Working in Partnership

A number of learners who attend the Kepier Football Academy also have commitments to professional clubs, for example, Newcastle United FC, Sunderland AFC & Middlesbrough FC. We work closely with these clubs to ensure that learners are able to fulfil their potential by attending their day release programme and club training whilst getting the best from our provision.


We were delighted to welcome Jonathan Woodgate and Phil Hudson from Middlesbrough Football Club in November 2018.

Ex-England international Woodgate, who played over 300 times at senior level for Leeds, Newcastle, Real Madrid, Middlesbrough, Spurs and Stoke, and now works as part of Tony Pulis’ coaching staff at Middlesbrough FC, gave an inspiring talk to some of the learners from our Football Academy about his career, right from his days of playing junior football, to breaking into the Leeds first team at the age of 18, joining Newcastle and Real Madrid, and playing for his hometown club Middlesbrough.

Phil Hudson described his role of First Team Performance Analyst at Middlesbrough, and how this work is vital in in preparing the first team for match days. He described the processes used, and how technology is vital in the modern game. Phil gave the learners an insight into other jobs that exist within the modern day game and, if being a professional doesn’t work out for them, then they can still be involved at the highest level but in a different capacity.

Our academy players asked some fabulous and difficult questions, and were fascinated to gain an insight into the careers of both Jonathan and Phil.

Lead Kepier Football Academy Coach Paul Jenkins said “as part of our commitment to our Academy Players, we are trying to give them an holistic approach and experience of Professional Football, not only on the pitch with our academy specific training program, but also other roles within football.

“For me to be able to bring in such high profile and experienced people in this profession to the school can only benefit our learners and their pathways. Giving them the experience of listening and questioning Jonathan on his playing and coaching experience and seeing and listening to Phil in his role as an analyst has given our learners here at Kepier Football Academy something to aspire to either on or off the football pitch.”