AFC Kempston Town and Bedford College – a premiership partnership

Thursday 18 February 2016

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

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

And on Wednesday 2 March 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, 7.30pm kick off.

“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 that 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 1st team who are playing in the cup.

AFC goalie

The 1st 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 a 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 and Twitter @kempstontownfc

Diary Date - Saturday 11 June: AFC Kempston Town and Bedford College Charity Ball at The Park Inn, Bedford, in aid of Cancer Research. There will be great music, including a live band and a quality menu.