Footballing partnership is already reaping rewards

Published: October 25, 2016

A sporting partnership between Telford College of Arts and Technology and Wellington Amateurs football club is already starting to reap rewards.
The two organisations joined forces this summer to provide a platform for talented TCAT sports students to play for both teams.
The hope was that students who displayed exceptional football talent could represent Wellington Amateurs’ new under 21 side – and possibly the first team in the West Midlands Regional League.
And that is exactly what has now started to happen . . . with teenage duo Liam Robinson and James Gristock becoming the first TCAT students to sign for the club.
Ben Coates, from Wellington Amateurs, said: “The partnership between the club and TCAT is really working. I went to watch the TCAT side away at Idsall, having been tipped off about Liam Robinson.
“Whilst there I discovered James Gristock as well, and later that week I met up with both players, who signed first team and under 21 forms.”
Liam, 17, is based in Shifnal, while 16-year-old James lives in Donnington.
“Liam played 90 minutes for our first team away at Cradley, and played right back, with everybody suitably impressed. This was then followed by both players making their under 21s debuts.
“I expect both to become first team squad members over the next few weeks.”
The partnership’s aim is to develop highly-skilled footballers for Wellington Amateurs, while providing TCAT students a complete pathway for development in football as they expand their skills and technical ability while they study.
Joe Bates, from TCAT said: “It is vitally important that as a college we offer as many ways for our learners to progress as possible, and this partnership gives young people the opportunity to play football with a recognised and well run community club while gaining a qualification that may help them achieve their goals in the future.”
“We are very grateful to Adrian Stanton, first team manager at Wellington Amateurs, for picking these younger players, and taking advantage of the partnership.”
Wellington Amateurs’ junior teams are now playing their home fixtures at the TCAT sports complex as part of the deal.
The club presently plays from the Wickes Stadium in Oakengates and has strong links with the community, having established a junior section eight years ago. It is now running 10 junior teams.
For more information about sports courses at TCAT, visit the college website or call 01952 642237.

Liam Robinson, left, and James Gristock with Ben Coates from Wellington Amateurs.

Photo of Liam Robinson, left, and James Gristock with Ben Coates from Wellington Amateurs.