BRISTOL City Football Club and South Gloucestershire and Stroud (SGS) College have combined to offer specialised football coaching for aspiring hopefuls.

They have introduced a new development squad, which will sit underneath Bristol City's existing Academy programme and provide further opportunities and pathways within the game.

This programme, which will be run in partnership between the two organisations, will be available exclusively to SGS College students in addition to the training and matches the college already provides. Aspiring footballers will train under the watchful eye of coaches from both the club and the college, with also the possibility of representing the club in competitive fixtures.

Bristol City legend and head of youth recruitment, Brian Tinnion, will be in charge of player selection for the squad. The club's Academy Coach and former SGS College football coach, Alex Ball, will be in charge of relations between the two parties, and former City player and head of sports academies at SGS College, Simon Panes, will oversee the programme.

Panes said: "As a long-time supporter of Bristol City FC, I am delighted to be working alongside the club to offer aspiring footballers an enhanced learning experience at SGS College. "We have seen many of our academy players go on to have successful careers in professional football and I'm confident that this new programme will help many more secure a career in football. "Hopefully in the near future we'll see some of our players take to the pitch at Ashton Gate as a result of this initiative."

Both the club and college will work closely together with this new initiative, sharing good practice, facilities and expertise. Trials will take place during May half term, 27–31 May, and pre-season training will start mid-July. Applicants will be aged between 16 and 19 and must be prepared to take up a full-time academic course alongside their football programme and have a high level of footballing ability.

For more information and enquiries, contact Paul Metheringham at