Sparsholt College Football Academy student, Ryan Penny has been selected by the English Schoolboy’s Football Association (ESFA) to play for the Under 18 England Schoolboy Squad. Selected from hundreds of young hopefuls, Ryan flew through the final trials held at Lilleshall National Sport Centre, bringing him one step closer to his dream of playing professional football.
Ryan Penny from Andover is currently in the second year of his Sparsholt Football Academy course. Ryan said:
The trials took me out of my comfort zone but I thoroughly enjoyed the process and am thrilled to have been selected. Famous footballers including Michael Owen have played on the ESFA Schoolboys team so I’m in the best company and it’s a fantastic platform to help me get to where I want to be in my future career.
Commenting on how Sparsholt helped him prepare for the trials, Ryan said:
I chose to study at Sparsholt for three reasons: their professional links with football clubs, the amazing training facilities on campus and the strong emphasis on education. After completing my college studies, I plan to study Sport at degree level to strengthen my position as a future professional player, so a strong set of grades are vital to my success.
Football Academy Coach Lewis Benson was thrilled with Ryan’s accomplishment, saying:
We’re incredibly proud of Ryan here at the College. Not only is it an amazing personal achievement for him but also it’s the fourth student from Sparsholt that we’ve celebrated being selected for the ESFA U18 England Schoolboy Squad!
Sparsholt College attracts students from across the globe and the Football Academy course is no exception, with current students travelling from Australia and Bermuda to study their sports qualification under the Second Chance Elite Academy programme, in partnership with Premier League football club, AFC Bournemouth and new to Sparsholt students this year.
Neil Benson, Football Academy Manager said:
To have Ryan reach the final stages of the England Schoolboy trials and be so successful in our first year of partnership with AFC Bournemouth is fantastic news. Our coach Lewis has worked closely with Ryan, mentoring him on a one-to-one basis and supporting his successes both on the pitch and in the classroom, so for Ryan to achieve at this high level in the footballing industry shows the exceptional standard offered by Sparsholt’s Football Academy course.
Learn more about the Football Academy programme at Sparsholt College, including the AFC Bournemouth Second Chance Elite programme at the College’s upcoming Open Day, Saturday 3 February 2018, 10am-2pm.
Register now at: www.sparsholt.ac.uk/opendays/. Alternatively, contact Football Academy Manager Neil Benson to enquire about our specialist football Open Day on Tuesday 13 February 2018 on 01962 797442 or at Neil.Benson@sparsholt.ac.uk
Photo: Football Academy Manager Neil Benson, Student Ryan Penny and Coach Lewis Benson.