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Former student makes football debut

Congratulations to Dale Connor, a former Football Development Centre (FDC) student who made his first team debut recently for Oldham Athletic FC against Blackpool FC.

Dale was part of North East Colleges League and Cup double winner’s squad in the 2009-10 season. His studies at the College helped him go on to secure a scholarship with the professional club  back in 2010.

Dale played 70 minutes of his first game, keeping a clean sheet against the likes of Kevin Phillips for Blackpool.

John Rushworth, Head of Headways Sixth Form at the College’s Bede campus, said: “We wish Dale all the best for Oldham’s 2011-12 campaign and will keep an eye on his developments. Dale joined the Football Development Centre at the college in September 2009 and combined his A level studies with the expert coaching and sport science support we provide to all our players.  His hard work and dedication to both his studies and his football earned him trials at Liverpool, Fulham and Oldham as well as representing the England Colleges national side”

The FDC development is a unique partnership arrangement involving Sunderland AFC and Sunderland RCA FC.  Fully UEFA qualified coaches and ex-professionals work with the students to help them to achieve their college qualifications as well as developing their skills on the field.

From September 2012, the College will offer a dedicated women’s Football Development Centre facility. Any interested footballers who are going in to their final year of the school this September are encouraged to get it touch to find out more.

John added: “Our Football Development Centre aims to offer young people in the North East elite football training alongside a high quality education to give them the best possible start.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer a new FDC for the many talented female players in the North East and would urge anyone who’s interested to get in touch.”

Prospective students for both the men’s and women’s Football Development Centre’s should contact City of Sunderland College admissions on 0191 511 6260.

Successful applicants will benefit from 6-9 hours of professional coaching per week (including use of the Academy of Light), individual player assessment and sport science support plus the opportunity to represent the college in the British Colleges League.

Students will also have the chance to undertake nationally recognised coaching and refereeing qualifications.

Applicants must be between 16-19 yrs of age and meet one of the following criteria:

*           have had professional club involvement

*           have made national, county or district representation

*           have attended a centre of excellence or

*           have good footballing references from your school

To find out more about the FDC call Michele Di Mascio on 0191 511 6305.



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