From next season, both men’s and women’s football will be brought together under a unified name, as Bridgwater Town FC and Yeovil United FC become Bridgwater United Football Club.
BTC continues to have a successful relationship with the unified club through their Team BTC programme, which has seen current and past students going represent the club, from the likes of Ben Kirk Brett Trowbridge and Beth Howard, to more recently current First Team players Michael Duffy, Thierry-Jo Gauvain and Ellie-Mae Bell.
The partnership with Bridgwater United FC is a vital element for developing young aspiring 16 to 21 year old footballers. The College’s Team BTC programme is a dual-career academy, where education and sporting development is considered equally. It attracts students from around the world and delivers over 14 hours training each week, combining on-pitch training at the College’s Ofsted outstanding residential campus in Cannington, and off-field support such as strength and conditioning, psychology and welfare support.
This unique training opportunity is combined with a competitive senior games programme to play in either Tier 3 of the Women’s Football Pyramid or Step 5 of the Men’s National League respectively, and is the ideal environment for players to put their learning into practice.
At BTC, the football programme has gone from strength to strength over the past few years. Both their men’s and women’s first teams compete in the AOC Premier League, which is the highest level of College football in the country. Alongside this, their men’s under 18’s will continue to compete in the South West Counties League, whilst Bridgwater United FC under 21’s will challenge for the FA Women’s National League Reserve Division where fixtures are played over the weekend. This is ideal opportunity for Team BTC students to gain vital experience towards becoming a professional footballer. Competing against quality opposition, testing their skills under pressure and growing as part of a team are all key components to the improvement of the players.
The pathway goes beyond 18 years old. With the development of a range of BSc (Hons) Degree programmes at University Centre Somerset, students can now continue their football pathway along with gaining a degree.
Chief Operating Officer of Bridgwater United FC, Ewan Greenhill commented,
The club recognizes that education is paramount to a player’s development, to ensure they are fully prepared for life alongside football. The dual-career academies have been shown to improve academic performance whilst providing a variety of transferable skills, and increase each player’s employability. The support and empathy shown towards a student-athlete runs from the top of the club, as it does from the top of BTC, and our alignment makes for a stronger partnership that is invested in the development of the individual.
Adam Murry, Bridgwater United Chief Executive said,
To be able to share a joint vision for the community of Bridgwater with an institution such as BTC is of great mutual benefit. Together I look forward to achieving our vision towards aspirational change for the town and our teams.
Team BTC Manager Jamie Laird said,
With the vision that Adam has for the football club and work within the community, this will be great news for the town. At BTC we’re excited to see these plans come to life and for the local community to benefit. We have a very strong relationship with Yeovil United FC and Bridgwater Town FC, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with this new united club for many years to come. It’s an exciting time to come and study and play sport at BTC.
Over the Easter holidays, BTC is running their successful and popular sports development days for pupils in years 10 and 11. Please click here to book and find out more.
Bridgwater United Football Club are also running great opportunities to get your football fix in the Easter half term. They are running a Development Camp for boys and girls aged 8 to 16, as well as an Elite Clinic for 16 to 18 year olds with former Premier League academy coach, Kevin Braybrook. Kevin will provide a unique coaching experience having coached players such as Adam Lallana and Gareth Bale. To book please visit the below links.
Development Camp – https://www.yeovilunitedfc.com/camp/
Elite Clinic – https://www.yeovilunitedfc.com/elite-clinic/