Football Academy

Football enthusiasts will be able to access elite training alongside their college studies, thanks to a new academy launched by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College in partnership with top Midland Football League club, Leicester Road FC.

Headed by former Coventry City Football Club coach, Jose Ascensao, the academy will bridge the gap between grassroots football and high-level youth teams, giving talented youngsters in the Nuneaton and Hinckley area the opportunity to continue their education while pursuing their dream of becoming professional football players.

The partnership will see the College team up with Leicester Road Football Club in Hinckley, through which students will be trained by FA-licenced coaches with strong links to the FA and the England Training Centre.

Former Portugal international, Jose, who played with the under 21 squad for his home nation, moved to the UK thirty years ago to re-train as a coach and joined the College, setting up its first Football Academy.

Jose said, “We will provide the necessary training to help students progress to a higher standard of football, education and employment. We are confident that we can help them to start a career in professional football, while creating a pathway that helps them to achieve their aspirations both on and off the pitch.

Players will train daily at the College’s Nuneaton & Wigston campus with regular training slots at the Leicester Road stadium. They will also play one competitive under 18s college match per week during the season with the chance to be selected for the LRFC under 21s team. Students will follow a study programme and work towards BTEC qualifications in sport at Levels 2 and 3.

Jose added, “The academic aspect of the Football Academy is hugely important, and this partnership provides a range of future career options for students. Leicester Road FC is an FA Community Charter Standard Club as well as one of the best semi-professional clubs in the area and we are looking forward to fostering new talent to help the team progress in the future and achieve promotion to higher league levels.”

Neil Lyne, A-licenced coach and head of football at Leicester Road Football Club said, “We are delighted to be working with the College on this exciting venture. We will provide the club and team environment for students as part of an elite service that will involve opportunities to take part in trials with the chance of winning a place to play at Leicester Road. With excellent facilities both at College and the Club, as well as high standards of professionalism in teaching and coaching, we hope that this partnership will also benefit the wider community.”

Open trials for the 2019/20 season will take place at Leicester Road stadium on the following dates:

  • Saturday, 11 May 2019 10:00am – 12:30pm
  • Saturday, 18 May 2019 10:00am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday, 22 May 2019 7.00pm – 8:30pm

In total, there will be 15 places available for male and female players aged 16-19. Anyone who is interested should apply for a trial place in advance by emailing us at and include your name, date of birth, school and preferred trail date. We cannot guarantee a date but we will make every effort to get you your preferred slot

Please note, dates may change subject to pitch and weather conditions. Updates will be provided on the club and college websites. Click here to find out more about the Football Academy.