The International Football Academy runs as a fully integrated programme for boys and girls within an educational pathway and is led by the College’s Head of Football, Darren Eadie, former Norwich City and Leicester City midfielder once described as potentially the best left-winger in the country when he was selected for Glenn Hoddle’s full England squad.
Student athletes have access to 14 hours of training/playing per week, including Sports Scholarship support in terms of match analysis, Strength and Conditioning, one-to-one mentoring analytics via our GPS PlayerTek vest units, specialised, bespoke, small group coaching, and fixtures. A programme second to none in the UK outside the professional club environment.
The Academy accepts students from Year 7 to Sixth Form entry. Players compete in the Independent Schools Football Association National Cups, England Schools’ Football Association National Cups and Suffolk County Schools’ Cup competitions where appropriate. Our footballers also benefit from a programme of friendly fixtures and grass roots club football.
The Academy caters for student athletes of varying levels of ability whilst focusing on talent identification and development.
Mr Eadie and his team of former Premier League players and UEFA licenced professional academy coaches offer a professional programme to make the players the very best footballers they can be whilst receiving a first class education.
He said, ‘They have the opportunity to progress into the professional game pathway if deemed good enough through my numerous contacts from the top of the Premier League to non-league and everything in between. Also, recommendations to county and national representative squads. My team has already seen regular schoolchildren progress into county level select teams, national level select teams and professional football club academies, following development in our top class environment, which we are hugely proud of. I am determined to make St Joseph’s College the best provider in the country outside of professional football.’
St Joseph’s College also collaborates with Ipswich Town FC to educate the club’s U18 Academy Scholars. The young Blues attend the school on day release, receiving a tailored Sixth Form educational programme through their scholarship at the club.
Director of Sport, Mr O’Riordan, said the presence of the Football Academy and of the Ipswich Town players raised ambition across the school community and underscored the College’s commitment to four Performance Sports – Rugby, Football, Netball and Cricket.