After a well-deserved Christmas break, the players are returning to Manchester to kick off the year with a term filled with action. Head coach Sam is eager to get the players back on the pitch and into action after the three-week break. Hopefully, all the Manchester players have diligently followed the training plan during the festive period to ensure they can hit the ground running when they return to the field. The first game is scheduled for the Friday of the first week back, making it crucial for all players to be focused and ready to compete.

The term is packed with important sessions for the players as they progress through their time at the football academy. Beginning with a classroom session from football consultant Mick Brennan, the IHM Football Academy team will delve into the best ways to prepare and edit their match highlights—a vital component of their player portfolios. As the term progresses, they will consolidate information from these sessions to build their final portfolios for use in their progression.

Looking towards the future, players will have the opportunity to take their first steps in a coaching route by completing the FA Playmakers course—the initial rung on the ladder to becoming a coach. With future education in mind, players will explore options beyond the academy and receive guidance from advisors at UK universities, opening up possibilities for progression.

Excitement is in the air for IM Football Academy players in 2024. Returning to the UK, they will be immersed in the buzz of the FA Cup entering the third round, where premier league giants join the competition. The FA Cup, the world’s most famous football competition and the oldest of its kind, serves as the blueprint for the formal game in its current form. The final at Wembley Stadium is a showcase end to the English footballing season and one of the most viewed games globally. Both Manchester clubs, United and City, remain in contention this season. Manchester United faces local rivals Wigan Athletic, while Manchester City aims to defend their title, starting strong with a 5–0 victory over championship side Huddersfield Town in round three. IH Manchester players, present in the UK, will savour the competition’s atmosphere as the rounds progress. In past years, some players were fortunate to secure tickets for Manchester games and experience the live action.

On the pitch, the second half of the college league competition kicks off for the players in Manchester. With a successful opening half of the season, IHM Football Academy players have the opportunity for an overall successful season if they maintain their form from 2023.

Head coach Sam expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “It’s great to be back with the lads out on the pitch. Most seem to have maintained their fitness over the break, which is what we need. The second half of the season promises to be exciting. I can’t wait to see what these lads can achieve, not only as a team but as they approach the end of their program here in Manchester. Hopefully, some will move on to a higher level in the game, and others will progress to UK universities. It’ll be an exciting journey to witness.”

Stay updated on everything in Manchester through the IHM Football Academy website and social media channels. If you’re interested in joining us in 2024, contact us now to discuss how you can fit into one of our programs and become the next player in our team.