Posted by SCL Education group on 22.12.16
BOBBY BOWRY has been there and done it in football. He’s played at the highest level with Crystal Palace, in the Championship with Millwall and Colchester United, and in Non-League with Gravesend & Northfleet.
He is even Saint Kitts and Nevis’ only every Premier League goalscorer! So when he says the partnership between SCL and his Volenti Academy is a match made in heaven, you tend to listen.
The academy, based in the footballing hotbed of south London, has been going since Bowry was plying his trade in the Football League.
Now, however, it’s going from strength to strength, giving young players a chance in football and passionately providing them with other opportunities in other walks of life.
“Education is key, we want them to be able to go down different pathways if needed,” Croydon-born Bowry told The NLP.
“Sadly not every boy we have at Volenti will make it, and I’m happy to be transparent and tell parents that.
“But as a parent myself, I recognised that the education SCL deliver is what I want.
“The way they are with the boys, and their attention to detail; it’s spot on. As a former player, I know what gets you far in clubs.
“It’s my passion to see them develop a good ethos, work ethic and values that will hold them in good stead if they get to pro academies; that’s what SCL has helped with.”
SCL agree with Bowry, who says it is his huge ‘passion’ seeing young players succeed, and Managing Director and co-founder Lewis Field said: “We believe in creating the correct relationship with our partners for long-term success and work hard to ensure we deliver for partners and for our learners.”
As shown at an independent Academy such as Volenti, SCL is able to help programmes across the footballing world, and Field added: “Whether clubs or private set ups have an existing Academy and are looking for an alternative education provider or want to set a programme up from scratch, SCL has the expertise, support structure and experience to make it happen.”
With the help of SCL and Ten-Em-Bee SDC, who let Volenti train in great surroundings, the Academy is not only able to provide players with a chance to play the sport they love, but also learn and gain the experience they might need for a life out of football.
Bowry’s son, Daniel, is a fine example of a player coming from Volenti and into a pro-academy; he signed for Charlton in April and played a vital role in the under-18 side winning the National Youth Development League.
He is also the player from that under-18 team that has represented Charlton’s under-23 side the most times this campaign, but with 10 GCSEs, the 18-year-old defender doesn’t just have to rely on his feet to do the talking.
That is partly down to the upbringing his father gave him, and of course partly thanks to the environment created at Volenti.
“We’re not a football club, and are batting above our status,” said Bowry. “We come from an area with a lot of teams, and great youth set-ups such as Dulwich Hamlet and Maidstone United, and of course Palace, but we offer the boys something different.
“With the support of SCL and regular sessions, I can now work for more than just one hour with the boys, coaching them.
“We don’t mind losing kids to pro Academies, I buzz off seeing players I have worked with play at the top level, like Charlie (Daniels) and Tommy (Elphick).
“We have a great relationship with the players and SCL , and I am sure it will only blossom.”