A football academy in the kingdom has agreed formal links with a Premier League club, renowned in England for developing young players into international household names.
Tekkers Academy – Bahrain has joined the Southampton Football Club International Academy Partner Programme, the top-tier English outfit’s first international partner from the sovereign state in the Middle East.
The academy’s founding partners Paul Shipwright and Deena Rahman said the move will enhance the opportunities and learning that they can offer their players and coaches. Players from Bahrain will also have a range of opportunities to take part in a UK player development camp in Southampton.
“The values and goals of our academy match those of Southampton perfectly and there is no better fit for us as a partner,” they said in a statement.
“The success that Southampton have consistently had in producing top class players is second to none and having access to that knowledge and the opportunity to take our players to their Academy is truly exciting for us.”
Established in 2015, Tekkers now operates in Busaiteen, Sanabis, Saar, Hamala, Riffa and Dilmunia, providing sports training for hundreds of children aged from 18-months to 18, and adults too regardless of ability, background, religion or gender.
Shipwright, a renowned youth football coach formerly linked with North London giants Arsenal, married Bahrain National Women’s midfield star Rahman in 2012. She too has a wealth of coaching experience and her playing résumé includes a spell with Premiership rivals Fulham.
Southampton FC says it is delighted to welcome the Tekkers Academy-Bahrain to its portfolio of international academy partners.
Mark Abrahams, its director of business and community, said, “Their approach and values connect really well with the ‘Southampton way’ and, therefore, the International Academy Partner programme fits perfectly with our shared ambitions.”
As well as player development initiatives, the partnership creates an opportunity for the Tekkers Academy staff to access the club’s Academy Performance Programme that includes coach education webinars, an online resource library, alongside a supporting curriculum.
Southampton Football Club is recognised across the world as a leading authority in youth player development. The club has continually produced Premier League players, including household names such as Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and to the present day England international and Southampton FC captain, James Ward-Prowse.
“The club continues to prioritise the development of young players with the aim of turning their potential into excellence and creating the Premier League player of tomorrow,” Abrahams added.