Pompey hero spearheading city football academy drive

Steve Clardige celebrates scoring a goal against Sheffield Wednesday during his time at Fratton Park
Steve Clardige celebrates scoring a goal against Sheffield Wednesday during his time at Fratton Park

Steve Claridge is to launch a football academy in the city.

The Pompey Hall of Famer has joined forces with Moneyfields FC and PTC Sports to offer assistance to school leavers.

The scheme consists of a two-year course aimed at educating youngsters, not only through football but also with BTEC qualifications at the end of it.

Using Moneyfields’ Dover Road facilities, there will be 40 places available, primarily for school leavers aged 16-18, running from September.

Claridge himself will be conducting coaching sessions on the sports side, with Pompey legend Linvoy Primus also agreeing to lend a hand.

Established company PTC Sports will handle education and teaching matters, having many years of experience of delivering such courses.

A seminar will be held on Wednesday, March 27, at Dover Road, allowing parents and those interested to find out more about the project.

And Claridge, who is heavily involved, is excited about the concept.

He said: ‘This is about getting a programme into place which helps youngsters who do not know exactly what they want to do when they leave school.

‘It will not be a kick-about every day, the aim is to educate people at all levels and provide a practical and theoretical side to it.

‘I am 46 and played football until last year. I know what you have to do to stay in shape and how to live the right way and the benefits you can have from that.

‘I’ll be there coaching every week, whether it is one day or five days, all dependent on my other commitments.

‘Then again, a lot of my work is done at night so certainly there is some scope for trying to get this off the ground.

‘I want to put over my experience. A lot of people don’t understand that football is a quite disciplined lifestyle and we would like to get that across to the youngsters as well.

‘I am a Uefa A coach and in 30 years of football I have been there, done it and lived through it. I want to pass on that experience and help people get a sense of purpose in their lives.

‘This is much more than a football academy. There is a huge emphasis on education and educating these people how to live their lives properly.

‘There is a moral issue here that we all want to address as well. We want to do something for the community – and it will be done properly.’

For more information on the academy, contact 01709 913600 or e-mail marketing@ptcsports.co.uk