Clarke: “FCV Academy is the next best thing to professional academies”
FCV International Football Academy has three competitive teams currently playing across three divisions, with each one recording an undefeated start to the 2022/23 season.
The FCV Grace Dieu first team is at the top of the ECFA Premier League – the highest level of college football in the UK – after winning three of their first four games in 2022/23, including a 4-0 victory against last season’s champions TNS North Shropshire College.
The second team competes in the AOC Sport East Midlands Men’s Football Championship has started their season with a win, and FCV Grace Dieu U21 edged past yearly title favourites Loughborough University in the Midland Football League during their four-game undefeated streak.
“It’s been a really good start on the pitch so the lads are really happy,” said FCV Academy coach Shane Clarke.
“We didn’t expect to go unbeaten because we came bottom in the U21 league last season after a couple of teams dropped out. We’ve already got more points this year than we had last year, and it’s also our first year in the Premier League and we’re top.
“The confidence is glowing throughout FCV Academy and every time we get on the pitch we feel really positive.”
The impressive start to the season shows FCV Academy has continued raising its level on the field every year, meaning it’s an exciting time for aspiring footballers to sign up to courses.
“If you are serious about testing your abilities and being around a good footballing setup, then this is the place to be.
“If you want to test yourself and put your ability against good players that are not at professional clubs who could push on to achieve that dream, then this is the place you want to be looking at.
“You aren’t just going to learn from us coaches but the players as well, and you’ll learn about yourself in the process. We have some players who play for their respective countries internationally, so there’s some top players here who will have a strong chance at playing professionally.
“FCV Academy is the next best thing to professional academies.”
The challenge now from Clarke’s perspective is to maintain this high standard on the field throughout the rest of the season.
“Good players can play well every week and keep momentum.
“We’ve had a great start but nothing has been won yet, so we need to be there at the end of the season and show that we can play at this level for long periods of time.
“We as coaches are really chuffed with how things have gone and so are the boys – they deserve it.”