Academy kids are a class act

PROMISING young footballers from a sporty college are getting an education and developing a winning football habit at the same time under the guidance of a former Millers favourite.

The scholars from TRC Football Academy have excelled in league and cup, losing only one match all season and earning a stab at becoming national college seven-a-side champions in the final round in Bath next weekend.

Coached by Martin McIntosh, an UEFA A licenced coach and the man who captained Rotherham United in the Championship a decade ago, they will represent Yorkshire in the national finals after beating off the challenge of 14 other colleges in teak tough regional qualifiers.

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Martin is delighted with the progress and commitment of the squad, many of whom have already secured places playing under him at Buxton, who he manages in the Evo Stick Premier League.

“A lot of our players have dropped out of Academies and it's a little bit of a second chance for them,” said the Scot. “I'm fortunate in that I get to see them training every day and manage Buxton. A couple of them are around the first team there and they're really good players.

“I'd like to think that with more coaching I can make them better. They're a great crop of kids and you never have to motivate them to train. There's a good atmosphere and it's a great set-up at TRC.”

The Academy allows students to study a full academic programme of A levels, BTECs or GCSE/Level 2 resits alongside nine hours of football.  

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Students are able to select from the full menu of 45 level 3 (A level or equivalent) courses or ten level 2 courses (GCSE or equivalent).

The team is already looking forward to their bi-annual tour to New York in 2016 with the opportunity to secure scholarships to play and study in the United States, following in the footsteps of many previous squad members including Lee Squires, the head coach of Men's Soccer at the prestigious Lander University in South Carolina.

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy is the squad's most well-known former member.