THE new St Joseph’s Catholic High School Football Academy has this season entered the Tactic Football League for clubs and academies.

The league covers a vast area of the South East from Newbury to Crystal Palace and includes well-established academies such as John Madejski and Cox Green.

St Joseph’s School in Shaggy Calf Lane, Slough has entered the league to give its students with footballing ambitions a high level of competition to hone their skills and without forfeiting their education.

One of the great attractions to the set up of the new academy is that home games are played at Arbour Park, the fantastic community facility in Stoke Road, Slough.

In addition, a brand new kit sponsored by Thames Motors and equipment sponsored by At Liberty Ltd has given the academy the experience of a more professional touch.

The academy is coached by Tony Thompson, a former first team coach at Windsor, and students also have access to FA coaching, officiating and first aid courses.

The idea behind the new venture is to create an environment to maximise students’ academic and footballing prospects without compromising either one.

In addition, the football aspect is a great motivational and learning tool for many of the students.

The St Joseph’s Academy won its first league fixture in the Regional South division after a 5-1 victory against Harrow Borough at Arbour Park.

Man-of-the-match AJ Yusuf and Tanatswa Matambanadzo both scored twice in the victory, with Fabio Thercaj also on target.

St Joseph’s then beat Maidenhead Academy 3-1 in a home friendly match thanks to goals from Yusuf, Lee Kadiri and William Whelan.

Thompson told the Observer: “I came to the school in October of last year to help with their PE department. They had some kind of football programme running but it wasn’t working out.

“I was interested in the idea and so we went for it.

“The short-term aim is to be recognised in Slough and the surrounding areas as the place to develop as a football but without having to compromise academically, which is often a trade-off.

“We’re very much feeling our feet at the moment and getting them under the table in the Tactic League.

“We want to stay in the division and will see where we are at the end of the season. Depending on how many players we can introduce next season, we might be able to set-up a second side.

“We’ve made a fantastic start with two wins, eight goals scored and only two conceded, so I can’t complain.”

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