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Students score first-hand experience with Walsall FC partnership


University of Wolverhampton students are benefitting from a partnership with local League Two footballing side Walsall Football Club.  

Just a stone’s throw from the University’s Walsall Campus, students from various sports degree courses in the Institute of Human Sciences, including Football Coaching and Performance, are getting first-hand coaching experience at Walsall Football Club, as well as in a variety of different competitive environments throughout the club’s wider community.  

The University of Wolverhampton’s partnerships with Walsall FC Academy focuses on employability and pathways of working as well as supporting clubs and teams throughout the wider community.  

The University’s Institute of Human Sciences, which is based at its Walsall Campus, works closely with the club providing fitness monitoring, sports science and psychology support to young players in its academy. 

As part of their curriculum, students get real life, hands-on experience in a number of key roles – coaching children and adults through community programmes, college partnerships and through Walsall FC’s Academy. Key skills learned on placements and work experiences such as performance analysis, coaching and community engagement offer students the skillset they need to pursue a career in football and coaching.   

Rus Smith, Football Coaching and Performance Course Lead at the University, said: “One of the things we thrive upon is making sure there are opportunities available for students to work within the football workplace. 

“We embed their opportunities into the teaching through placements or work experience and effectively, with Walsall Football Club, we found analysis placements, coaching and work in the community as exit routes for our students.” 

Kilmen Peterthebaraj, Football Coaching and Performance student, said: “I'm working with Walsall College at the moment, helping out with the coaching and obviously getting my experience coaching with different age groups. It’s great because working with older groups isn’t something I've worked on, so the University has found me an opportunity where I can gain further experience to help me achieve my ambitions.” 

Jack Bolger, Football Coaching and Performance student working on placement at Walsall FC, said: “So from the performance analysis side, we record the matches – we set up the equipment before the match and then take the recording back to analyse it in order to introduce improvements to the game.” 

The University sponsors Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion and Walsall FC, supporting their academy programmes and helping in the development of the next generation of players. The University is also the main sponsor for the West Bromwich Albion Women’s football programme – highlighting our commitment to gender equality, which was recently recognised through the Department of Sport’s Athena Swan Bronze Award. The University also has ongoing sponsorship agreements with Walsall Cricket Club, Staffordshire Cricket Board and Sheffield Collegiate Cricket Club, home to England captain and Honorary Graduate, Joe Root. 

For further information about studying Football Coaching and Performance, or other sports courses available at the University of Wolverhampton, please visit: 

Picture caption (top) from left to right: Pawel Krystkiewicz, Jackson Dilday, Jack Bolger and Kilmen Peterthebaraj – all Football Coaching and Performance degree students at Walsall Campus. 

Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of our forthcoming Open Days.  


For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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