OAKLANDS WOLVES MEN’S FOOTBALL ACADEMY
CREATING & DEVELOPING TOP FOOTBALLERS
Following 15 years as Oaklands College’s primary Football Academy, we present to you Oaklands Wolves Football Academy.
We aim to develop our players ability, skills and knowledge of the game and to provide opportunities for them to progress into men’s football within the professional and semi-professional game. All members of the Oaklands Wolves Football Academy must be students of the college, which in turn means meeting the entry requirements for the course that you have selected. Students that do not study at Oaklands College will unfortunately be ineligible to participate in The Wolves Academy.
WHAT YOU NEED...
The entry requirements for the A levels and BTEC courses can be viewed alongside the course listing within the course guide or through the course finder on our main OAKLANDS COLLEGE website.
The Men’s Football Academy programme is timetabled to work alongside your lesson timetables, to maximise achievement both on the pitch and in the classroom.
Students joining the academy will also be required to purchase the Oaklands Wolves Sports Academy kit bundle, more details regarding this can be provided upon application and enrolment.
WHAT YOU WILL GAIN...
- 16 hours of coaching each week.
- A detailed programme in order to develop a players technical, tactical, psychological and physical needs.
- Individual 1 to 1 sessions are provided by way of a performance clock detailing every element of the player’s football requirements.
- A position specific pathway is created between player and coach.
As a Men’s Football Academy player, it is possible to study the vast majority of our courses, alongside your academic timetables. Once you have applied for a full-time course at Oaklands College, speak to the Head of Academy; Steve Castle for more information regarding the functionality of your study and academy programmes.
View our full-time courses on the main OAKLANDS COLLEGE website.
Meet our coaches…
HEAD OF ACADEMY, FOOTBALL ACADEMY
Academy founder Steve Castle has over 600 Football League appearances. Having retired from the sport, he completed his UEFA A Licence and started working for local professional and semi-professional clubs whilst acting as a scout for England’s U19’s. Steve is currently the First Team Manager at Royston Town FC and oversees the development of all players at Oaklands Wolves Football Academy. Steve boasts a footballing CV working alongside the likes of Glenn Hoddle, Tony Pulis and Kevin Nugent.
ACADEMY CO-ORDINATOR, FOOTBALL ACADEMY
Also known as the ‘Mother’ of the group, Karen founded the academy alongside Steve in 2004. Karen arranges all academy fixtures, administration and is always available for a chat, providing support and guidance to our Academy players – Whether there’s an issue with the course, travelling to college or any additional learning support Karen is always there to help. In addition to this, most parent enquiries are dealt by Karen.
HEAD OF RECRUITMENT, FOOTBALL ACADEMY
A former Oaklands Wolves Football Academy student, Spyros went on to the University of Hertfordshire to study Sports Studies after his completion of the BTEC Level 3 Sport & Exercise Science at Oaklands. Spyros made his First Team debut for St Albans City FC under Steve Castle at the age of 16 and is currently playing for Castle’s Royston Town. Mentis has been at Oaklands for 10 years and is very proud of how the academy has developed through the years and very excited to see how far the academy can progress in the future.
COACH, FOOTBALL ACADEMY
A former Oaklands Wolves Football Academy student, Gus started coaching at the academy after completing his BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport & Coaching. Gus is also currently playing at Royston Town and was a member of the famous FA Youth Cup squad which lost 2-1 against Arsenal FC in the 5th round. A great coach with the philosophy of “train how you play” Gus is also working with the Oaklands Wolves Youth Academy which have teams from U8’s all the way up to U16’s.
COACH, FOOTBALL ACADEMY
Another former Oaklands Wolves Football Academy student. Like Gus, Josh was employed after completing his BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport & Coaching. Josh was a key member of the squad which won the League and the Regional Cup and earned himself a 6 week trial at Swindon FC midway through his second year at Oaklands. Inspired by his native Italian footballing roots, his coaching philosophy focuses on technical & possession aspects of the game.
COACH, FOOTBALL ACADEMY
Another former Oaklands Wolves Football Academy student, Dan completed his Level 3 BTEC and is currently juggling a coaching role with the academy whilst also being enrolled on a Personal Training diploma. Initially, as a player in the academy he started off with the Development squad. However, his attitude was his best attribute and he started progressing swiftly. He left the academy as the Elite squad vice-captain and was delighted when Steve Castle offered him a coaching role. Dan is currently shadowing Steve, Gus & Josh, gaining valuable experience in the very early stages of his coaching career.
GK COACH, FOOTBALL ACADEMY
Dimi has just joined the academy after a spell of playing professional football for FC International Leipzig in Germany. A talented goalkeeper who was on the books of Brentford FC in his youth before making his move to Germany. Dimi currently plays Non-League football for Bedfont Sports FC, whilst completing his Sports Science Degree at Brunel University. Looking to pass on what he’s learned as a Pro, he’s currently working for various youth clubs in London and is in the early stages of setting up his own GK Academy.
HEAD PHYSIOTHERAPIST, FOOTBALL ACADEMY
Leda was a professional cyclist for ten years representing Team GB throughout her career. She won over 30 International races and multiple National medals as well as becoming British Number One. Having retired from the sport, Leda now shares a physio role between the Football & the Cycling Wolves Academies whilst also being the current Team GB Elite Physio for British Triathlon.
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH, FOOTBALL ACADEMY
Chris recently completed a BSc in Sport & Exercise Science and went on to an MSc in Strength & Conditioning at the University of Bedfordshire. Chris now works with many athletes across the Oaklands Wolves Academies including Football, Cycling & Rugby. A great coach with the philosophy of “consistency & hard work” Chris is excited to work with various academies, by doing so he’s hoping to widen his knowledge in the industry and have a clear understanding of the different demands needed by different sports.
SAFA – Oakland’s Wolves Football programme
- Oaklands Academy Elites (Oaklands College) – Cat 1
- Oaklands Academy U19’s (Oaklands College) – Cat 2
- Oaklands Academy U17’s (Oaklands College) – Cat 3
- Wolves Academy Elites (Oaklands College) – Cat 1
- Wolves Academy U19’s (Oaklands College) – Cat 2
- Wolves Academy U17’s (Oaklands College) – Cat 3
We are running a split timetable where Oaklands Academy will be the am provision and Wolves Academy the pm provision.
Typically the Elites are players who have been at a professional club previously/county level. The U19’s & U17’s will have either been with a semi professional club, amateur or school team level. However, where they been before isn’t taken into consideration, the teams they are chosen to play for on Wednesday will be determined solely on their performance, attitude and attendance in training and lessons at the college. In addition, it is important to note that squads are not concrete, just because a student was chosen to play for the Elites one week doesn’t mean he represents that squad all year. If he doesn’t perform well or has attitude or attendance issues in the classroom he will be dropped.
HOW MANY IN EACH SQUAD:
The squads are formed of 18-22 student athletes.
Progression occurs on a weekly level, as mentioned previously, players move up and down the ladder depending on performance, attitude & attendance. There is a clear in-house progression route from the U17’s to U19’s to Elites and an external progression route for the Elite players who are all encouraged to play men’s football. Rather than being linked with a particular football club, we aim to form links with clubs at all levels of the Non-League structure. Some examples include: Dagenham & Redbridge, Royston Town, AFC Dunstable & London Colney FC. Exceptional Elite players are also sent on trial with various professional clubs & England Colleges squads with the help of Head of Academy Steve Castle, who has over 600 professional league appearances with various clubs.