The Best Football Training Centres in London
By London Designer Outlet
Do you have a budding David Beckham, Thierry Henry, or Fara Williams (top scorer for the female English football team, if you didn’t know) in your household? Perhaps you’re worried that your kids are spending too much time playing Fifa on the Xbox rather than spending time in the healthy fresh air. Or maybe you’re worried that you might have produced the next Luis Suarez, and you think they need to learn the finer points of the game without noshing on their fellow players. Getting out and getting fit is important for both your physical and mental health – and making friends and having fun is a must for children of any age! London is full of great football training centres, and whether your children are clearly the next star of the Premiership, or they just want to have some fun, here are some of the very best.
The Hive is the home of Barnet Football Club, and the 5,100 capacity stadium offers world-class fitness facilities. Located just five miles from Wembley (a simple trip on the Jubilee line takes you straight to the stadium), The Hive offers events and activities for people of all ages and abilities. With four full-size grass pitches, two full-size 3G pitches, and youth, junior, and mini pitches, The Hive Community Trust works to bring the benefit of sport to the local community. They offer a huge range of activities, including Saturday morning and afternoon football sessions for under-18s, evening football sessions, after school clubs, holiday sport camps, social inclusion football sessions, and special disability sessions. Everyone is welcome at The Hive, making it a welcoming and inclusive space for anyone interested in sport.
There are plenty of little Arsenal fans out there, so what better way to get them into the game than by signing them up to learn how to play the Arsenal way (that involves playing fairly, with teamwork, expression, and fun, if you didn’t know). Since 1985, Arsenal in the Community have sought to make a meaningful and positive impact in local communities, and the Development Centre was set up in 2009 so that young players could have the opportunity to train and play. As well as playing in a local youth league, players have the chance to play in a grassroots mini-league, and afterschool and holiday courses are also available. The courses are open for boys and girls aged from six to twelve, and the sessions are all delivered by FA and UEFA qualified coaches. Highgatewood is about nine miles away from Wembley, straight down the A406.
For those really serious about having a professional career in football, Lewisham is the place to go. They are the only football academy that offers players the chance to play in the Dallas Cup (one of the best under-19s football tournaments in the world, attended by Chelsea, Real Madrid, and AC Milan) and the chance to train on Charlton Athletic’s training ground. Students will be coached and scouted by staff who work at Premiership and Championship clubs, and get to play pre-season friendly matches against Premiership and Championship academies. The college is over an hour away from Wembley, which is a bit of a drive, but players have the chance to work within the football industry and earn during their third year. Professionals such as Dominic Green (Peterborough United), Max Gradel (St. Etienne), Mitchell Nelson and Trevor Ajim (Colchester United) have all come through the Academy, so all you need is to pass the trial and buy a training kit to join up!
Formed in 2010, the Chelsea Foundation aims to bring together the community through sports and social responsibility. Football can be used to motivate, educate, and inspire, and their Soccer Schools offer an outstanding development programme. They’re a great introduction to the game, and they’re perfect for boys and girls of all abilities aged between four and thirteen. The schools are all run by FA qualified coaches eager to inspire and encourage talent and passion for the game. There are over two hundred soccer schools, with many focusing on a special talent such as goalkeeping, so check the link and find the one that best matches what you and your children are looking for.
Run by the Lucozade Powerleague, the premier operate of 5-a-side football in the UK, these weekly coaching sessions are specially designed to get children into the sport. Suitable for boys and girls aged from five to twelve, the sessions are perfect for children of all abilities. Running on Saturday, your children can learn to play in the very home of English football.
Little Superstars are a special programme of sports activities specially designed for children aged from two to seven, getting children interested in sports and fitness as early as possible so they’ll be healthy and active into adulthood. They run fun and innovative weekly football sessions in safe indoor environments. The sessions are suitable for boys and girls of all abilities, and they offer a great chance to develop movement skills, as well as social skills and the chance to make friends. The emphasis is very much on creating a fun space to play in, and your Superstar will be able to progress at their own speed – hopefully, to move onto one of the other great centres mentioned.