Meet your coaches: Velocity Football confirms coaching staff for 2021-22 academic year

Velocity Football is pleased to confirm an extensive list of qualified and experienced coaches and tutors who will deliver the programme through the 2021-22 academic year.

Their work will begin next week when students studying one of Virtual Learning UK’s BTEC, Higher National Certificate or Higher National Diploma programmes can choose to attend the first of our voluntary pre-season training sessions.

A full list of our 2021-22 team and their profiles can be read below:

Justin Merritt, director:

Justin oversees every aspect of the programme’s work to provide young people with a platform to aspire towards a career in sport. He is a qualified UEFA A Licence Coach, a chartered physiotherapist, and sports scientist.

Lauren Haynes, female programme head coach:

Captain of Oxford United Women’s FC with previous experience at Arsenal, Bristol Academy and Aston Villa, Lauren is an FA Level 2 qualified coach. She is also girls academy manager at Oxford United and has extensive experience in youth development pathways.

Ross Jenkins, male programme head coach:

Ross strengthens Velocity Football’s partnership with Oxford City FC, where he is a coach, and the club’s first-team. He is a former professional and made more than 80 appearances for Watford at Championship level.

Jordan Piper, coach:

After graduating from Oxford Brookes University with a First Class Honours degree in Sport Coaching and Physical Education, Jordan joined Velocity. He works to support young people in Oxfordshire who wish to pursue a career in the sport and leisure industry.

Aliyah Anthony, coach:

A keen powerlifter, Oxford-raised Aliyah graduated from Middlesex University where she spent four years gaining valuable coaching and personal training experience with Watford FC. She also plays football for Cheshunt FC.

Andy Francis, coach:

With more than 10 years’ experience as a goalkeeper, Andy is our specialist goalkeeping coach and works to improve our ‘keepers’ agility, sprint speeds and knowledge on a daily basis in training.

Josh Ashby, coach:

Oxford through and through. Josh is a well-respected member of our coaching team and proudly represents Oxford City FC in National League South. He works closely with students to develop their on-field skills and understanding of the game.

Jack Tutton, coach:

As a graduate of the Velocity Football programme under its former structure, Jack can relate fondly to our programme. He completed an apprenticeship with partners Ignite Sport UK and is now a full-time coach. He also plays for Thame United.

Andy Sinnot, coach:

Andy joined Velocity Football in summer 2021 with a wealth of football experience behind him. As a player, he represented Oxford United, Oxford City, Witney Town, Bicester Town and Kidlington. He also managed Kidlington, Carterton, Thame and Oxford City. Andy is a FA Level 2 qualified coach.

Dominic Newton, sports analyst:

Dominic uses his extensive knowledge of the performance sector to develop students’ technical and physical abilities via sports analysis. He combines his role with the Velocity programme with a job at League One side Shrewsbury Town.

Justin Merritt said: “Providing students with the best experiences and opportunities both on and off the pitch is an important part of our vision at Velocity Football.

“The dedication, experience and personal support our expert team of coaches and tutors provide helps make this possible. We are excited to welcome students back in for voluntary pre-season training sessions soon in preparation for the start of term on Monday, September 6.”

Students studying the programme in 2021-22 can report for pre-season training on Wednesday, August 4.

An induction day will be hosted on Thursday, September 2, for all students. Spaces on next year’s programme are filling quickly but remain open to male and females aged 16 to 23.

For further information and to enquire about enrolling, please contact our friendly team via courses@ignitesportuk.com or call 0300 303 0809.

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