Sheppey College’s fantastic football team has partnered with league one Gillingham FC to deliver a ten-week coaching programme with free tickets to matches.

The student team started last September with six players and now has 30 members competing for places. They play their matches at Sheppey United’s first-class pitch and are now benefiting from the expert advice of Gillingham’s coaching team.

Despite being just six months old they have proved to be a brilliant squad. They are fourth in the Kent Colleges Sports Association (KCSSA) league and recently smashed 13 past Bromley College to their three. 

The partnership will also see free trips to games so students can cheer on the Gills, they also have access to their training ground as part of the coaching programme.

Kurt Salter, Programme Area Manager Construction & ICT, said: “We have some very talented players and engaging through sport has proved successful. Their maths and English skills have improved and attendance is up 20 per cent as they need to go to lessons in order to be able to play matches.

“It’s fantastic they get to use decent facilities and it is a unique opportunity for the students to enjoy first-class coaching and attend matches for free.”

Jordan Lissing, Level 1 Multi Trades, said: “It gets me out and it’s a great team - I either play up front or in midfield. It’s competitive so I work hard to make the squad.”

The 17-year-old wants to own his new business and says regular football has also improved his concentration.