Needham Market Academy will be exclusive partners in Suffolk with Spanish Technical Elite Player Pathways (STEPP), providing students with an opportunity to progress onto a range of Degrees and Diplomas in Spain.
STEPP is a coaching organisation set up to enhance the coaching experience by providing footballing opportunities across Europe and beyond. The one to two-year courses are supplied by Barcelona FC & Barcelona University through the Barcelona Innovation Hub and are delivered in English. All of the subjects are tailored to students wanting to choose sport as a profession.
The partnership will also provide teams within Needham Market FC the opportunity to tour Spain with full board accommodation at a hotel on the beach for five days, use of a 3G every day for training, and a minimum of two games against local academy sides.
Robert Peace, Needham Market Operations & Academy Director says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students with another exit route established. As an academy, we prioritise pathways and an option for students to progress into higher education in another country enhances their options post academy.”
The education provided by Barcelona FC through the Barcelona Innovation Hub is a portal for students to specialize in the course they feel passionate about. Students will be supported daily by a range of educators and UEFA qualified coaches. They will also have the opportunity to attend weekly Spanish lessons to enrich their education, in turn, broadening their options moving forward.
Needham Market Academy Manager, Kevin Horlock said: “We are always looking for diverse pathways for our students and this partnership with STEPP gives our students the exciting opportunity to further their education and football career in a new country with a different culture.”
“Mick Garbi really impressed us with his presentation and for me personally, the potential opportunity for our students to secure a professional football contract in Spain makes this a very appealing and different pathway.”
Mick Garbi, Head of Player Development at STEPP said: “We are really pleased to be offering an exciting and unique pathway for the players at Needham Market Academy as part of our club partnership. I have been hugely impressed by the work the club and academy have done to establish itself off the pitch with their education and facilities as well as the progress being made on the pitch to develop players to play at their highest level.”
“We also look forward to welcoming all Needham Market Teams with our range of bespoke packages for sports tours and warm weather training camps in the future to allow for players and coaches to experience Spanish football first hand.”