of Light.
- Opportunities to impress in showcase game against local semi-professional clubs and EFL and Premier League Academy teams.
- Opportunities to showcase talent through access to NFYL and English Schools representative squads trials.
Strength & Conditioning
- Support through highly qualified and experienced staff. Students will be provided with bespoke individual training plans to help improve their physical development and manage injury prevention.
- Students will have access to high quality physiotherapy support for injury diagnosis and rehabilitation programmes.
- Students will have game improvement support through video analysis of games and training. This can be accessed individually and through team workshops.
- Students will take part in nutrition workshops, covering regular, training and performance phases.
- Students will have access to the Foundation of Lights wide range of programmes to help them focus on their career path, offering chances to be trained and gain experience in their chosen field whilst still studying on the course.
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity Development Level 3:
- At least five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English (Grade 4).
Level 2 is available for those who do not meet the requirements, subject to an interview.
I would recommend the course to any young aspiring footballer wanting to play professional as without it I would not have achieved what I have. The quality training and game time gave me the experience I needed to accomplish my goals and pursue my dream.
The Scholarship has helped me develop into a better player and the education side gives us opportunities to go to university or even set up our own business.
The Scholarship has helped me massively. From a year and a half ago I wasn’t the player I am now. The coaches do anything for you to make you a better footballer and constantly give you opportunities to get into clubs and achieve your dream.