Former Manchester City and Arsenal player Eddie McGoldrick brings sports qualifications to Wellingborough and Northampton sixth formers

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Eddie has signed up as head coach for the ‘football academy’

A former Manchester City and Arsenal footballer is set to train county students at two school sixth forms to reach the Premier League or top sports careers.

Eddie McGoldrick, who played at Arsenal from 1993 to 1996 and Manchester City from 1996 to 1999, will be teaching students at Abbeyfield School in Northampton and Weavers Academy in Wellingborough from September.

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The schools, which are part of the Creative Education Trust, have opened a new ‘football academy’ where 16 to 18-year-olds can devote their sixth form study to footballing, leaving with the BTEC level 3 national extended diploma.

Eddie McGoldrick with actor Ralf Little during a charity match played in Raunds back in 2013Eddie McGoldrick with actor Ralf Little during a charity match played in Raunds back in 2013
Eddie McGoldrick with actor Ralf Little during a charity match played in Raunds back in 2013

The academy will have a football team of 16 to 32 students, training up the best local talent in the area to enter semi-professional and professional ranks or head into Russell Group university sports science study.

Alongside his stints at the famous clubs, Irishman McGoldrick also went onto the national team representing Ireland from 1991 to 1996.

But he is also a Northampton local – from 1986 to 1989, McGoldrick played for Northampton Town, before heading to Crystal Palace from 1989 to 1993.

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At Crystal Palace FC McGoldrick also joined the Palace for Life Foundation, a charity which inspires people to get involved with football to lead healthier, happier lives.

Now the foundation has partnered with Abbeyfield School and Weavers Academy to deliver the two-year long BTEC courses for the 2023-2024 academic year.

An open day will be held at Abbeyfield School on June 1 for interested students and parents.

Careers out of the football academy include a professional football career and also a range of opportunities in and around the sports industry including in sports management, physiotherapy, personal training, coaching, teaching and sports science.

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Eddie McGoldrick, lead coach and former professional footballer, said: “I’ve made Northampton my home.

"Now I want to keep passing on everything I’ve learned in professional football to the next generation.

“This two-year programme at these two schools is exactly the right way to get your foot on the ladder towards a great career in professional sport.

"There’s nothing like doing what you love, and if you love football, this is the education programme for you.”

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Weavers Academy sports lead Stefan Emary said: “We’re on the hunt for youngsters who don’t want to do the traditional A-level route and are that bit more adventurous.

"This is about kick-starting your career earlier than most other people.”

Abbeyfield School principal, Jay Kerby, a former academy footballer himself, said: “We are thrilled to have Eddie involved, and to be able to offer this fantastic opportunity to students.

"We want to build football teams of top talent, and we know there’s lots of it out there. If you’re interested, we want to hear from you.”