GOSPORT Borough Football Club is training the next generation of coaches on two new courses run at its Privett Park ground.
There are currently 19 youngsters studying for a BTEC Level 3 in sport with more than 20 apprentices studying for an NVQ in activity leadership.
After a successful start in September, Tony Stares, head coach and former Fareham College lecturer, is looking for the next batch of BTEC Level 2 and 3 students.
He said: ‘We recently had an Ofsted inspection and we came out with a “good” as it said we were meeting individual and community needs.
‘The BTEC group does a couple of hours football in the morning then they do their study in the afternoon.’
But it isn’t all about kicking a ball in Privett Park or studying for units in the classroom.
When the apprentices reach a good enough level, the football fanatics are sent out into the community to coach other young people in Gosport.
Tony added: ‘They’re virtually training on the job.’
Jack Preece, 20, of Sedgeley Grove is on the apprenticeship scheme and formerly played for the under-15s and 16s team at Portsmouth Football Club.
He said: ‘It’s going very well, we’re learning different ways to coach.
‘We take the drills and teach the younger ones – sometimes they take it and we join in just to help them along their way.
‘All my life I’ve been doing football, it’s something I enjoy doing.’
Liam Doyle, 18, from Gosport, is studying the BTEC and said he prefers it to college life.
He said: ‘The environment is one of the best things here.
‘It’s fun, it’s easy to get on with work – it’s more personal.
‘At college they say “do this in this amount of time”, here they let you work on your own time but make sure you’ve got it done.’
For more information call (023) 9217 7715.