A student at Oxford City Football Club’s educational academy who has broken into the first team has revealed how combining training with education is helping him pursue his dream.
Ewan Clark made his Hoops debut away to Slough Town on January 2 and started in the club’s recent home triumph over Havant and Waterlooville.
The 19-year-old trains twice weekly with the National League South promotion hopefuls and plays on the right-wing but can adapt his game to fill the right-wing back or attacking midfielder roles.
His progression into City’s first team was facilitated by Velocity Football, a full-time educational academy for 16 to 23-year-olds aspiring to fulfil a career in sport. Ewan joined the Velocity programme in March 2021 following his release from Watford Academy.
Now, the Northway-raised talent hopes combining full-time training and playing with his studies can help him realise his dream of turning professional.
“You have to be very honest with yourself and work as hard as you can if you’re going to chase the dream of playing professionally,” said Ewan. “Leaving Watford was a blow, but I kept working hard and moving forwards.
“The opportunities I’ve had with Oxford City this season have been excellent for my development. The squad is performing well, and I know each week in training that I’m working with some of the best players and backroom staff in this division.
“I feel like my first appearances have been good and helped me settle into National League South football. I want to push on from this now and continue to train and work hard.”
Ewan is studying Velocity Football’s Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport programme.
The course takes two years to complete, is worth up to three A Levels and educates students on key industry topics including health and wellbeing, coaching, sports development and sports psychology.
Recent graduates include Forest Green Rovers defender Udoka Godwin-Malife and Ewan’s Oxford City teammate Ethan Gough, who used the course to enrol onto a sports journalism degree at Staffordshire University.
“I’ve got every opportunity to chase my dream,” said Ewan. “Personally, I’m purely focused on turning professional – I feel considering other options right now wouldn’t allow me to put 100% into my game.
“But if it doesn’t work out, I can look back knowing I gave it 100% and have an industry-recognised qualification which is why Velocity Football is so good for me.
“My classmates come from varied backgrounds and abilities. Skill is never a barrier and the lads I work with all have different career aspirations. One thing we all have in common is a passion for sport which is shared by everyone on site. It’s a great environment to be in.”
Velocity Football’s BTEC, Higher National Certificate (HNC), and Higher National Diploma (HND) courses provide 16- to 23-year-olds with the education, experience and opportunities to follow a career in sport.
For further information about Velocity Football visit: www.velocityfootball.co.uk.