Introducing… Bloomsbury Football Academy

Every organisation in sport has an interesting story to tell. Whether competing, nurturing or providing a service, we have learnt that sport goes well beyond the final whistle. Recently, we have spoken to just some of our favourite and interesting customers as part of our recent Kitted Out series. This time, we speak to a new partner of Kitlocker.com: Bloomsbury Football Academy.

In December, we spoke to Nas from FAB Academy – a private footballing environment designed to get youngsters into the professional game. Bloomsbury Football Academy offers a similar pathway for aspiring talent to find their way, albeit with their own take on how to do it.

Praise from One of Football’s Superpowers

We’re delighted to have recently partnered with Bloomsbury Football Academy, who provide ‘the best football experience for talented, young players in Central London’. These are the words of Ian Smithson, who is the Head of Education at Manchester United. You’d imagine that someone working for a club of United’s stature knows what they’re talking about…

Director Charlie Hyman has been integral to the success of the organisation. Having founded the academy only last year, he has already seen the numbers grow massively. Bloomsbury FA now train sixty players each week.

Hyman tells us that the quality of the training sessions has been key to the organisation’s success. “The high-levels and professionalism of the coaching, venues, equipment and kit have been some of the major reasons for our success”.

We’ve previously talked about how social media is becoming increasingly important at a grassroots level. Bloomsbury Football Academy have switched on to this and Hyman states that it has been a massive factor in their growth.

“As well as traditional methods of marketing – including flyering – we have used social media to move forward. By offering a top-quality service and marketing our sessions well, inevitably the word has spread and players have joined.”

Unique Methods

Hyman has incorporated his own beliefs into the sessions that Bloomsbury FA provide. Futsal – small-sided games of football played indoors – is perhaps the most key example. It is something that the academy has used since Day One to develop skills.

The sport is currently blooming in the UK, and has seen funded boosted by the FA and the Football Foundation in recent years. Hyman has previously told us that it develops the reaction time of players when faced with high-pressure situations. It has also proven to be popular amongst his young age groups.

“I have been heavily involved with futsal in a coaching and playing capacity for the past few years,”, he told us. “It is something that I knew I wanted to bring in when founding Bloomsbury FA. It has arguably been the most successful session that we run each week. We see our highest attendances when playing futsal, and many kids tell me they actually prefer it to football”.

As well as futsal, Hyman often implements Speed, Agility and Quickness (SAQ) drills to the player’s training regimes. “Every session involves this sort of work,” he said when asked about the subject. “Creating athletic players is just as important as creating technically proficient ones, to me”.

Tackling the Cost of Grassroots Football

Unfortunately for many, grassroots football can be expensive. At the start of the season, we covered the true cost of setting up a grassroots football team. We also discussed the importance of sponsoring such a team, and why it does more than just put shirts on backs.

Since becoming established less than a year ago, Bloomsbury have looked to tackle the issue head on. All sessions and matches are free of charge to all age groups. Bloomsbury Football Academy therefore relies on donations in order to operate.

This method is made even more remarkable when looking at the environment in which Bloomsbury operate in. Hyman has told us that other local clubs are putting finances before football. “The model we use allows all players – irrespective of their financial background – to attend our programme. Comparatively, other clubs within the area are charging in excess of £15/16 per hour,“ he told us.

Kitlocker.com: Proud to Supply Bloomsbury Football Academy

Our Business Development Manager, Ben Dixon, said that he was delighted to start working with an organisation who possessed a refreshing attitude towards football.

“It was very refreshing when Charlie asked for a meeting to hear about the methods Bloomsbury Academy operate. Providing a low-cost service to families in an urban area, whilst developing talent and increasing participation, are key targets of Bloomsbury. We hope that we can play a part in their continued success. Providing Nike teamwear and equipment will help build the reputation of the organisation further.”

Are you based in Central London and looking for a football academy to join? To find out more about Bloomsbury Football Academy, please visit their website HERE.