West Bromwich Albion TAF Elite Programme

Foundation and Sandwell College offer 'second chance' to young footballers

AN exclusive partnership between West Bromwich Albion Football Club, The Albion Foundation and Sandwell College has launched to offer aspiring football players a second chance to make a career in the sport by offering an Elite Football and Education Programme. 

The West Bromwich Albion TAF (The Albion Foundation) Elite Programme is a brand new project that offers talented footballers who haven’t been offered a professional Academy scholarship another opportunity to try and make a career in the game. 

Training sessions and match days will be held at the West Bromwich Albion Academy Ground, and the team will compete in the National Football Youth League (U19), against other clubs such as Sunderland, Liverpool, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Birmingham City. 

A maximum of 22 places have been made available for this highly selective elite football and education programme. The pre-season football training will begin in July 2017 with the education aspect starting in September 2017. 

The players will have a similar training programme as the West Bromwich Albion Under 18s Academy squad. The players in this Elite Football and Education squad will be given opportunities to play against the Albion Academy. Those showing the most dedication and potential will be given a chance to train with the Albion Under 18s Academy to impress Jamie Smith (WBA Under 18s Manager) and Mark Harrison (WBA Academy Manager).

The academic element of the programme will be delivered by Sandwell College lecturers at The Hawthorns. Players will study to achieve a BTEC Level 3 in Sport.

The BTEC Level 3 in Sport allows the young footballers to learn about different sporting industries and life skills needed beyond college. The qualification allows players who are not offered a full-time football contract to progress onto university in the UK or a scholarship in America.

All players will be given an opportunity to gain The FA coaching qualifications during the two years on the course. The players who show a keen interest in coaching will be given the experience of coaching for The Albion Foundation as a volunteer.

Entry requirements for the programme include achieving a minimum 4 GCSEs at grade A-C or equivalent, although lower entry qualifications may be accepted and further study embedded into the programme in some instances. Aside from these entry requirements, you will also need to pass the assessment from one of the practical trials to be selected for the programme.

To secure your place at the trials, please click here. If you do not register in advance, you may not be granted your place at the trials. Please note, due to league rules, you must be 18 or under (but no younger than 16) on 31 August 2017 to apply.