The secret to your academy success

Posted by SCL Education Group on 03.12.15

Deadly Darts have the Bur-fect combination!

DARTFORD boss Tony Burman is a fully paid-up supporter of SCL and their ability to help Non-League clubs build academies.

And little wonder!

Currently three of Dartford's Academy players have progressed to the first team  midfielders Ronnie Vint, Ebou Adams and Kaka Dembele. All three have featured regularly in the Dartford side this season and Adams was named man of the match in last Saturday's game against Uxbridge.

Burman, first-team manager and Academy Director, says these players are shining examples of the success of the club's Academy scheme, which with SCL's help ensures that the young men learn academically while honing their football skills.

SCL is an innovative private education training provider that allows grassroots and professional football clubs to inspire youngsters in their communities into education and develop future first-team stars.

Over the past 15 years, SCL has teamed up with over 40 Non-League and professional clubs to create football academies for 16 to 18 year olds. Football training plays a key role at the Academies, but the main emphasis is on the players education.

Burman says: "At the introductory parents evening it is made clear that not everyone is going to be able to make it into the first team and that ultimately the most important thing is that the players gain their qualifications."


"We make sure that is the most important thing and that the main point of the Academy is education. For example, if a player is not up to date with their work, they will not be able to play in matches. If a player does keep up to date with their work, however, they can have the chance to play in matches in front of scouts and have a chance to progress into the first team here at Dartford."

Burman adds: "SCL has been very good and we have had a great working relationship since day one. The partnership is certainly progressing in a manner that makes us want to extend it and have recently resigned with SCL for a further three years."

In the ruthless industry of club football where players can be discarded at any time, SCL helps to ensure they have the vital academic qualifications to fall back on.

SCL's Partnership Director Co-founder Steve Franks told The NLP: "Our Academy programme uses the power of football as a tool to motivate and encourage young people to stay in education while keeping one eye on the dream of progressing through the ranks to the first team or for other opportunities in men's football. Tony Burman and the team at Dartford FC are a great example of how to run a first class Academy."

By making a partnership with SCL, clubs can create their own private academies where players can earn a BTEC Diploma in Sport as well as qualifications in Maths, English and sports coaching.

For clubs who have community schemes, players also undertake work experience and coach at schools or holiday camps.  SCL also offers the unique opportunity for football clubs to run the Academy programme from their own ground or facility with SCL managing and delivering the education programme and the club running the football programme. This approach is crucial as it helps to fully immerse the players into the club environment, while also making it easier for the club and SCL to create a bespoke timetable that encompasses both education and football training.

SCL has proved so popular with clubs that an FA affiliated league - The SCL Youth Development League  has been created, with 23 teams already signed up for the launch season. This is just one of a number of exciting developments for the market leader as the organisation continues to grow. Managing Director and Co-founder Lewis Field told The NLP that SCL is always looking for new opportunities.

He says: "Whether clubs have an existing Academy and are looking for an alternative education provider or want to set a programme up from scratch, SCL has the expertise, support structure and experience to make it happen."

SCL helps to link education, football and employment opportunities, allowing players to improve job prospects after their football careers have ended.

Burman is delighted with the effect that SCL has had on Dartford's Academy and says he would happily recommend their Academy scheme to other clubs. He said, "SCL is a name that is growing and it has helped us to enhance our profile with regards to offering a good educational course as well as good football training facilities and the opportunity to play the game at a high level."

This piece first appeared in The Non-League Paper on Sunday, October 4th.

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 More about Dartford FC Academy 

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