An Outstanding Football Programme

Players in the academy system at Bishop Burton get a high quality programme balanced with their academic commitments.

They receive technical and tactical field sessions, strength and conditioning, video analysis, team meetings and various additional sessions to improve their knowledge and performance in the game.

The success of Bishop Burton College's football programme is demonstrated by the number of players who have come through the system and are now playing regular semi-professional football, combining this with their training and studies at the college.

With our main partners, Hull City Tigers, based on site, college players have had the unique opportunity to taste the professional game. Our goalkeepers train with Hull City’s under 18s/23s on a weekly basis and our partnership with the club is developing all the time.

With fantastic facilities, high level coaching and professional partners, there is no better place than Bishop Burton to play football.   


We run a successful Football Academy which encompasses our first and second teams at college level. Both teams train as one squad as part of a full time training programme, in addition to an educational course of their choice. The players are coached daily by UEFA A licence coaches as part of the programme.

The first team compete in the ECFA (English Colleges Football Association) Premier League, which is the highest standard of college football in the country. In 2017/18 the team reached the last 16 in the country in the ECFA Category 1 national playoffs and in 2018/19 reached the last eight in the country, after beating Fowler Education who were the current national champions.

In 2019/20 the team became ECFA Premier League champions for the first time ever beating South Shields (Sunderland College) to the league title by one point.  

The second team were also league champions in 2019/20 securing promotion to the Yorkshire and Humber Championship, which is the highest level they can compete at.   

Meet the Coach

James Bennett

James Bennett is Head of Football at the college and Manager of the college first team. James is a UEFA A Licence coach and former professional footballer with Hull City, Lincoln City and Darlington. James has also played semi-professional football for Bridlington Town, North Ferriby United, Scarborough Athletic and Pickering Town. 

Head of Football at Bishop Burton College, James Bennett, stands with arms crossed on football pitch

Entry Criteria

All prospective academy players must have applied for a course at Bishop Burton to be eligible for selection. Sporting selection is undertaken through a pre-season trial.

Academy players will have had regional or county honours, professional academy experience or have been playing at a high standard of youth or adult football.

How to Apply

Players can apply for any course at Bishop Burton College and still be considered for the Football Academy.

To apply for the football academy please email James Bennett, Head of Football:

Student Success


Levi Tarbotton studied the BTEC Level 3 in Business and was captain of the Bishop Burton College men’s football first team. Throughout his time at the college captained England Schoolboys including in the Centenary Shield Tournament. Levi is now playing for North Ferriby United in the Northern Counties East Football League Division 1.

Since joining the football academy at Bishop Burton College my game has improved significantly. Having never been part of a professional pathway growing up the college has provided me with some fantastic opportunities. I'd like to make it as a footballer and I've been picked for England since I've been at the college, but studying Business gives me a lot of options if that doesn't work out. The course has been really good. We’ve been on a number of field trips which have been really interesting.
Kieron Walker

Kieron Walker was influential in our football academy’s success in 2019/20, starting every match in our title-winning season. Kieron's excellent performances for Bishop Burton earned him an international call up for England Colleges. Kieron scored twice on his debut for England Colleges vs Independent Schools FA at St Georges Park last December. Kieron was then selected for the final squad which travelled out to Italy in February to be part of an international tournament. Kieron also impressed our professional partners Hull City Football Club earning himself a weeks’ training with the club’s academy.

I have really enjoyed my time at Bishop Burton College as part of the football academy. Following my release from Hull City at 16 years old, in a year where I struggled with injuries, the coaches at Bishop Burton played a massive part not only in my development as a player but also in building my confidence back up. Winning the league in my second year was a fantastic feeling and representing England Colleges and managing to score two goals on my debut was a very proud moment for me.


Bishop Burton College is the home of the Hull City Academy.

Hull City’s under 23s and 18s are based on our campus and we also house the club’s foundation and youth development phases on an evening.

As a college we have a strong relationship with the football club and the Head of Academy Coaching, Richard Naylor. We are an integral part of Hull City’s exit strategy by providing an alternative pathway for their released players at under 16s.

Richard and his staff regularly watch our college first team matches on a Wednesday in the ECFA Premier League, giving our players an opportunity to impress. We also have a number of annual in-house friendly matches between our football academy and the clubs Under 18s.

Our top performing college players have also recently had the opportunity to train with the under 18s and 23s as part of the partnership. 

You seem to be using an unsupported browser

To get the most out of this site please upgrade your browser.