Budding young footballers can hone their skills without falling behind on their academic studies, thanks to a course run by Crystal Palace Football Club.
The Eagles have once again teamed up with the Football League Trust and TVS Education to offer teenage players a place on the Futsal and Education Scholarship.
The course, which starts in September 2013, will see 16 to 18 year-olds study a two-year sports-related BTEC Level 3 Diploma at Selhurst Park, which is worth the equivalent of up to three A-levels, while playing for the club in the Football League Trust Futsal League.
Futsal is the only form of indoor football approved by FIFA, UEFA and the FA, with more than two million regular players.
The unique take on the beautiful game involves using a smaller, heavier ball to enhance players’ technical ability.
A host of household names including Ronaldo, Ces Fabregas and Zinedine Zidane all played futsal as youngsters.
During the scholarship, players will earn qualifications that will help them gain employment in the sport and leisure industry, as well as training and competing in a professional futsal environment for Crystal Palace FC against other clubs in the Football League.
The Eagles’ two futsal teams currently sit proudly atop their leagues in the South East Division and are heading for the national finals in July.
Two players from the club have also made it into the FA’s Regional Development Squad.
Football Development Officer, Michael Harrington, who is heading up the programme, said: “This is a great opportunity for young people to further develop their football skills in the fast moving and highly technical futsal game.
“The modern game is clearly moving to produce young highly gifted technical players, and we at Crystal Palace FC fully support this and see this program as an ideal pathway for this development.”
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