NCL students were given a rare opportunity to tour Leicester City Football Club’s state of the art Sports Turf Academy, followed by watching both the goal keepers’ training session and the outfield players training session. Opened in 2020, the Academy, located north of the city at Seagrave boasts the highest specification facility in Europe and needless to say, made a huge impression on our students.
Organised with the aim of raising the students’ awareness of careers available in the sport and to give them the privileged access to the extensive facilities at the ground, the encounter with various players and seeing training in action were added bonuses.
On arrival at the training ground, the students received a warm welcome from Youri Tielemans, Leicester’s midfielder and Belgium national team member and defender Timothy Castagne who also plays for Belgium. This reception alone was exciting enough but the tour of the outstanding training facilities at the ground had everyone buzzing with excitement.
Highlights of the tour included the customised gym and hydrotherapy facilities, including the pool and changing facilities and the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha building which is the site’s primary training, medical, and administrative hub for the First Team and Academy. The students were able to view the various training pitches where they were able to see some of the academy players in action.
The opportunity to see the training session of the first team goalies was another plus, made extra special when first team goalkeeper Danny Ward popped across for a chat. More rubbing shoulders with the great and the good of LCFC came when manager, Brendan Rodgers, kindly came over to shake hands with the students.
The outfield training session which was taking place gave the students chance to watch England stars James Maddison and Harvey Barnes in action. More star players were encountered when our students watched the players’ recovery sessions and it was great for our students to be able to have a chat with them.
The visit to LCFC’s Academy actually rendered some of our students momentarily speechless when they met the players. It was a visit full of varied interest, described by one student as a ‘once in a lifetime experience.’ It was certainly a visit they’ll never forget!
Thanks to all at LCFC for making this experience possible and the warmth of the welcome we received.