A year of significant development for students on and off the pitch

Jordan Piper, Velocity Football Lead Coach, reflects on an outstanding 12 months of achievements for Velocity students

In many ways, the past 12 months has been a breakthrough period for Velocity Football.

A record number of female students enrolled, players with outstanding potential developed via our proven player pathway and we enhanced our alternative provision to make sport accessible to everyone.

Ultimately, we want Velocity Football to deliver the best learning experiences possible to students aged 16-23 with ambitions to fulfil careers in sport both on and off the pitch.

That requires our team to deliver a well-rounded programme of activity to all students in the classroom, in training and off-site via competitive matches and competitions.

Last year started with two fantastic on-field developments as second-year student Ewan Clark made his National League South debut with Oxford City FC against Slough Town. Ewan is a shining example of what can be achieved when students strive to reach their true potential in training and academically.

Ewan has since signed his first professional contract with Bristol City and is now on loan with National League club Yeovil Town. We wish Ewan every success going forwards.  

Ewan’s former classmates Gerald Muchechetere and Jaydon Carbon are now following in his footsteps having both made their Hoops debuts, while several students continue to train twice weekly under Ross Jenkins.  

Also starring on the pitch was Niko Nemonen-Millar. Niko donned the Three Lions jersey as part of England’s Centenary Shield campaign and played in all four fixtures against Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

We witnessed excellent progression from our female programme too with Billie French representing Oxford United and over half of students now involved in Oxford City FC’s first team.

All the above is possible thanks to our fully established and proven player pathways. By linking our Velocity squads to the U23s and U23s to Oxford City’s first teams, students have every opportunity to aspire to bright playing careers.

A key part of our vision in partnership with sister company Ignite Sport is to make playing opportunities and sport generally accessible to everyone.

Our Alternative Provision programme aims to do just that by working with students who cannot go to a mainstream school. Blending tailored education with training really helps students thrive in a safe and secure space where they can make new connections, build confidence and develop skills which can be applied in later life.

Like ourselves, our SEND Coordinator Ryan Hairsine is particularly proud of the progress our AP programme has made this year and we look forward to engaging with students again through 2023.

We must also thank those who graduated from Velocity Football in July last year – many of whom were the first to sign-up to the programme when we went through a full rebrand in summer 2020.

Some have enrolled onto new courses or taken their knowledge to university while others decided to study an apprenticeship or start full-time employment. Looking ahead, the following 12 months can be equally successful.

And we’ll deliver a Velocity Football first when 60 students travel to Marbella in July for our inaugural summer football tour.

We’ve organised to play three teams and will deliver daily training sessions with fun extra-curricular activities including stadium tours and a trip to a local water park. It’s important students work hard during their time at Velocity, but just as key they have fun along the way and learn with a smile on their face.

Jordan Piper, Velocity Football coach and Head of Youth at Oxford City FC.

Related Posts: