Second Chance Elite Football


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This is an exciting pathway from FSD Academy which is specifically designed for Elite level footballers. Your situation will typically be as below:

  • You have recently been released from professional club academy.
  • You have experience playing in a professional club academy.
  • You have not played in a professional club academy but can demonstratethe required ability, effort and attitude to play at an elite level.

This course allows you to experience a daily training and education routine similar what is ran inside professional football clubs for 'scholars' age 16-18. You will study the same BTEC Level 2, 3, or 3 Extended education programme as other students but your training programme and mindset will be geared to the Elite level and opportunities for trials at semi-professional and porfessional clubs. Any student on the Advanced pathway can progress to the Elite programme upon sustained demonstration of the required effort, ability, attitude and progress.


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Our experienced, FA & UEFA qualfied coaches put your development first in an intensive, Elite level training programme, which caters for your individual needs and goals across technical, tactical, physical, psychological, and social areas. Training includes; football, futsal, fitness, strength & conditioning, speed & reaction, performance analysis and sports nutrition advice.

The programme does not guarantee that you will become a professional or semi-professional footballer, but our dedicated team will help you to discover all the ingredients to give yourself the best chance. This includes the mind-set to understand and overcome challenges along the way. A regular competitive games programme is included at FSD Academy where you are eligible to be selected for our 1st team and Elite team versus high standard opposition, including professional academy teams where possible. It is possible for you to continue to play for an existing team when you join the academy.

Typical Training Hours (Per Week)
Elite - 8-10 hours.


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With the majority of your learning linked to sport, this environment is not like school. Your education will be completed through group discussion and activities, combined with practical tasks, written tasks and assignments.

Example learning units include; participation in sport, the human body, muscle groups / functions, sports nutrition, sports coaching, tactical awareness, sports psychology, performance analysis, sports events / business and more. Opportunities for volunteering and work experience can also enhance your career opportunities, alongside optional extras of FA coaching and refereeing qualifications.

If you didn't secure a grade 4 or above in Maths and/or English at school then you can take them again alongside this course. Our education partners, SCL Education are one of the largest education in sport providers in the country.

Our preference is to deliver as much education as possible on site. We have 1 large classroom / workshop / presentation area in the main clubhouse, plus 3 further mobile classrooms / private study areas. Where remote learning is required we are well equipped to deliver it and make sure that staff remain accessible to all students in the interest of continued development and wellbeing.

Typical Education Hours (Per Week)
BTEC only - 10.5 hours
BTEC, plus Maths and/or English GCSE (where required) - 14.5 hours


Up to 280 (Equivalent to 3 A-Levels)


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When you join the FSD family you will benefit from our unique mix of sport, education and life skills. Our experienced coaches, tutors and staff share your passion for sport and always make time to get to know you individually. This helps you to ‘feel at home’ and enjoy your time here. The environment is not like school, but you will be working hard, doing something you love. Not only will you progress in sport and education, but you will develop as a person, learning how to make a good first impression and a bigger impact in life.

Visitors often comment on the ‘positive vibes’ in the academy and this is part of our life skills ‘magic ingredient’ that you will feel on a daily basis. It largely comes from our day to day focus on manners, good social skills and a positive mind-set, which all help to attract good things in life! However, our life skills programme also includes inspirational guest speakers and exciting travel experiences. Recent talk themes have included; dedication, discipline, controlled aggression, reaching your potential and overcoming challenges. Speakers have included; former professional football players, UFC fighters, current LCFC staff, Sergeant Majors and more. Travel and competition experiences have included; Marbella (Spain), Belvoir Drive, King Power Stadium and Old Trafford. All students, on all courses, have access to guest speakers, are eligible for UK/overseas travel experiences and can recieve individual mentoring.


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Founders Matthew Piper (former Premier League player with LCFC & Sunderland) and Owen Johnson (former LCFC
academy player and founder of have extensive connections in the professional and semi-professional game and will seek trials for individual players that consistently demonstrate the required ability, effort and attitude.


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This course leads to University & Apprenticeships, Semi-Pro or Professional Football, National League / Series Futsal, Football / Sports Coaching  and Careers in Sport, Leisure and other industries. We are honest with students regarding the level of ability, attitude, effort, dedication and determination needed to make the transition into paid football and our positive mindset encourages the goal that it is possible! We have been able to provide players with semi-professional and professional trials at clubs including; Shepshed, Corby Town, Kettering, Port Vale, Sunderland, Burton, Port Vale, Huddersfield and Leicester City. We currently have two players on trial at Leicester City and one FSD student recently signed a professional contract in Germany.

At the same time as progressing your ability in football, we are so proud that students discover other exciting career pathways. In 2020, 11 of 27 leavers progressed onto University courses including Sports Physiotherapy, Sports Therapy, BioScience, Sports Management, Property & Finance and Photography at Loughborough, Derby, Coventry, Birmingham and Nottingham. Many of these students had few GCSE's and no idea that university was possible for them when joining the academy. Other students have progressed onto Personal Training qualifications (an extra year at FSD), paid work and apprenticeships, including apprenticeships with FSD Academy! You will enjoy your time at FSD Academy whilst expanding your career possibiities and discovering talents you may not even know you have!


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Entry is open to male and females, age 16 by 31st August.

Offers may vary, but normally:

  • Level 2: 4 GCSE’s level 1-9, including English and maths.
  • Level 3: 4 GCSE’s level 4-9, preferably one being English or maths.
  • Level 3 (Ext): 5 GCSE’s level 4-9, including English and maths.
  • Maths and/or English re-sits can be taken alongside the course.
  • UK or EEA resident 3 years.
  • Cost of tuition is fully funded.
  • Bursaries and free meals on application (household income under 25k).


Students will typically stay with FSD Academy for 1 - 4 years, with course durations as below:

Level 2 BTEC - 1 Year (You can then progress to Level 3 or 3 Extended)

Level 3 or 3 Extended BTEC - 2 Years

Active IQ Level 2 Gym Instruction and Level 3 Personal Trainer - 1 Year (aimed at students who have already attended FSD Academy or any School/College completing A Levels, BTEC or similar)


You can apply to FSD Academy through Positive Steps (if your school/college uses)