Aylesbury FC manager Craig Faulconbridge says a new Academy deal he has landed with Aylesbury College will be his legacy at the club.
The former Coventry striker and his coaching company Advanced Sports Limited has sealed what he described as a ‘major partnership’.
While questions have been raised as to what will happen to the Academy should he leave his post as manager in the future, Faulconbridge says it will be his ‘legacy and his bread and butter’.
“It’s quite simple really. Number one I hope to be around long-term if the club will have me, but also regardless of whether I’m manager or not it’s a supply chain to benefit the club, it’s my legacy and it’s also my bread and butter,” Faulconbridge said.
“Obviously I would like the two to go hand-in-hand but I understand football is very volatile.
“The FC Academy is very important, that’s my day job if you like and the first team is the night job, even if I’m not manager, the Academy will remain.”
Faulconbridge says the course will provide a high level of education, professional training and sports officiating, potentially leading to significant job opportunities for 16-19 year olds in the Aylesbury Vale region.
The ultimate aim will be to produce the next generation of footballers and coaches outside the professional game to benefit FC and the individuals taking on the two-year courses.
Faulconbridge hailed the Academy as a ‘first of its kind in Aylesbury Vale’. But former FC boss Mark Eaton, who helped found the club in its current form, took to The Bucks Herald website to disagree, saying: “Although great news for Craig’s company commercially, this is not the first academy of its kind in Aylesbury, when I was at the club a similar programme was set up in 2009 linked to Mandeville School via Ben Williams.
“It proved to be a major success with several academy boys stepping up to reserve and first team some who have gone on to play at a higher level. I have been surprised this alliance did not continue.”
Faulconbridge labelled Eaton’s comments naive and clarified that in fact it is the first official academy that is intrinsically linked to the club and its name, adding: “It’s the Aylesbury FC Academy, it’s all geared towards the club.”