Needham Market FC Academy


A 2-year, full-time education and football development programme for 16-18 year olds. 

Year 1 - BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Sport
Year 2 - BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport

Thurlow Nunn Division 1, Thurlow Nunn U18, Eastern Junior Alliance U18 and Ryman Premier League

FREE for 16-18 year olds - There will be a subsidised cost for purchasing training kit

4-5 GCSE's Level 9-4 including English or Maths, or both.
You will need to be 16 years old by 31st August, ready to start the programme in early September.

Needham Market FC

SCL Education Group

September 2019
For 2019 course information, please request a prospectus below.

Needham Market Football Club, Bloomfields, Quinton Rd, Needham Market, Ipswich IP6 8DA

Access to University, Apprenticeships, play professional and semi-professional football,  Football coaching, Sport, Leisure and Fitness jobs.


View Trial Dates



    • Select your chosen Academy and Book trial
    • Provide the information requested

    • Demonstrate your skills
    • Successful players will be offered an interview

    • One hour Education interview
    • Your chance to ask any questions about the education programme and show your passion for sport

    • For you and your parents
    • Hear about the Education and Football programme
    • Meet the SCL teachers and Academy coaches
    • Understand your exit routes when you graduate from the academy
    • Ask any questions

If successful you will be given a conditional offer and then accepted depending on your results in August.


Players will study a variety of nationally-recognised qualifications within sport, coaching and fitness managed by SCL. 

  • Year 1 - BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Sport
  • Year 2 - BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport

Where required students will study Maths and English GCSE or Functional Skills.

SCL Education Group is one of the UK’s leading independent providers of education through sport

  • Government approved post-16 private education provider
  • Experts in the field of sport and education delivery with over 15 years' experience
  • Nationally recognised for high quality advice and guidance 
  • Programmes delivered in real sports environments 
  • Proven Progression routes


In addition to classroom based learning delivered by our outstanding teachers and training by highly qualified coaches, students will have access Pro-VLE, our Digital Learning Environment. Pro-VLE has been specifically designed to create a personalised, first class, digital learning experience for our students and has been tailored to support their education and development.

  • Access study resources any place and at any time
  • Simple submission of assignments online
  • Students can interact with their class, teachers and coaches using Yammer
  • Direct access to timetables, learner plans and emails 
  • Immediate access to tutor support
  • Coaches will share Football performance and grades directly with students online
  • A section of the Pro-VLE solely dedicated to information, advice and guidance on Career Progression
  • Policies, Procedures, bursary forms and safeguarding information available at the click of a button
  • FREE Microsoft Office 365


  • Play in the Football in the Thurlow Nunn Division 1, Thurlow Nunn U18 Eastern Junior Alliance U18 and Ryman Premier League
  • Daily training from highly qualified FA coaches
  • Guidance on individual football fitness
  • Nutritional advice
  • Regular appraisal to monitor development both on and off the pitch

There will be a subsidised cost for purchasing training kit at the start of the season. Further details about this will be provided upon the player’s acceptance into The Football Academy.

Needham Market Football Club operates an elite football development programme which offers ambitious and talented footballers the opportunity to complete a programme of study, alongside a programme of coaching and match participation. 

The programme is aimed at players aged 16-18 years who wish to continue their football development in pursuit of a full or part-time career in the game, whilst undertaking a programme of study aligned to secure future employment in the sport’s industry or a route into graduate education.

The Academy provides them with the best opportunity and environment to enhance their academic and football development. The Academy combines practical playing with academic achievement and life skills, providing all its student athletes with an excellent stepping stone to combine progression in football, sports coaching, physical education and sports development.

A specialist agreement has been signed between the University of Suffolk and Needham Market FC Academy. Needham Market has signed a Progression Agreement for all six sport science and coaching degrees. This is the first of its kind with a football academy where the agreement means students who achieve a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport at Needham Market FC Academy will be able to benefit from a number of guaranteed Higher Education places at the University of Suffolk if entry requirements are met.

View Trial Dates


Academy Head Coach - Steve Foley

As Head Coach of Needham Market FC Academy, Steve Foley brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role. Steve is one of the biggest and well-known names in coaching and spent all of his career within the professional game. Steve made nearly 300 appearances in the Football League playing as a midfielder for Colchester United. After his playing career, Steve stepped into coaching, firstly coaching at Colchester, working with the young players, and spent several spells as caretaker manager.

Steve joined Norwich City in 1996 and spent ten years with the club in various roles. Steve then ventured into a new challenge working with Ipswich Town in various roles including Head Coach and is where he continues to work part time working with all youth teams with the Academy. Steve has taken the role of Head Coach at Needham Market FC Academy to work with younger talented players within the county and maximise their potential and help open doors to reach the highest level of football available. Steve managers the Reserve team but oversees the running of all the teams associated with the Academy.

View Trial Dates


Both the elite football excellence & education programme are delivered at the clubs excellent facilities at Needham Market Football Club, Bloomfields, Quinton Road, Needham Market, Suffolk, IP6 8DA.


  • Hot nutritious meals available at lunch times
  • Two purpose built internal classrooms
  • Easy access off the A14 and Train Station less than a 10 minute walk away
  • Transport links from Manningtree Station and Ravenswood Estate (Ipswich)

View Trial Dates

Sports Education Prospectus

Kick off your career in sport
Request a copy of our Sports Education Prospectus to find out more about our programmes and how you can kick off your career in sport.
  • Needham Market FC started The Academy in 2011 and since then it has surpassed expectations. Dr Keith Nunn - Chairman - Needham Market FC

  • At Needham Market FC our Academy is a key part of the forward planning for the success of the football club as a whole. Mark Morsley - First Team Manager

  • As First Team manager developing and involving scholars is part of the blueprint I am using to take the club forward. Mark Morsley - First Team Manager

  • The Academy provides excellent opportunities for 16-18 year olds to develop their footballing skills and experience. Dr Keith Nunn - Chairman - Needham Market FC

  • The future of the club is very much based upon the success of The Academy. We look forward to seeing more and more academy scholars progress through the football pyramid into Needham Market FC or higher league clubs. Dr Keith Nunn - Chairman - Needham Market FC

  • Educational and personnel development is something that is key, this will be monitored by me during their involvement in the senior football team. Mark Morsley - First Team Manager

  • SCL are pleased to announce that they are Finalists for the Apprenticeship Provider of the Year!

  • SCL are an Ofsted registered Childcare provider.

  • SCL have partnered with De Montfort University to launch a Sports Coaching Degree programme,

  • The Flame Awards are the largest celebration of innovation and excellence from across the sector.

  • SCL are strategic partners with UKactive.

  • EU EFS

  • Matrix

  • Traineeships are a stepping stone to future success for young people, businesses and the wider economy.

  • Our Saturday Soccer Coaches are FA qualified, Level 2 and above

  • SCL's School Sport Apprenticeship programme has been designed specifically to give those wanting a career in coaching and physical education the skills, knowledge and qualifications to help make it happen.

  • SCL is an employer partner of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.

  • SCL were awarded an Ofsted outstanding in 2015 for their Holiday Activities.

  • HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme.