12:32 15 February 2012
Youth and community football is something that we take great pride in promoting here at Oxford United, with a focus on giving young players the best possible opportunity to participate in sport and to reach the highest possible level.
We have a strong history of producing and developing high quality footballers at this club, who have gone on to have great careers in the game. The likes of Dean Whitehead, Sam Ricketts and Dexter Blackstock are a few of the more recent names to have come through the ranks here at Oxford and move on to bigger and greater things.
The Boys Centre of Excellence and the Girls Centre of Excellence enable the most talented players to play regular football against other clubs’ academies. The Centre of Excellences recruit the most talented players from the region, providing them with quality coaching, education and welfare at all age groups, which enables the club to develop them as young footballers who could one day represent the men's and women’s first teams.
The Oxford United Football and Education Academy provides talented young sports people, both male and female, with the chance to combine playing and coaching with academic studies. It is a great way for young promising footballers to gain an education alongside the beginning of their football careers. The academic programme allows each student to develop their ability as a footballer, whilst acquiring valuable knowledge and skills through educational courses such as the Btec Certificate in Sports Performance (equivalent to 3 x A levels), FA Coaching certificates and Physiotherapy certificates.
Even though we aim to recruit and discover talent from the local area to benefit the first team, one of our main aims as a club is to develop football in the local community and to provide opportunities for young people to participate and to enjoy playing football.
The Oxford United Youth and Community Sports Trust is a registered Charity with the responsibility of delivering football and associated activities at all levels. The Trust provides the children, parents, young people, local authorities and schools in the Oxfordshire area with many different services including coaching courses, after school clubs, soccer courses and match day experiences. It is our aim to provide the people of Oxfordshire with a clear development pathway at all levels and ages with exit routes suited to all.
The Football in the Community (FITC) team at Oxford United does a fantastic job at travelling all over the region and giving opportunities to young people to play football. They visit local schools and clubs offering thousands of children the opportunity to play the game we care so passionately about. It does not matter about ability levels or backgrounds, the opportunity to play is there and the FITC team combine fun and football to encourage young people to participate in all local areas.
Football in the community and youth football are key elements of this club, and we remain very proud of the hard work that goes on to keep Oxford United at the very heart of the community.
To visit the Community Trust website visit http://www.oxfordunited-yc.co.uk/community