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Bishop Burton Colleges Mens Football Academy

Men's Football

The number one college for football in the north.

Outstanding football performance academy

As a football player in Bishop Burton Sport's academy, you will access a high-quality training programme, which is balanced with your academic commitments.

Our first and second teams train as one squad as part of a full-time training programme, which runs alongside the educational course of your choice.

The success of Bishop Burton Sport'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 fantastic facilities, high-level coaching and professional partners, there is no better place than Bishop Burton Sport to play football.

ECFA Premier League Champions 2020 and National Premier Cup Finalists 2022

Our first team compete in the ECFA (English Colleges Football Association) Premier League, which is the highest standard of college football in the country. Having won the League in 2020, they reached the finals in 2022, securing our place as the number one college for football in the north.

The second team were also league champions in 2020, securing promotion to the Yorkshire and Humber Championship, which is the highest level they can compete at.

Football development academy

In addition to our performance academy, we run a development academy encompassing our third and fourth teams.

As a player in the development academy, you will be coached by UEFA B licenced coaches who are supported by students from our football coaching academy. This dedicated staffing structure has been fundamental to player development and our recent on-field success.

Our third team were promoted in 2020 after winning their league and now competes in the top league within the Association of Colleges (AoC) category 3 structure against other local colleges’ first teams. Our fourth team also compete within the category 3 structure.

As a player in our development academy, you will have the opportunity to transition into our performance academy based on the rate of your progression and academic performance.

Entry requirements

All prospective football academy players must have applied for a course at Bishop Burton College 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.

Meet the coaches

Director of football James Bennett

James Bennett

Director of Football

James, who manages the first team, 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. James also coaches for Hull City Academy in the Youth Development Phase as Under 15s Lead Coach.

Head Football Performance Coach Andy Norfolk

Andy Norfolk

Head Football Performance Coach

Andy is a UEFA B Licence coach and former apprentice footballer at Rotherham United. Andy is currently playing semi-professional football for Bridlington Town, where he is captain having made over 200 club appearances.

Our partnership with Hull City Football Club

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 club's 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.

Football scholarships

Scholarships are also available to aid and support the right candidates to succeed.

Hull City Tigers logo

Meet the players

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 week’s 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."

Football academy player Kieron Walker in training
Football academy player Matthew Stanford on the pitch

Matthew Stanford

Matthew joined our Category 1 Football Programme at Bishop Burton College in July 2019 and he has developed significantly since then.

He played a fundamental role in our success as a team in 2019/20, starting the majority of games in our English Colleges Football Association (ECFA) Premier League title-winning season.

In 2021/22 Matthew progressed from college level study to University Centre Bishop Burton's HNC in Sport and Exercise Science, whilst still accessing our Category 1 football programme as a third-year player.

Matthew's performances for the first team have been outstanding. His creative play from midfield and his ability to score goals from any position has been fundamental to our success in the league where we finished second. More recently, Matthew scored the winning goals against Bridgwater to take the college to its first ever national final in football. He then scored our first ever national cup final goal with an 86th minute equaliser against South Devon at Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster.

With support from Bishop Burton, Matthew has managed to secure himself a 50% football scholarship in Tennessee, America. He flew out in August 2022 to pursue the next stage of his footballing and academic career.

“When I joined Bishop Burton College I came from grassroots football. The football programme has really developed my tactical understanding of the game and physically I also started to develop. I really enjoyed competing at the highest level of college football and to get the National Cup final in my final year was the icing on the cake. With the coaches' support over the last three years I have developed into a much better player and now have a chance to continue my footballing career in America on a 50% scholarship in Tennessee."

Football academy player training on 3 G pitch
Football academy playing on 3 G pitch

Stay focused by living on campus

Living in Bishop Burton College's student accommodation is a great way to stay dedicated to your football training and studies, whilst giving you the chance to get to know your team and make other friends too.

You'll be a short walk to our 3G pitch, grass pitch, academic facilities and our gym, which you'll have free access to as a residential student.

How to apply

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

To express an interest in joining our academy, email our Head of Football, James Bennett:

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