A FOOTBALL tournament helped launch an academy that hopes to raise the standard of the beautiful game in South Kirkby.
Adam Redfern, manager of SESKU Academy, and his football coach colleague Graeme Nevison, have joined forces with a vision to offer a place for youngsters to progress their skills.
A tournament took place on Tuesday at Burntwood Community Centre, South Kirkby, to inspire the community to get behind their project.
Mr Redfern, 35, said: “We want to raise the standard of football and our area has long lived in the shadows of other towns and their football facilities, so why shouldn’t we have something on par with those.”
The academy will be based in South Kirkby.
Mr Nevison, 21, has been working with SESKU Academy for the past month with his football team, South Kirkby Knights Under 9s, who train and play on the Burntwood Community Centre field.
He has just completed a sports coaching degree at Leeds Metropolitan University and has lots of ideas and plans for the academy.
He said: “It’s an exciting time and there is so much we can do to improve football in the area. We are aiming to look at the physical as well as the mental side of the game, such as dealing with pressure, which can help off the pitch too.”
Tournaments will be held several times a year to give the youngsters of the academy something to aim towards.
Mr Redfern said: “With the Olympics coming up it gave us the encouragement to go ahead and get this thing together. It will be fantastic for the football lovers of the area as well as getting other people into the sport.”
The academy will offer technical sessions indoors to learn about tactics, as well as ball skills, to all children in the area. There is also the hope of creating coaching for parent who are wanting to be part of local teams.
They will apply for funding from various organisations to fund other coaches with different specialism. There are even plans to bring in top coaches from clubs such as Sheffield Wednesday.
The academy is hoped to be up and running by October.