One of Huddersfield Town’s educational partners is broadening its connection to the sport with the launch of a new international football academy.
The Terriers’ Academy began working closely with Rishworth School ahead of the 2020/21 campaign, when 10 of the club’s first-year scholars moved into the school’s boarding facilities, to support their development off the field.
The school, located around 10 miles from the John Smith’s Stadium, will offer boys and girls aged 13 to 16 the opportunity to experience a truly unique programme that combines high-quality education and professional football coaching with the formation of the Rishworth International Football Academy (RIFA).
Delivered in partnership with the Street Work Soccer Academy, RIFA pairs the school’s 300 years of heritage in education with elite football coaching and world-class facilities, starting September 2022.
RIFA will develop young people’s sporting skills while offering a potential pathway for Huddersfield-based youngsters into the professional football arena, thanks to its strong partnerships with professional football clubs based globally.
Rishworth School already boasts an enviable reputation in sporting excellence, having produced professional stars across sports including rugby, cricket, badminton and football, while 40 current pupils represent club level, regional and national teams in sports including hockey, netball, dressage, athletics, swimming and tennis.
The RIFA programme will be delivered to students by UEFA-licensed coaches who have served in senior coaching positions at elite clubs in England and around the world. This includes head of football development, Lee Lockley, who has worked as a coach for Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City.
The Academy’s director of football, Paz Shan, brings more than 30 years of experience as a player and football coach, most recently working in player recruitment at Manchester City.
Young players aged 13 to 16 from Huddersfield – and around the world – will be eligible to apply to join the Academy, which will also see students receive a world-class education at Rishworth School.
The RIFA site at Rishworth School will include a full-size 11-a-side grass pitch, indoor sports hall, weights room, cardio gym and swimming pool.
Director of Football Paz Shan said: “Football is so important to many young people, and this aspect is never lost, but RIFA will maintain a philosophy that supports the student’s wider development needs.
“At RIFA, we prioritise the importance of all our students having an appropriate balance of education, football and cultural experiences, while our ‘total football’ philosophy enables us to produce more skilful and ball-comfortable players, who are equipped both physically and mentally to play the game at the optimum level.
“Our dedicated staff will support them in gaining confidence and self-belief to give their maximum effort in achieving their dreams and aspirations whilst here in the UK.”
To find out more about the Rishworth International Football Academy, please visit https://www.rishworth-school.co.uk. Email email@example.com or call (+44) (0) 1422 822 217.