IT HAS been a very successful season for the Plymouth Argyle Football in the Community Trust's Scholarship Programme.All three teams can be very happy with the season that they have had. The first and second team respectively must be commended for their hard work in securing their respective league titles with special praise reserved for their coaches — especially Martin Jones who led the first team to the prestigious PLFL under-19 league title with a fantastic win against Birmingham City at St Andrews one of many notable scalps in a successful season.
The third team have also had a respectable season - finishing 3rd in their league - playing some attractive football. However, they ran out of steam towards the end of the season with their title challenge fading towards the end.
The first team have had some fantastic opportunities as the league season has drawn to a close, having the chance to play on St James Park, Exeter and Birmingham City's ground at St Andrews - as well as Home Park, of course. The experience is a fantastic advert for the programme and one that each player has relished.
The programme sees young players participate in a number of academic studies alongside a football scholarship run by Argyle. The programme is designed to give people academic qualifications that can take them into universities, employment and work places.
In addition, it allows them the opportunity to train and play as a football scholar alongside their studies. Previous players have progressed into the professional game, climbed the football pyramid and gone overseas. Others have improved on their football ability and continue to play local football.
Being treated as close to professional footballer as is possible is what this course aims to do for the young players that embark on the two-year journey. This year has seen more fantastic opportunities for the players on the programme, with more to come next year.
Success is a product of hard work, application and attitude - both on and off the pitch. As a club we hope that all new players for the forthcoming year make the most of the opportunities presented throughout their two years of the programme.
After the season is over, the coaches will reflect and identify areas for improvement so that in pre-season in August they can identify the players that will be part of what looks to be another successful year for the programme both in the classroom and on the pitch.
With University statistics at its highest in the history of the programme, we look forward to what looks to be another promising year next year.