The final week of half term at Ellesmere College saw the return of “Expeditions Week” in school. This provides the opportunity for a full week IHM Football Academy training camp and team bonding activities.

As part of the Ellesmere enrichment programmes, the whole school community take part participate in “Expeditions Week”, where they build on these skills as a group, getting a little light relief from the hard work they put in in throughout the term in the classroom. For those student players enrolled on the IHM Football Academy programme, it gives them a chance to come together with their coaches everyday, for a full week to work together as a team, building on skills learnt on and off the pitch. This term there was a full week of exciting activities planned.

The week started with some intensive training out on the grass, with Head of Football, Sam, and IHM at Ellesmere College Head Coach, Brandon. The two IHM coaches worked together with the young players to put them through their paces. The extra time out on the field gave the coaches the perfect opportunity to work more on the tactical side of the game as a team. It also allowed the coaches time to work with individual players and help them to develop elements of their game.

To break up the days on the field, the student players were treated to time on the PlayStation, with an academy FIFA tournament and classroom seminars that covered how to conduct themselves off the pitch.

Midweek saw match day at Ellesmere, which gave a fantastic opportunity for those involved to have a full, professional, game day preparation. This involved starting the day with the pre match meal, then going out on the pitch to work on set pieces and positional play. They also had time for a full and effective warm up, as well as being able to immediately review and discuss the elements of the game as a team afterwards.

The game day also gave other players a chance to work with Sam on match analysis, giving them an insight into how clubs scrutinise games and the performance of individual players. All those not involved on the pitch were involved in the role of analysis.

As the week drew to a close, it was time for a little fun, with the whole group taking part in a paintball trip, followed by a meal. A great team bonding exercise.

The “Expeditions Week” at Ellesmere College present an amazing opportunity for the players and staff to build relationships and spend that extra time together to learn more about each other and the programme. The academy will be holding the next team training week like this in the final term of the year, something for the boys to look forward to.

Head of Football, Sam said:

“What a great week. We packed the week out and weren’t really sure what to expect from the players during the week, but they took to it brilliantly. In the sessions, both out on the pitch and in the classroom, they were fully committed and worked hard. It was tough and they spent a great deal of time training.

The team building parts were great, too. They just all got along so well as a team, the older ones working great with the younger members of the team. It was nice to see them enjoy themselves so much, paintballing was just great and we even got a bit of a sing song on the bus on the way back. A great week!

I was particularly impressed with how they all contributed to the analysis session and took it so seriously. I think now it might just spur a few on to look closer at their games and see where they can improve using these types of techniques.

Great to see and to be involved in!”

If you would like to be part of the next “Expeditions Week” as a member of the IHM at Ellesmere College academy team, contact us now to discuss what route you could take and join the group in January or ready for the 2024/2025 season.