UWE squad team up with Almondsbury Football Club

Issue date: 15 July 2009

A football pitch The University of the West of England Football Club and Almondsbury Football Club are joining forces to become Almondsbury UWE FC. The new partnership will enhance competitive opportunities for both teams and improve access to coaching opportunities for UWE students who are keen to progress in this area.

Alex Isaac, Acting Head of Sport at UWE, is very excited at the potential benefits that the new partnership will bring, he said, “Joining forces with Almondsbury FC will increase the sporting profile of football at UWE and presents our students with additional opportunities to play outside the University competitive framework through regional non-leagues.

“As a University we recognise that in order to progress we need to offer more opportunities for our boys to play football at a higher standard and by linking with a local club we can achieve this. On Saturdays there will continue to be Almondsbury players with some UWE players added to the mix, hopefully their quality combined with the support of UWE's Strength and Conditioning and coaching team will translate to performances on the pitch.

“Our intention is for the University and the club to work on the longer term relationship and the broader sports development aspects such as talent identification and player and coach development. UWE students already have the chance to work towards coaching qualifications and mentored by former Cardiff City FC Academy Coach Mel Davies, students and Almondsbury coaches will have the chance to hone their coaching skills by volunteering with Almondsbury's junior teams.

“We have linked up with the UWE Community Volunteer Unit to develop training and deployment pathways for UWE student coaches that will have a knock-on impact of increasing the number and quality of student volunteers.”

Mike Blessing, Chairman of Almondsbury UWE FC, said, “Season 2009/2010 promises to be a very exciting time for us. The partnership with UWE will add strength and depth to existing senior sides, raise the level of coaching expertise in the club and open up opportunities to access high standard of training facilities and sports science support services. The partnership will move the club closer to our objectives of providing an excellent development programme through youth to senior football and ultimately achieving FA Community Charter Standard.

“We believe the partnership, together with our recent ground refurbishment at Almondsbury Sports and Social Centre, will promote our ethos of stability, desire and ultimately success.”

Danny Phillips, Head Football Joint Coach for UWE and Almondsbury UWE FC said, “This partnership is something we have all been working towards for a number of years. The UWE team has some strong players, and has played in several Western League friendlies, winning them all so far. This new development is very exciting for both entities – we look forward to complementing each other in terms of playing and structure.”

For more information about sport at UWE, see the Centre for Sport website

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