Fleetwood Town is today proud to announce the launch of its very own International Football Academy (FTIFA).
Based at the English Football League (EFL) club’s £10m Poolfoot Farm training base, the academy is open to aspiring players from around the world.
Through a series of structured four, 12 and 24-week residential courses, FTIFA provides players with an unrivalled platform to help realise their dreams of making it as a professional footballer.
Players not only receive expert UEFA-qualified coaching, bespoke training programmes – all tailored to their individual skills and development needs – but the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of scouts representing clubs in the UK and abroad.
The first players enrolled at FTIFA – who hail from as far afield as America, Africa, India and the Middle East – are already experiencing the full range of benefits this unique academy has to offer.
Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley said: “Football is a global game and we know there is a huge amount of untapped talent out there.
“Our sensational training facilities here at Poolfoot Farm are among the best in the UK and so we want to open our doors to aspiring players, wherever they live, and give them the opportunity to learn from our top coaches.
“They will not only get the chance to train alongside our pro players and experience Premier League-standard facilities, but they will be able to showcase their talents to not only us but clubs here in the UK and around the world.
“Fleetwood Town is perhaps most famous internationally as the place where Jamie Vardy cut his teeth before becoming the Premier League star he is today. Who knows where FTIFA will lead us, maybe we’ll discover the next Jamie Vardy!
“This is a very exciting development for Fleetwood Town and the Fylde coast – it’s a true global search for football talent and we cannot wait to see what we discover.”
FTIFA is now being marketed around the world and academy managers have just returned from a promotional trip to Europe where they have been in talks with clubs and agents.
Mick Horsfall, FTIFA head of operations, said: “What makes this academy unique, compared to others in the UK, is that it is based within a professional football club.
“Every player that comes here will be treated like a pro footballer and get a true pro football experience. They will train alongside our first team, development and academy squads and be coached and mentored by FTFC’s elite academy coaches.
“They all get access to our stunning state-of-the art facilities which include top class FIFA-grade training pitches, gym and physiotherapy suite, classrooms and they eat in the same restaurant as the first team.
“Individual development is key. Players will be constantly assessed and evaluated, and their progress will be discussed with them throughout. Through bespoke training programmes and in-depth analysis we can clearly track their development and improvement.
“The aim is to make them better players, and be better equipped to make it. Their time at the academy really could be the start of these players’ pro careers.”
Among the first to join FTIFA is 24-year-old Godswill Erbahor from Nigeria. He said: “It’s extraordinary here. The facilities are amazing, the pitches, the physios, the gym it has all been amazing.
“The coaches work with us individually to look at our specific traits, our weaknesses and strengths. They really care about us footballers. The football is high quality. To see the elite players train here every day inspires you to be like them. I can learn so much from them.”
Jaylan White, 22, from New York added: “Every day is a new experience and you are always learning. The coaches are always trying to better you as a player and that is what you need. This is one of the best facilities I’ve ever seen and I’m living my football dream here!”