When lockdown restrictions eased in mid-summer, Velocity Football recruited Oxford-raised Aliyah Anthony to join its coaching team ahead of the educational provider’s inaugural academic year.
After spending four years gaining valuable coaching and personal training experience with Middlesex University and Premier League football club Watford, Aliyah returned home to inspire the next generation of her field and now lives in Bicester.
She is a keen footballer and will often spend her weekends on the pitch playing in the heart of her team’s defence. Those qualities required by a central defender are translated into her work with Velocity too.
Following the creation of Velocity Football this summer with the support of Ignite Sport UK and educational partner Virtual Learning UK, we caught up with Aliyah to discuss her role with Velocity in five words:
Working with Velocity is a rewarding experience. There are examples of players in the past and present that have gone on to sign contracts with professional clubs, and you get a real kick when you hear that news. But there are off-field success stories too, with many students keen on the coaching and sports psychology elements to the game – and that is what fuels their passion in the classroom before practical work.
- Next generation
There is an array of footballing talent at Velocity, but our goal as coaching staff is to shape the future careers of these students. What we do cannot change the reality that very few youngsters will realise their dreams and make it as a professional football player. We certainly strive towards making that dream happen, but our priority is to create well-rounded individuals via an exciting education programme.
- Role model
As Velocity Football coaches, it is important we lead by example and position ourselves as role model figures. The coaching team bounces off each other, and that creates a healthy working environment that ensures we extract the very best from each individual during their studies. I feel particularly lucky to work alongside some exceptionally talented players and staff that collectively push for positive results.
We do not want students to not look forward to any morning at Velocity Football, we therefore adapt training sessions and classroom activities to never make any two days the same. Training sessions are delivered at a tempo that will improve a student’s level of awareness on the field. And that tempo requires the correct fuel so recruiting catering lead Dan Craddock has been a popular move with more students learning more about the importance nutrition.
It’s a team effort at Velocity Football, that applies to both students and staff. We are lucky to have some great leaders in our coaching unit with Mickey Lewis and Lauren Haynes leading our male and female programmes. Their experience and knowledge of the professional game is invaluable, and something that even I can benefit from. We have staff in place to develop students’ knowledge across all football sectors, and that’s what makes working for Velocity special for me.
Spaces on Velocity Football’s full-time two-year Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport girls programme remain available. To secure your spot now, visit www.velocityfootball.co.uk or call the team on 0300 303 0890.