School launches its new ‘Elite Football Programme’

Matthew Rose, Head of Coaching & Player Development (left) and Greg Thurstans, Director of Football

TUNBRIDGE Wells independent school Beechwood has created a new football progamme that will be available from next September, with scholarships available.

‘Elite Football Programme’ students will start in the next academic year, and the school has recruited Greg Thurstans and Matthew Rose, who combine backgrounds in football, coaching and development and education.

“From next September, boys and girls will have a tailored timetable of football training and academic tuition,” said Greg, who joined Beechwood this September after eight years as director of sport at the Royal Russell School.

“London tends to be the draw for a combined football and education programme, but there’s nothing in this area that can compete,” he said.

“Tunbridge Wells has the right demographics, while Beechwood is an independent co-ed school which goes up to year 13 and has boarding.”

The programme directors have already identified a few current pupils for the new programme and the even split of boys and girls at the school would help create a ‘nice core’ for the scheme from September 2023, said Greg.

“We want a boys and a girls programme,” he said, adding that he expected the girls’ programme to be a particular draw.

“The Lionesses winning the EUROs has given it extra momentum – there’s nothing out there for girls specifically to compete with us,” he added.

The school said the programme will offer places to boys and girls in each academic year, with both day and boarding places available, while scholarships will be offered to selected talented or academically gifted pupils.

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