School is feeder for bigger clubs

The small primary school of Guildhall Feoffment in Bury St Edmunds has amazingly reached double figures for the number of pupils to be selected by professional football clubs.

The small primary school of Guildhall Feoffment in Bury St Edmunds has amazingly reached double figures for the number of pupils to be selected by professional football clubs.

The school, which only contains 260 pupils overall, has long had a strong football club set-up and last season that was proved when its various teams bagged no less than seven trophies.

Of the ten players who are representing professional clubs, two are in academy systems.

Jack Lankester only begins year three in September, but already he is part of Ipswich Town's Academy, while Thomas Gould has signed for Norwich City's Academy.


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Oliver Collingwood-Hall and George Bugg are playing at under-8 level in Ipswich Town's development and elite squads, while Kieron Burton, Cameron Nicholls and Freddie Stewart-Hogg all play at under-9 level for Ipswich Town's advanced squad.

In addition, Cambridge United have also recruited George Crowe, Matthew Hutchins and Aidan Gallagher for their under-9 advanced squad.

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Guildhall Feoffment coach Rob Morgan said: “The season we have just had was the best in our history, and although we have got a number of players who have been selected for big clubs, this club is all about making sure all of the children get a game.

“We are not the sort of club where it is all about winning, the behaviour and sportsmanship of the players is just as important.”

The school's Saturday morning football club was first set up 30 years ago by former teacher John Newsham who continued to run the side for 16 years.

In the final few years of Newsham's control, parent Rob Morgan volunteered to help Newsham and when the later stepped down 16 years ago, Morgan took over.

Parent of one of the current players Martin Hogg said: “Rob runs a very tight ship. Training continues throughout the year, throughout the school holidays, rain or shine.

“Up to half of all the boys at the school attend training, as well as a couple of girls, and that is because of the devotion to excellence that the modest and quietly spoken Rob has shown.

“To me, Rob is a hero. He encourages the parents to take the FA Soccer Parent qualification and the ethos of his play is that players must listen and learn, practice and pass.

“The players are properly coached, not merely supervised, and they are expected to understand and apply proper tactics.

“All this shows that in a professional setting it is possible to teach very young children far more than is expected of them elsewhere.”

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