Premiership partnership for AFC Kempston and Bedford College

AFC Kempston First team goalie Drew Holyoak with teammates
AFC Kempston First team goalie Drew Holyoak with teammates

Top talent is growing up from the grassroots of football, thanks to team work between AFC Kempston Town and Bedford College.

Young footballers receive quality football coaching and gain qualifications off the pitch, which will help them in future employment, as part of the deal.

And on Wednesday March 2 the relationship will hit the back of the net when AFC Kempston Town and Bedford College play in the Bedfordshire FA Senior Trophy at Barton Rovers, kick off 7.30pm

“This is the first time we have reached so high since being formed in 1989” said Gary Ingerson, club chairman,

“Working closely with the college means we have hand-reared our talent and now we have one of the best grassroots teams in Bedfordshire.

“College students and staff will be joining the team coach to Barton for the finals - and whatever the outcome, the young people are all winners.

“Phil Newman, Assistant Director of Sport, has been a massive support to AFC Kempston Town and Bedford College for the past five years. The partnership has helped college students develop their football alongside their academic studies in a competitive weekend league structure.”

Recruitment for the football club is now going to be promoted at Bedford College Spring Open Days so young players can have a chance to sign up for AFC Kempston Town and get in training over the summer, before starting a college course in September.

“Lads who are football mad can combine playing with getting a good education, which will reassure their parents they have future prospects off the pitch,” said John Guiney, who himself started as a Bedford College football academy student and is now Quality Manager at the College and Manager of AFC Kempston Town and Bedford College first team who are playing in the cup.

The first team goalie Drew Holyoak has followed a similar path and is now undertaking a Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching at Bedford College.

“The combination of inspiring college course leaders and doing what they love, keeps the young men on the right track and they grow up in an team which is coaching them towards a worthwhile future,” added John,

“Parents love the fact their sons are within the Bedford College environment.”

Other college staff members are team managers and coaches of the reserves and A team.

AFC Kempston Town also has players who are not part of the soccer academy but are studying engineering and other subjects - but choose to spend their Saturdays playing soccer with college-linked club.

Follow AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College on www.KempstonTown.com and Twitter @kempstontownfc

Diary Date: AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Charity Ball at The Park Inn, Bedford June 11th in aid of Cancer Research. Great Music. Live Band. Quality Menu.