University offers degree alongside football career

Football professionals involved in launch of Glyndwr Wrexham Football Academy

March 20, 2014

Source: Getty

Go for goals: Glyndwr Wrexham Football Academy will allow footballers to play professionally while studying for a degree

Football players also looking to prepare for a career outside the sport will be able to play professionally at a Welsh club while studying for a degree as part of a scheme launched by a university.

According to Glyndwr University, the Glyndwr Wrexham Football Academy, due to be launched on 20 March, will “boost student numbers” at the university and provide the club with “top soccer talent”.

The academy deepens the university’s involvement with Wrexham Football Club – in 2011 the institution bought the football club’s stadium, which now includes Glyndwr in its name.

Adam Owen, a former Wrexham player and assistant manager for Sheffield United FC who is helping to lead the project, said that there were a “frightening” number of players released each year from clubs who needed to retrain for a different career.

Only a “very, very small” proportion make enough money professionally to not need to worry about finding a job after football, he added.

The scheme was unique because it allowed footballers to play professionally while studying and offered more than just sports-related degrees, he explained. It is hoped that the academy will take on up to 24 players in total.

Players would not be restricted to sports science qualifications but would be able to study any Glyndwr degree subject, and so retrain as accountants, events managers or engineers, he said.

He explained that the scheme would focus on the “quality not quantity” of players, as they would need to be good enough to play for Wrexham, which currently sits in the Conference Premier, the top tier of non-league football in England and Wales. Others not up to Wrexham’s standard could play for Lex XI, a non-league side also based in the city.

Lee Jones, a former Wrexham player who went on to play for Liverpool FC, is also helping to steer the project. “When my [football] career ended, I was just 32 years old and had no idea what to do next,” he said. There are many footballers who will “jump at this chance”, he added.

The former Liverpool FC and England striker Michael Owen is acting as an ambassador for the academy.

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest