Important Academy Update 4 | COVID-19 Virus

3rd Apr 2020

Sent on behalf of Academy Manager, Kristjaan Speakman:

Dear Parent/Guardian,

I hope this communication finds you and your families safe and well.

Since our first communication on March 12th the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a very dynamic situation requiring diligence and thoughtfulness. Our priority continues to be the safety of our staff, players and their families in this most difficult of times. We continue to monitor the ever-changing conditions relating to COVID-19 and our current purpose is to identify how to best support our players whilst we adhere to the Government guidelines.

You will no doubt of seen our staff actively creating processes and programmes to support the players and it’s been incredibly pleasing to see the level of professionalism and enthusiasm by our team. I wanted to take a moment to provide you with an overview of what we are doing and how we are going about our work.

We felt it important to retain the structure of the programme, keeping things as normal as possible with so much changing around us. With this in mind our coaches set about delivering the coaching phase on defending from the 23rd March for three weeks via online platforms. We have retained this model for all groups, U9 through to U23, and we have been delighted with the level of work and engagement from the players. As I’m sure you can appreciate this has been a great challenge for our staff and one that will hopefully aid them in the future when the normality of the programme resumes. Following the conclusion of this phase of work we will observe the normal reflection week (w/c 13th April) for staff training and completion of the player reviews on PMA. Information on the Week 40 player reviews will be sent out in due course.

It is at this point we will provide a further update on what our proposal will be moving forward. As it stands, the likelihood is we will have a break from the programme for a short period from 20th April whilst supporting the relevant age groups with physical programmes and academic support. Our U23 group are likely to return around the same time as the First Team squad although at the moment all the current return dates are subject to change. In theory, our ideal scenario would see us start the programme again at the earliest opportunity for a period of time regardless of the month in which this occurs and then set out a clear plan from that point.

Our Scholarship education programme has continued to operate remotely and we have also created education workshops for our younger players on two mornings per week via Zoom. We appreciate that our younger school-based players will have been provided a range of tasks to complete at home and we want to ensure we can support our players and their families with our Academic staff. Education is extremely high on our agenda and we want to ensure we support the players throughout this uncertain period. Any questions on this programme should be directed to our Head of Education & Player Care Mark Sinclair via email on or phone on 07500 822981.

Unfortunately the nature of remote communication draws us to emails as the quickest and most efficient method of providing information to you. However I also appreciate that parents/guardians may wish for more detail and there are potentially lots of unanswered questions that this format does not allow for. With this in mind, I will make myself available for a webinar with parents from any of our age groups on Tuesday 14th April and Thursday 16th April at 7pm. I will provide a short update, clarity on some areas of our programme and open up the floor to any questions on this or any wider Academy issues.

Finally, Dr. Suzanne Brown our consultant Clinical Psychologist will be hosting a webinar on Thursday 9th April at 7pm for all parents. The content was delivered to our staff this week and it is an excellent opportunity to gain greater knowledge and understanding about the situation we find ourselves in and some best practice on supporting each other in this current unprecedented period.

If any of the above online sessions are of interest please contact Academy Operations Manager Tim Smith directly on and he will ensure the link for the video conference is sent to you.

Please take care and don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team should you need any further help or support. KRO.

Kind regards,


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