Footballers offered the chance to show their skills at Chelsea’s training ground

The Thomas Bennett Community College academy.
The Thomas Bennett Community College academy.

The Thomas Bennett Community College Football Academy are offering the chance for perspective players in Year 11 the chance to trial for the school’s Academy September intake at Chelsea FC’s Cobham training ground on Saturday February 11 at 1pm.

Players looking to apply must register at using the code: TBCC-AT-SPR17 prior to the day.

The Academy programme based in Crawley is a full-time course for sixth form students incorporating both full-time football training with post-16 studies within a school environment. Working in association with Chelsea FC Foundation, students have the best of both worlds by having professional standard football provision and facilities, whilst still being able to continue their education.

A recent OFSTED inspection of Thomas Bennett Community College commented “The Football Academy is a marked strength of the sixth form, attracting learners from other schools. Challenging activities are set to which learners respond well and make good progress.”

“Our programme has been designed to fulfil student’s potential in both their football and studies” said Academy Director, Chris Jones. “Our genuine strengths are having staff who are both UEFA qualified coaches as well as teachers. This allows us to create an environment where all players can develop on and off the pitch with consistent support from myself and our staff.”

“Our education programmes stretch those more academic students and support those who prefer who have a preference to ‘hands on’ education.” Chris went on to explain. “Students can to study up to 3 A’ levels or work on our Vocational and Coach Education programme with GCSE resits if required”

On the pitch students will take part in a full time training programme which will cover technical, tactical and physical elements of football to an elite level, helping players to develop both their ability and understanding of the game. Teams will compete in U19’s leagues across 3 squads to ensure all players have a full opportunity to play on a regular basis.

Nick Brown, Chelsea FC Foundation’s Development Officer for Sussex and Kent, added “Our development programme has been operating in Crawley for ten years so we are delighted to be working with Thomas Bennett Community College on this Academy. It will help to further develop football in the Crawley area. UEFA qualified coaches will work with students to manage the squad members in training sessions and in a competitive league fixtures. We have a marked record of recruiting both full time and part time staff from Academy graduates so we’re looking forward to seeing the new crop of players at the club’s training ground.”

All students will be encouraged to continue with their football outside of college and will have the option to utilise the school’s links with clubs in Sussex and Surrey to gain greater experience at U21 and adult levels.

The future of students is a priority for Academy staff. “It’s incredibly important to us that students start to plan their exit routes for once they have graduated from the Academy” added Chris Jones. “We ran our annual futures fair in September and it was really great to see how the current 2nd year students started their journeys. The event focused the boys and now we already have students with offers for university, contracts to coach in America and some with firm job offers for when they complete their courses.”

“Applications for the trial have already come in and we must stress that all players must register on the website before they come or they will be unable to trial. Being able to use the club’s facilities is incredible opportunity for the players and us to see them so I would encourage any player in year 11 who is interested to register and come along.”

The trial will run from 1pm to 4pm at Chelsea FC’s Cobham training ground. To apply register at using the code: TBCC-AT-SPR17. Please note only registered players will be entitled to trial.

For more information about the course and to download an application form please visit the school web site: or email: