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Bethany Football Excellence Pathway

In Partnership with Maidstone United Football Club

 


 

We are delighted to introduce the Bethany Football Excellence Pathway. With our partners at Maidstone United Football Club, this pathway has been set up to target both UK and International pupils who aspire to become elite footballers whilst, at the same time, pursue a strong academic education. We recognise the significance of providing a comprehensive child centred education that nurtures both intellectual and physical aptitudes, and this pathway is tailored to achieve this.

What is the Bethany Football Excellence Pathway?

Our Football Excellence Pathway is designed to build an exceptionally strong foundation for aspiring football talents. The Football Excellence Pathway is open to UK and overseas boys and girls aged 11 to 16 years old.

 

Players have the unique opportunity to register and play with age group specific teams at our local professional football club, Maidstone United. This will involve weekly training sessions with their Maidstone United teammates, where pupils will learn advanced skills enabling them to unlock potential and take their game to the next level. Players will also get individualised video analysis from their performance in every match, focusing on how to improve their technical and tactical game.

 

All successful Football Excellence Pathway applicants will also become Bethany School Sports Scholars, which carries a reduction on school fees.

 

There is an Football Excellence Pathway surcharge to cover the increased costs of providing annual membership to Maidstone United, transport to and from the training sessions, matches and team football kit with Maidstone United, as well as individualised video analysis of match day performances.

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Training & Matches

Specialised training sessions for those in the Football Excellence Pathway will take place in Maidstone on Tuesday and Thursday evenings with Maidstone Academy coaches as well as Friday afternoons at Bethany School. Matches will take place at weekends for the Maidstone United Academy teams. Players in the Football Excellence Pathway will enjoy training throughout the entire academic year, not just during the football season.

 

Matches will take place in the prestigious Kent Youth League where many players have gone on to play top level football. One of the most famous being Ian Wright who became an England international representing his country 33 times.

 

The Kent Youth League currently has 205 teams across 19 Divisions and 6 Cup Competitions. The League maintains high standards and has strict disciplinary codes, aiming to give the players an opportunity to showcase their talents in front of many professional club scouts.

Personalised Analysis

Coaches for the Bethany Football Excellence Pathway will use state of the art video technology in every match for in-depth analysis of the team and individual performances, focusing on technical and tactical aspects such as:

 

  • Advanced Match Statistics
  • Shot Map
  • Passing Strings
  • Team Game Analysis

 

Alongside this, there will be regular individual analytical feedback sessions for players with the Head of the Football Excellence Pathway.

 

Mindset workshops will also be provided to further enhance the players’ mental understanding and game performance.

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Our Partnership with Maidstone United

 

Maidstone United Football Club is a professional football club based in Maidstone, Kent, England. In the 2023–24 season, Maidstone reached the FA Cup fifth round of the world-famous FA Cup for the first time, and in doing so became the first team outside of the top five divisions to reach the fifth round since 1977–78.

 

Maidstone’s youth teams have provided many players to the first team in recent years. The most successful and high-profile product of the club’s youth system is England international Chris Smalling, who spent three years at the club before moving to Fulham and subsequently to Manchester United and is currently at AS Roma. Chris Smalling made a total of 16 appearances for Maidstone, and whilst playing for the club he also played for England Schoolboys’ Under 18s.

The benefits of partnering with Maidstone United

 

  • Access to Maidstone United’s Gallagher Stadium for training sessions, KYL games and league and Kent Cup games
  • Integration with Maidstone United Kent Youth League teams
  • International clearance and full registration with the English FA
  • Maidstone United training and match day kit, including club tracksuits and sports holdall
  • Concessionary tickets to first team home matches
  • Potential training sessions and Q&A with the first team staff
  • Opportunities to train and play up in other age groups
  • Rehabilitation sessions with the club physiotherapist
  • Access to a sports nutritionist
  • Selection, where appropriate, for Kent District teams
  • Representation in the Kent Youth League (if selected)
  • The opportunity to represent national teams and compete in international competitions
Juan Miguel Desouza

Miguel Desouza

Head of Bethany Football Excellence Pathway

 

Miguel has been involved in professional football for over thirty years, working with players across various age groups, helping them to reach their individual potential.

 

Miguel signed his first professional contract with Charlton Athletic aged 19, continuing his professional career with Bristol City, Birmingham City, Wycombe Wanderers and Peterborough United.

 

He has successfully recruited and coached current Premier League players such as Michael Obefemi (Burnley), Steven Alzate (Brighton & Hove Albion) and English Football League players Josh Koroma, Tristan Abrahams, Ruel Sotiriou, Hector Kyprianou, Sam Dalby, Victor Adebayo, Aaron Rose, Namdi
Ofoborh and Ramani Edmonds.

 

Miguel holds the ‘A’ licence management in recruitment, as well as UEFA and FA Advanced Youth Modules. He is currently overseeing the recruitment of U7 – U21 players in Kent for Crystal Palace.

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Who Can Apply?

Players in the Football Excellence Pathway must be able to illustrate fitness characteristics that positively affect their performance in football and also demonstrate an excellent understanding of the sport. Pupils are expected to play all sports at Bethany School, with the ability to excel in football.

 

As a minimum, it is expected that an Football Excellence Pathway applicant is playing competitive football to an ‘A team’ standard at school whilst pursuing their sporting development outside of school at a club, district and county level.

 

The Bethany Football Excellence Pathway is a multi year programme, therefore pupils must enrol at Bethany for at least one academic year as a minimum to be eligible. Shorter stay pupils e.g. termly boarders, will only be eligible for the Football Improvement Pathway.

Football Improvement Pathway

 

All pupils who are not currently at the Excellence Pathway level, but are successful at football trials and awarded a squad place in the Bethany football teams will be a part of the Bethany Football Pathway. This will involve being trained by Bethany football coaching staff on a weekly basis and competitive matches against other schools throughout the Autumn term.

 

All players will be assessed on a consistent basis during training sessions and in matches against opposition schools. Players’ who are assessed to have skilled footballing ability and potential will be forwarded to the Head of the Football Excellence Pathway for assessment. Successful candidates will be invited to join the Football Improvement Pathway and attend weekly training sessions with the Excellence Pathway players every Friday afternoon to further develop their footballing skills and with potential promotion to the Football Excellence Pathway.

 

Participation in the Football Improvement Pathway is also a necessary prerequisite for any pupils currently at Bethany, wishing to be considered entry into the Football Excellence Pathway in the future.

 


 

Applying for the Bethany Football Excellence Pathway

 

Pupils are admitted to the Football Excellence Pathway via a two-tier system:

 

  • Showcasing strong academic ability
  • Analytical assessment by our Head of Football Excellence Pathway

 

The application and admissions process is a seven step procedure.

1 – Initial Enquiry
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Please email our admissions team with a recent academic report, a copy of the child’s passport and, where necessary, background reports for any specific educational needs. We would also need a brief description of the pupil’s football career to date.

2 – Analytical Assessment
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The analytical assessment part of the admissions process will include a video call interview with the Head of the Football Excellence Pathway. Before the interview, providing a full match video of the pupil playing football is both essential and mandatory.

3 – Video Call/Interview with the Headmaster
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We will arrange a video call interview with the Headmaster for overseas applicants, whilst UK applicants will be invited for a tour of the School which will then be followed by an in-person interview with the Headmaster.

4 – Academic Assessment
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As part of the admissions process, the ability to showcase strong academic ability is crucial in a successful application into the Bethany Football Excellence Pathway.

 

Year 9 and Year 10 pupils will complete an online cognitive ability test (CAT4) and a creative writing task.

 

Year 12 and Year 13 (Sixth Form) pupils will sit written papers in Maths, English and the Sciences, depending on which subjects the pupil is looking to study at A Level.

5 – Place Offered
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Following a successful entrance procedure, a place at Bethany School will be offered, including acceptance into the Football Excellence Pathway.

 

All successful Football Excellence Pathway applicants will also become Bethany School Sports Scholars, which carries a reduction on school fees.

 

There is an Football Excellence Pathway surcharge to cover the increased costs of providing annual membership to Maidstone United, transport to and from the training sessions, matches and team football kit with Maidstone United, as well as individualised video analysis of match day performances.

 

For a full list of fees and the Football Excellence Pathway costs, please click here.

 

NOTE: All pupils who are not currently at the Excellence Pathway level, but are successful at football trials and awarded a squad place in the Bethany football teams will be a part of the Bethany Football Pathway. This will involve being trained by Bethany football coaching staff on a weekly basis and competitive matches against other schools throughout the Autumn term.

 

All players will be assessed on a consistent basis during training sessions and in matches against opposition schools. Players’ who are assessed to have skilled footballing ability and potential will be forwarded to the Head of the Football Excellence Pathway for assessment. Successful candidates will be invited to join the Football Improvement Pathway and attend weekly training sessions with the Excellence Pathway players every Friday afternoon to further develop their footballing skills and with potential promotion to the Football Excellence Pathway.

 

Participation in the Football Improvement Pathway is also a necessary prerequisite for any pupils currently at Bethany, wishing to be considered entry into the Football Excellence Pathway in the future.

6 – Contract
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Following a successful entrance procedure and receiving an offer, parents will also receive the acceptance form.

 

Acceptance forms need to be completed and signed by both parents and returned with a deposit to secure a place at Bethany School.

7 – Student Visa
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At this stage, the pupil must apply for a Student Visa to study within the UK (if applicable).