Velocity Football director Justin Merritt delighted with first week’s productivity as students kick-start their post-GCSE education

A week has passed since Velocity Football – Oxfordshire’s premiere full-time football education programme for male and female students – welcomed its first students through the doors of Oxford City Football Club.

It marked a milestone for football education in the county with males and females between the ages of 16 to 18 and 19 to 23 able to access government-funded post-GCSE education combining football and sport business with academia for students aspiring for a career in sport.

In addition to lessons on the pitch from Head coaches Mickey Lewis and Lauren Haynes, students have been busy in the classroom developing their coaching, sports rehabilitation, analysis and strength and conditioning knowledge.

All the above has been fuelled by the food made in the kitchen by Velocity Football catering lead Dan Craddock, whose blended juices and fresh dishes are tailor made to suit students’ needs. Velocity Football director Justin Merritt described the week as a major step forward for football education in the region.

“It’s been a busy opening week, after a summer of uncertainty it’s great to finally get the programme underway,” said Justin. “I am delighted with the number of students that have chosen to enrol with Velocity Football and the coaching team have already established excellent working relationships with them.

“A lot of football has been played already, but importantly we’ve structured things in a way where students can get the best possible experience and educational outcomes via a safe and effective environment.”

Lauren Haynes, head coach of Velocity Football’s female programme, added: “It’s a massively exciting time for girls’ football in Oxfordshire, and on a personal level it’s great to see so many fresh faces that are willing to learn. Velocity Football is the programme to come to if you want both sides of the football coin in terms of gaining an education while playing football.

“Football can be a very short career as a professional, at Velocity we provide a platform to extract the very best from students via the classroom, work experience and personal development which they can then take into their future careers. To work with the excellent facilities at Oxford City every day is fantastic, and there are now more routes into football and sport for girls than ever before.”

News of Velocity’s launch has been covered by the media, with BBC South Today and The Oxford Mail running reports.

BBC South Today paid a visit to Velocity on Monday, September 14, to film a piece that was broadcast later that evening. Click here to view the footage:

Meanwhile, The Oxford Mail covered the opening day of Velocity Football:

It has been a busy week on the pitch too with Oxford City FC U19s, made up of Velocity Football students, winning 2-1 away to Didcot Town U18s in the Oxfordshire Youth Football League.

Match time for students continues Wednesday when Dartford visit Oxfordshire for the first game of this year’s National U19s Academy League. A team made up entirely of Velocity Football students is expected to be fielded by coach Mickey Lewis.

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