A professional footballer turned teacher will merge his two professions for the first time after accepting a role at Velocity Football, Oxford City FC’s full-time educational academy.
Eddie Odhiambo made over 381 professional appearances during his 17-year playing career where he represented clubs including Southampton, Oxford United and Newport County.
Following retirement, Eddie worked as Head of Year at St Birinus School in Didcot, was Oxford United Academy’s Head of Player Care and dipped his toe into management with Southern League side North Leigh.
The 38-year-old will now combine all skills required in his previous roles by becoming Velocity’s new Head of Football where he will lead the programme’s on-field operation.
“Blending football delivery with player development and education fits right into the areas my career has taken me outside the professional game,” said Eddie. “Velocity Football has an outstanding reputation nationally and to be part of the team is an exciting opportunity.
“I’ve found helping young people to develop those key skills which are applicable in everyday life to be really rewarding.
“It was evident after meeting Justin (Merritt, Director of Velocity Football) we share the same values in creating well-rounded individuals who can thrive and achieve in the real world once their education ends.
“This feels like a full circle move for me having gone from the playing field to the classroom and now combining the two. I’m excited for the challenges ahead and meeting our new intake of students this week.”
Revamped in 2020, Velocity Football works with male and female players aged 16-23 with ambitions to fulfil a career in sport by delivering BTEC, apprenticeship and alternative provision programmes.
Full-time training is combined with weekly competitive matches against teams across the south and education which teaches topics including coaching, sports psychology, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, injury prevention and professional skills.
Recent graduates include Swindon Town defender Udoka Godwin-Malife, Bristol City forward Ewan Clark and Oxford City FC’s own Latrell Humphrey-Ewers.
Other graduates have used qualifications to further their studies at university, start an apprenticeship or begin full-time employment in an area that interests them.
Eddie added: “Most players that arrive at Velocity Football do so with the dream of one day becoming a professional player.
“Our programme enables players we work with to strive towards fulfilling that dream, while gaining an industry recognised qualification which will stand them in good stead when their education with us ends.
“The team places a huge emphasis on professional development too which I believe is really important and underlines Velocity’s commitment to developing young people that can later contribute positively across all aspects of life.”
Anyone interested in learning more about Velocity Football and its educational academy is invited to email [email protected] or call 0300 303 0890.
Further information about the programme is available online via www.velocityfootball.co.uk.