Our sports academies give students the opportunity to combine academic studies with playing high level competitive sport. Students compete against some of the best college and academy teams both regionally and nationally, as well as apply for scholarship opportunities in America and other countries 

As well as weekly competitive fixtures, all sports academy students receive around five hours of high-quality specialist coaching each week from professional coaches. The programme covers skills training, technical and tactical understanding, fitness training and sports leadership. Player fitness is regularly monitored through individual training plans including a focus on diet and nutrition.


 Our facilities are recognised as some of the best in the region at this level and include a full size floodlit 3G pitch, two FA standard pitches, a state of the art sports centre, a well-equipped fitness suite and a multi-use games area.


Coached by Emma Dovey (Manchester Thunder Captain and former England International), students improve their fitness, technical skills and understanding of the game. 


They will receive professional coaching in our impressive facilities, which include a fully sprung indoor sports hall, spacious outdoor courts and a state of the art fitness suite. 


The team competes in the highly competitive local Lancashire league and the British Colleges’ Cup. Our close links with Manchester Thunder ensures that if students have the potential to play at the highest level, they will receive the necessary coaching and development.  


Coached by Iain Wilkie, the boys’ football academy is very successful. Since 2013 they have been the North West Colleges’ Division 1 champions, won the Lancashire U18s Cup and reached the final stages of the National Colleges’ Cup competition. 


The Academy has established a strong partnership with several local teams. Academy students have progressed to playing for semi-professional sides in the North West and Australia. 


Players also undertake pre-season training and this has previously taken place at Malaga FC and Panathinaikos FC. Plans are already underway for 2020’s pre-season training camp. 

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Emma Dovey

DACA Head Netball Coach

Emma has over 10 years of experience in netball at the top level. She has been capped for England at age group and Senior level, winning 5X European Championships and the World Series. She has also won the Netball  Superleague twice and is currently captain of Manchester Thunder.

Chris Worthington

DACA Head Football Coach

Chris has over 15 years experience in football coaching, including academies and town teams. He was previously the Managing Director of Future Stars Soccer Camps, a leading Sports Coaching organisation in the North West of England. Chris created the Darwen Aldridge Football Academy in 2012 which has celebrated successes in North West Colleges League and the Lancashire Schools FA Trophy over recent years.