Goater to launch UK academy
Shaun Goater has launched an academy to help Bermudians pursuing a professional football career or various other job opportunities in the global sports industry.
The former Manchester City striker has created the Shaun Goater International Academy, which is scheduled to open its doors for business in September.
The academy will utilise high-quality professional football coaching alongside strong academic performance and is geared towards Bermudians between the ages of 16 and 18.
Goater's organisation has partnered with a school in the North West of England, where students will have the chance to learn from Uefa licensed coaches and former Premier League players.
The academy offers students two routes: the first encompasses an elite football performance pathway for talented young players and the second exposure to the football industry, allowing students to study and gain qualifications that will enable them to join university courses in Britain and beyond and pursue a career in sports marketing, sports management, commercial or journalism.
It will also provide links to key organisations that can support students in their chosen field.
“The Shaun Goater International Academy has been created in order to allow young Bermudians to achieve their dreams of entering the football or sports industries here in the UK and beyond,” Goater said.
“We have worked tirelessly to create partnerships that will enable our students in Bermuda to live in the UK and gain not only robust qualifications, but excellent coaching, guidance and life experience.”
Goater added: “Over the years, I've always wanted to help Bermudians in some way, shape or form whether it's doing football camps developing youngsters and giving them a pathway. One of the routes was Bermuda Hogges and now it's reached a stage where I feel I can really help Bermudians, in terms of this pathway, into pro football and good education if the football doesn't work out.
“Returning back home and seeing loads of organisations come to Bermuda putting programmes on off this premise that, ‘You'll get professionals trials and this and that' and nothing really materialises, so my thing is for Bermuda, by Bermuda.
“I've really invested in trying to help Bermudians make it and, if they don't, they still can have this education pathway into football as well.
“From a football point of view, it creates the pathway that children can come over here between the ages of 16 and 18, pursue a career in football through an academy or school system where they will be educated taking up the courses that have interests and a keenness and desire to create a career from an education point of view.
“We have Uefa-qualified coaches, myself being one, and all of our coaches have played in the Premier League, so we are excited.
“Some academies just say Uefa, but have no experience of playing at the highest level, so we are excited that we are giving children the right information.”
The academy is also open to British-based students and will be limited to 30 students in its first year of operation.
“There are limited places; there are not an endless amount of places that we can give,” Stuart Manifould, who serves as Goater's UK adviser, said.
“Some academies will just throw open their door and allow anyone to come; that's great, but you can't offer quality if you do that. Our whole vision here is to offer a very, very high-quality education and elite performance environment and we can't do that if there's hundreds of students, so we are going to try and limit this to 30 in year one.”
Goater says his organisation has made “great progress” ensuring partnerships are in place to add value to the scheme.
“We have already partnered with an outstanding education provider in Cheshire, England, and we are actively working with the Bermuda Government to confirm their support,” he added. “I have had a couple of conversations with the Ministry of Sport.
“We are still having discussions around how they can support scholarships for families, but at the same time we are open to businesses, corporate Bermuda perhaps, even sponsoring children scholarships.
“The conversation we are having now with Government is really good; it's positive, but ongoing. We know that our timeline is tight. But we are working and they seem very pleased with the discussions.”
The academy also has future plans to create pathways for students in various other sports.
“Once we get the football pathways down, we want to then grow this into other sports in Bermuda,” Manifould said. “So whether we get some talented golfers, netball players or athletes, we feel now that we have the partnerships in place over here to really grow that into different sports and not just football. Obviously, we want to grow football for now and show all the projects and all the partnerships that we've got really work. But we have already lined up partnerships in other organisations to grow this into other sports.”
For more details contact: SGoater@GoaterFC.co.uk or Stuart@SnappyMediaCo.com