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Club News

Thurstable Boys' Success

16 May 2013

Academy players gain early scholarship offers.

Despite only being in its second season, the Academy football programme run by Colchester United at Thurstable School in Tiptree for the club’s elite footballers has begun to bear fruit, with three of the players being offered early scholarship offers.
There are 17 boys currently on the football programme, which combines a full education programme with two daily training sessions.

Of these boys, Tariq Issa, Louis Dunne and Joshua Moore have been rewarded with offers of registration, tying them to the football club until the end of their U18s seasons.
Tariq, who travels to Tiptree from Southend each day is an U15s attacker, but has featured throughout the season within the U16s squad and made his U18s debut at Bristol City in the final game of the season, scoring the opening goal in a 3-2 victory.

Louis is the son of U’s first team manager, Joe, but is creating his own identity as a talented U14s midfielder, having spent most of the season playing with the U15s and on occasions the U16s, where his performances have resulted in a Republic of Ireland debut in April.

Josh is an Ipswich boy, who joined the club as an 11-year-old from Woodbridge Town and his midfield performances have been good enough to warrant him playing in older squads, already represented the U16s.
Head of Coaching, Sean Thacker has been delighted with the progress of the boys, saying: "Tariq, Louis and Josh being offered early scholarships is testament to the school programme, but also to the players.

"They have all moved schools and settled into the routine of football on a daily basis, while balancing the importance of staying on top of their studies.

"The scholarship offers ensure that the boys are with Colchester United for the foreseeable future and takes the pressure off them to an extent.

"They will still obviously be challenged to keep on being successful, but they can concentrate on their school grades without worrying about whether a scholarship offer will be made or not." 

"However, any fall in education or behaviour can result in players losing some of that contact time."

"They have access to around 700 minutes each week, which is roughly double the time that players not at Thurstable get, and this allows them to work not only on technical and tactical work, but allows them to develop physically, mentally and socially, hopefully allowing them to develop into all-round players.

Former U’s midfielder Steve Ball is now coaching the players at Thurstable School and highlighted the importance of the boys' behaviour alongside their football abilities, adding: "They understand the importance of their education and their behaviour and that it could affect their football.
"Thanks to the their dedication and  the partnership between the Club, the school and their parents, these young men have a great future ahead of them, whether it's in professional football or not."

Miles Bacon, Head Teacher of the Tiptree school, has been delighted to see the boys progress. He said: "It's great to see our Academy students developing so well as footballers, but just as importantly they are thriving in their school work as well.

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