A FOOTBALL academy is giving a second chance to aspiring athletes to help young people get a headstart in their careers.

Easthampstead Park Community school offers its pitches to the Get Active Academy, which started in September 2018.

The course runs over a five day week, Monday to Friday with matches on a Wednesday afternoon.

The Get Active Academy is available for 16 to 19 year-olds and gives young people an opportunity to achieve a BTEC Level 3 Extended diploma and Level 2 NVQ by learning footballing skills.

The course offers full-time education, professional coaching, non league, professional league and USA opportunities, guest speakers and a platform to go onto university and work within the football industry.

Ryan Case, head coach at Get Active Academy said: "This is an opportunity to give people a second chance where they may not have been able to get a football career in the past.

"We feel the programme is actually more successful because it's not club specific, so our students can go off in many different directions once the course is finished. "

Students will spend two years on the programme with the direction of playing football in a non league environment, professional environment or an American scholarship at a university.

If they do not achieve this then there are opportunities to work within the company on the various coaching platforms or go to university to further study in physiotherapy, or any sports degree.

Ryan added: "The course is a push in the right direction for students and gives them opportunities they wouldn't have received through the conventional route of education.

"If the students don't get a professional non-league place there are many other routes they can take so we think it is a lot more successful to give them a headstart in their careers."

The course is only available to boys aged 16-19 but is hoping to cater for female footballers in the future.

Trials start on January, 3 at Easthampstead Community School where two teams of 20 are to be selected onto the course starting in September 2019.

To sign up email: footballacademy@getactivesports.com and follow their Facebook and Instagram accounts: @GetActiveAcademy