College and football club partner to create BA degree in football studies

The City of Liverpool College has partnered with Marine Football Club to create a new BA degree in Football Studies.

It will provide real opportunities for aspiring footballers to progress in the industry while gaining a top-class education.

Based in Crosby, the Northern Premier League club is best known for forging the careers of a number of the region’s best loved professionals, including Liverpool FC’s Jason McAteer, as well as having the longest serving manager in post-war English football, Roly Howard, who managed almost 2,000 games at the club.

As part of the course, Marine – which suffered relegation for the first time in its history last season – will create an Under 23s team which will play in both the competitive West Cheshire League and the university league set-up.

Students will have the opportunity to train regularly and play competitive football supported by a UEFA-qualified coach, while also studying for a degree with the college.

The course is the first of its kind in the Liverpool City Region and will provide a rounded footballing education, covering topics such as performance analysis, sport psychology, coaching, physiotherapy, nutrition and club management, all of which will be studied in a professional environment.

The course will combine theoretical study with practical sessions, also providing the opportunity for the team to train and play at the Marine Travel Arena, home of Marine FC.

Not only focused on players, the course will also provide opportunities for learners to specialise in non-playing areas which Marine chief executive, James Leary, has identified as talent gaps in the industry, such as physiotherapy and sports nutrition.

To launch the new course, The City of Liverpool College and Marine FC are hosting a trial event at Liverpool’s Jeffrey Humble sports ground on Thursday, June 6, from 7pm, where they will be inviting anyone who is interested in finding out more to come along, regardless of ability.

James Leary said: “This course is ideal for anybody looking for a long term part-time or full-time career within the football industry.

“It can be incredibly difficult for young people to get their chance in the football industry, which can often be a saturated market.

“It can also be challenging for players who have been released from Premier or Football League clubs to find their way back into the industry.

“We identified an opportunity to provide these aspiring footballers with a real pathway into the industry as well as those who are looking for a second chance, whether as a player or as part of the non-playing staff, to gain real experience in a professional setting whilst studying for a degree.

“We know that The City of Liverpool College is the perfect partner to make this a reality and look forward to seeing the incredible opportunities that we can provide for our city region’s young people.”

Elaine Bowker, principal of The City of Liverpool College, said: “We’re passionate about providing our learners with the skills they need to succeed in the world of work and, as shown with our E-Sports course launched last year, we aren’t afraid to create entirely new programmes and qualifications to fill the skills gap and provide these opportunities which are otherwise incredibly hard to come by.

“We know that not everything can be learnt in the classroom, which is why partnering with a club like Marine FC is incredibly important to ensure that our students are provided with the real-world, practical experience which will help drive their careers forward.”