Friday 22 March 2024

Coach Cole Skuse: Inspiring Success at St Joseph’s College

Personal Ambition and Football Career Success

My footballing journey started at a very young age and, whilst I was having an enormous amount of fun, I very quickly realised that huge amounts of sacrifice and dedication were required from me and from my family if I was to become the professional footballer I knew I wanted to be. It was a dream that my friends and I would talk about on the school playground. As my footballing journey quickly progressed I knew that it was a dream that I could actually fulfil if I applied myself in the best possible manner and utilised the skills and talent I had along with the professional coaching and support that was offered to me.

As I progressed through the Bristol City Academy and grew as a player, the desire to play professionally and my ambition to succeed when I did, intensified.  I listened, observed and took in every possible experience offered to me during my academy training and as my knowledge grew of what was required to make it as a professional footballer so did my confidence. The more I learnt, the more I applied it to every aspect of my game and as my stature grew within the academy so did my ambition. I knew that I could do it and was willing to give everything to achieve the success I desired, not only for me but for my family.

I had a professional career that spanned over 20 years and I amassed 700 professional games, playing for Bristol City, Ipswich Town and Colchester United. The dedication, sacrifice, hard work and ambition needed for success never diminished during my career; I worked tirelessly to ensure the momentum never flagged.

Football Provision at St Joseph’s College

St Joseph’s College prides itself on nurturing students’ sporting ambitions through a comprehensive football provision programme. Unlike many of its local competitors, St Joseph’s College offers a holistic approach to football development, combining experienced and knowledgeable coaches with a supportive environment that encourages growth in the person as much as in the player.

We seek to create a progressive learning environment where pupils have an enjoyable and competitive training model throughout the year. Our students in the football programme will have player ownership to express themselves, drive standards and love what they do. We want them to feel challenged and to fully embrace this, to accept that they won’t always have immediate success and be prepared to learn from this. Each individual is supported holistically with on and off pitch support through Technical/Tactical, Physical, Psychological & Social exposure. We want all players to be respectful and work hard for one another, celebrating each other’s successes and supporting their team when successes are not instant. Furthermore, St Jo’s fosters teamwork and a great work ethic. In this culture, every student-athlete is valued and supported regardless of their skill level or background. This sense of camaraderie creates a positive and uplifting atmosphere that inspires students to push themselves to new heights and achieve their full potential.

ITFC Partnership

The partnership between St Joseph’s College and Ipswich Town Football Club (ITFC) is a testament to the College’s commitment to providing students with unparalleled opportunities for football development in both club and educational environments. Through this partnership, students have access to professional coaching, mentorship and exposure to the inner workings of a professional football club. Our vision is to develop these partnership relations for years to come, to support future players of the game – both male and female – in their dual career aspirations. This includes expanding opportunities for talent identification, facilitating pathways to professional football, and fostering a deeper integration between the College and ITFC.

Ambition for Football at St Joseph’s College

My ambition for football at St Joseph’s College is to create a programme that is recognised nationally for its excellence in player development, academic achievement and character building. I envision a future where St Joseph’s College produces not only top-tier footballers, but also well-rounded individuals who embody the values of integrity, discipline and teamwork.

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