Farnborough Football Club are delighted to announce a deal with education provider Virtual Learning UK for the newly-launched Farnborough Football Academy (FFA).

Farnborough Football Academy is an exciting opportunity for students aged 16-19 to gain sports-based qualifications alongside professional football coaching.

Run by Farnborough FC first team coach Ben Murray (UEFA B) and assisted by coach Leo Decabo (The FA Level 2), the programme aims to help all of its students develop as both players on the pitch and confident young adults away from the changing room.

All students will work in a specialist environment allowing them to benefit from a unique mix of a specifically tailored curriculum and the opportunity to understand the life of a footballer.

The Academy has been set up in conjunction with the facilities at the Easy As HGV Stadium in order to link youth football and the senior management team at Farnborough Football Club, meaning that progression to the first team is a real opportunity.

Following his appointment as Academy coach, Ben Murray commented: “It is a great honour and opportunity for myself and Leo to create a clear and professional pathway for Farnborough FC, by taking over the academy structure at the club.

“We cannot wait to get started in the role and look forward to growing the academy with our recruitment starting now.

“I look forward to combining this role with my continuing role in the First Team, providing a development route for our young players to progress into our First Team and pushing them on as high and far as they can go.

Murray emphasised the importance of preparing youngsters for men’s football: “It is important for players to understand the differing philosophies in football and we will prepare players for both academy structure football and also that of the non-league game.

“We both have vast knowledge and experience of the game and I also understand the importance of the education being a qualified PE teacher myself!

“We will create a hard-working, enthusiastic and fun environment for all our players and cannot wait to get started!”

First Team and Academy Coach Ben Murray

Course Overview

Each student enrolled on the course will complete a BTEC Sport Level 2/3 qualification alongside professional coaching sessions. Some of the exciting features of the course include:

  • BTEC Level 3 qualification equivalent to 3 A-Levels (Level 2 equivalent to 3 GCSE’s)
  • A tailored curriculum led by qualified teachers
  • The opportunity to play for Farnborough Football Academy in the FA Youth Cup
  • 19 units relating to sport, from Anatomy and Physiology to Sport as a Business
  • Training sessions by a UEFA B coach and a FA Level 2 qualified coach
  • Valuable work experience in community or academy projects
  • Opportunities to progress in football and different pathways
  • A comprehensive football education including fixtures in an Academy League.

Where can the course take me?

The course is designed to offer multiple exit routes for successful students, including:

  • University and Higher Education
  • American Scholarships
  • Coaching
  • Non-League Football
  • Apprenticeships
  • Personal Fitness Instruction etc.

What do you get?

Alongside professional coaching, a recognized level 3 qualification, access to employment opportunities, and the chance to play in the largest youth football league outside of the professional game, you will also get fully branded training and playing kit which you will be able to wear whilst participating on the course in both the classroom and on the pitch.

The Manager/Coaching Curriculum

The coaching curriculum is designed to mirror that of the first team within the club, whilst at the same time providing different levels, so that each of the programmes squads is catered for in their development. With clear progression and targets for both the squad as a whole and the individual players, our curriculum provides the best opportunity for player development. This is supported with continued reviewing of Individual Player development plans.


  • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport
  • Pearson BTEC Level 2 First Extended Certificate in Sport

Additional Qualifications available:

  • Functional Skills English Level 1 and 2, if required
  • GCSE English, if required
  • GCSE Maths, if required
  • FA Level 1 Coaching Badge.

Entry requirements

Candidates will need 5 GCSE’s at grade C or above in order to access the Level 3 course. Those who cannot provide these may be able to access Level 2 for a year, to then gain entrance to the Level 3 programme.


Days are split with the morning being dedicated for academic content to be taught on site at the Easy As HGV Stadium.

Then afternoons see professional coaching delivered by a UEFA B coach and a FA Level 2 qualified coach.

Wednesdays are allocated as purely match days competing against other Colleges and Professional Football Clubs.

Throughout the course your uniform will be the club’s training kit and tracksuits, and club strip on match days.


If you are 16-18 years old and interested in joining our Academy, simply get in touch with us:

Email: academy@farnboroughfc.co.uk

Phone: 07903 781121

Take a look at our dedicated Academy page here.