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Harriers and Baxter College launch A-Level Programme

Posted: Tue 14 Mar 2017
Author: @khfcofficial

Exciting details available now...

A UNIQUE partnership between Kidderminster Harriers and Baxter College is being set up to offer wannabe football stars the chance to score high level academic success.

Talented players, selected to join the football club’s prestigious Academy, will be able to take up to three A-levels for the first time at the Habberley Road school from September.

A maximum of 40 places will be available on this highly selective programme – the only one of its kind in region - with pre-season training during the summer.

Alongside football training, the sporting and academic Academy players will compete against the top non-league teams in the Floodlit League and have the opportunity to play in the prestigious FA Youth Cup.

They will gain further advantages through valuable work experience at the Harriers, where they will be able to shadow every type of sports-related professional from coaching, to media and marketing, analysis and management.

There will also be opportunities to progress to the Harriers bespoke higher education degree course, set to kick off in autumn 2018.

Harriers’ chairman Colin Gordon said the A-level offer would broaden the choice for their Academy players, extending the route into university and other careers such as teaching, sports management and marketing.

“The life of a professional footballer is relatively short and precarious,” he said, adding: “We recognise the importance of having the best qualifications so that our bright and talented young footballers – boys and girls - can keep their options open and have the best chances in life.”

Mr Gordon said Academy players studying at Baxter College would be able to take advantage of its “top class” 3G artificial and grass pitches at the school, with the first team training alongside them and integrating with them.

Their football training will be led by Harriers’ legend, Baxter College PE teacher John Deakin, a professional coach who was also a teammate of Mr Gordon’s at Birmingham City.

The programme will be managed by the school’s head of PE Dave Garbett, a former Walsall FC coach, in partnership with the Harriers.

Baxter College principal Tim Waites said the full range of A-level subjects taught will be open to Academy players.

“This is a very exciting development for both us and the Harriers and we are absolutely thrilled to be working together to deliver this unique programme. 

“The students can choose A-level subjects leading to sports-related careers including PE, biology, psychology, business and economics, or opt for something completely different.

“We have excellent football facilities at Baxter College, a successful sixth form and a strong PE department, headed by Mr Garbett, who has both the teaching and coaching knowledge to lead this programme.”

Mr Gordon added: “There is a vast array of careers now available in football and all sports, ranging from coaching to sports law, opening vast opportunities for bright young people with an aptitude for physical games.”

Prospective Academy players interested in widening their options within the sports industry – or other careers - can apply for a trial on Tuesday April 18 followed by an interview at Baxter College. For details and to apply, contact Football Business and Education Consultant Louise Macey at

Photo - From left; Baxter College PE teacher John Deakin, Kidderminster Harriers Chairman Colin Gordon, Baxter College Principal Tim Waites, Kidderminster Harriers Manager John Eustace and Baxter College Head of PE Dave Garbett.