Velocity Football student Jayden Carbon is dreaming of an FA Cup appearance this weekend when Oxford City FC head north to face League One side Fleetwood Town in the first round.
The teenager made his Hoops debut during City’s 2-1 win over Taunton Town at the RAW Charging Stadium on October 25 and days later scored his first National League South goal against Farnborough.
Carbon’s pathway into the first team has been facilitated by his progress at the full-time educational academy with fellow classmates turned first-team squad members Gerald Muchetetere and Latrell Ewers.
The trio work closely with Head Coach Ross Jenkins, and Carbon is now hoping to have the opportunity to make his own mark in world football’s oldest and most historic competition – the FA Cup.
“It’s what you dream of as a kid, so hopefully I get the opportunity to play on Saturday,” said Carbon. “Fleetwood will be tough opponents, but everyone knows the Cup can throw in an upset at any stage so we’ll be looking for the win.
“It’s been a pretty crazy couple of weeks. Before my debut, I thought I’d be on the bench again but five minutes before warm-up I found out I’d be starting.
“It was a nice surprise, and to score on my second appearance was amazing although overall we were disappointed not to get the result we were looking for. Training and matches are intense, you can never afford to switch off.
“But I’m enjoying the experience and mixing with players who play to a very high standard. It’s great for my development.”
Carbon’s first-team breakthrough comes a year after he decided to enrol onto Oxford City’s full-time educational academy.
The winger combines training with education by studying the programme’s two-year Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport course.
Previous graduates have gone on to fulfil careers in a wide variety of sports-based roles while others have used the qualification – which is worth three A Levels – to further their education via university.
Some have even fulfilled the ultimate ambition of becoming a professional player, including Forest Green Rovers’ Udoka Godwin-Malife and Bristol City’s Ewan Clark.
“Initially I planned to go to sixth form, but then I read about Velocity and football was what I wanted to do so I enrolled,” said Carbon. “The teachers are very supportive and what we do in the classroom is great.
“It’s giving me options for a career in sport, but right now my focus is on making it as a professional and taking that as far as I can go.”
Open to male and female students aged 16-23 with ambitions to fulfil a career in sport, Velocity Football is a full-time educational academy based at the RAW Charging Stadium
Prospective students interested in learning more about the programme’s content and education are invited to attend an open event onsite from 4pm on Wednesday, December 21.
Registration is available via the Velocity Football website – www.velocityfootball.co.uk.