Sixty-five Hartpury students that were involved in four top level FA coaching assessments at the college were rewarded with a trip to see England play at Wembley.
The BTEC Level 3 Football programme students made the trip to the capital on Wednesday night to see England defeat Denmark 1-0 in their last home friendly before the World Cup.
Having helped two of Hartpury’s staff members work towards their UEFA A license in sessions held at the college, the students were given the tickets as a thank you.
Former Aston Villa captain and European Cup winner Dennis Mortimer was the national coach leading the course and chose Hartpury as the base as an ideal learning environment for the top international coaching award.
“It was a really good experience; it’s the first time I’ve been to Wembley,” said Hartpury student Jack Dancey, 17.
“We helped Tom Radcliffe (Hartpury deputy director of elite sport) and Marc Richards (senior football manager) during their coaching assessments so they were able to demonstrate themes like possession, development and pressing.
“It was raining heavily but it was a good experience and as a thank you for our help, we were given tickets to go to see England play Denmark.”
The trip was a great opportunity for many of the students - all aiming to play football or coach at the highest level - the chance to see top-level international football.
Jack added: “It was a great experience to see the standard of football. I was specifically
looking at the centre backs, being one myself, and it was great to watch what players at that level do and what I can learn from them.
“Being part of the UEFA licence sessions gave me a real insight into how much detail and thought goes into top level coaching as well. It was interesting to see how fine the details are – so if a player was too far to his left or right, then that could be the difference between scoring and not scoring.
“I think the experience is definitely going to help me, especially as I have my coaching assessment soon.
“Studying at Hartpury has been amazing for me, as I would love to be a professional footballer and being here gives me the chance; but it also gives me the opportunity to work towards being a coach with experiences like these. I really don’t think it’s something I could get anywhere else.”
Tom Radcliffe, Hartpury’s Deputy Director of Elite Sport, who was working towards his UEFA A with the help of the students, said: “The staff who run the extended diploma football programme [Shaun Gluyas, Mike Tambling, Mike Symons and Joel Parker] do an outstanding job of giving young footballers an academic understanding of the game and open their eyes to the different routes that are available to people looking to make it in the industry.
“To be able to reward their students with something like this is excellent for them and a great thank you for the hard work that they put in on a day to day basis.”