The Nike Academy is a professional football development programme that is run by Nike and supported by the Premier League. It has one aim – to help and support highly skilled and committed young footballers to reach their potential and make it as a professional.
The latest 22 players in the Academy are from across the UK, and for the first time are joined by international team mates from Belgium, France, South Africa, Ghana, Korea and Australia.
Loughborough was selected as the new full time home for the Academy, as it was able to match Nike’s intentions to offer a football development experience that develops the individual’s football abilities, alongside offering an appropriate educational programme.
The Academy has already played home fixtures against a number of football league clubs, including Southampton, Bristol City and Cardiff City. The team have also played away fixtures, including a trip to Milan to take on Internazionale, one of the most famous and successful clubs in world football.
Loughborough are also offering access to its world class sports facilities as well as conditioning and sport medicine provision, along with office desk space and support for the Academy staff and coaches.
Andy Borrie, Deputy Director of Sport at Loughborough University said: “We are delighted to be supporting Nike with this exciting project, and welcome the Academy players to Loughborough. Not only will the players benefit from our fantastic training facilities, they will also be very much a part of the world class community of athletes that we have on our campus.”