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19 July 2012

Flybe Launches Search For Next Soccer Star With Exeter City Football Feeder Programme

Leading regional airline supports grassroots football with Grecians in search for next generation of stars

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline and proud sponsor of Exeter City Football Club, have joined forces with the Grecians to support jointly grassroots football in and around the county. The Flybe Feeder Programme is designed to identify young, talented football players in the region, providing them with top level professional guidance to help unlock their potential and discover the next football star of St James Park

The scheme will build on the club’s already successful youth policy which recently saw starlet Sean Goss land a dream £100,000 move from Exeter City to Manchester United and consists of two elements; the first part will see Exeter City Centre of Excellence coaches attend football sessions at 12 local primary schools and the second element will be the development of a network of scouts for every age group (from Under 8s to Under 16s) looking at talent in the region’s eight youth leagues.

Coaching sessions at the 12 primary schools will be focused on developing core football foundation skills and help nurture talented young players by introducing them to the importance of a healthy diet, academic achievement and disciplined play in achieving sporting excellence.

Those up and coming stars identified by both the network of scouts operating across the youth football leagues and by the Exeter City Centre of Excellence coaches, will then be offered the opportunity to become part of the elite Exeter City Football Club ‘Player Progression Pathway’.

The Player Pathway provides talentedyoungsters between the age of six and 16the opportunity to develop their skill and knowledge of the sport to the highest level, unlocking their potential towards the goal of becoming a professional footballer.

Flybe’s Director of Marketing, Simon Lilley comments: “Flybe is proud of its long history of supporting local football and, in partnership with Exeter City, are committed to helping develop the game at grassroots’ level. The Flybe Feeder Programme has been designed to create a clearer link between the elite professionals and the grassroots player, with the aim of helping inspire young people achieve their sporting goals and nurturing new young Exeter City talent. We have worked closely with the Grecians and its Centre of Excellence to ensure young players have every chance of reaching the highest level. ”

Exeter City Football Club’s Head of Youth, Simon Hayward said “We are delighted to launch this programme with Flybe and we are very grateful to Flybe for their support of this exciting new initiative. Developing top level professional athletes is a real thrill but a big challenge. We hope that, through the ‘Flybe feeder programme’, we can develop players who can go on to play at the top level of professional football. However, the beauty of the scheme is that while the development programme takes place we will see success of a different kind on a regular basis with theenjoyment and education that local young children receive through the schools coaching that our Academy coaching staff will deliver.”

Adds Mr Lilley: “The incredible success of Sean Goss shows there is plenty of talent in Devon and both Flybe and Exeter City Football Club are extremely excited about the potential for the Feeder Programme to uncover more talent and we look forward to watching these young players progress and develop into the future stars of St James Park.”