Abbey College Manchester Students Score with Manchester United Legend

Posted: 13th February 2024

Students from Abbey College Manchester recently had the unique opportunity to participate in a football masterclass at Broadhurst Park, Manchester, led by football legend Mike Phelan and his team.


The intrigued students, who are part of the innovative Academic Studies with Football training programme, started the day with two seminars guided by Dave Horrocks, an elite sporting performance expert. Dave shed light on career opportunities in the sporting industry and the qualifications required for various roles. He also explored different fitness benchmarks and specific football positionings, with insight into training techniques for each position.


Following the highly informative presentation, the young trainees engaged with professional football coaches Mike Phelan and Matt Burton for masterclasses on possession tactics and finishing drills, empowering the students with valuable insights and practical skills. The interactive sessions culminated in a thrilling mini-match which incorporated all the technical and practical aspects of the first two sessions.


Mike has a wealth of expertise from a strong footballing career, starting as a player with Premier League Burnley FC and then moving on to play for Norwich City, Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion, before moving into coaching. As a coach and manager, Mike has been at some of the biggest clubs in England; he was assistant manager twice at Manchester United, alongside Sir Alex Fergurson and Ole Gunner Solskjaer. Throughout the day, Mike spoke openly about the finer details he used to instil in players he coached at United.


The unique Academic Studies with Football Training programme, offered by Abbey College Manchester in partnership with International House Manchester (IHM), seamlessly integrates professionally led football training sessions with a range of the college’s academic programmes for those over the age of 14. This allows students to split their time between pursuing academic qualifications for entry to university, and intensive professional football training which is a potential gateway to a professional or semi-professional football career.


Chris Randell, Principal at Abbey College Manchester, expressed his enthusiasm stating: “Mike, Dave and Matt hosted an extraordinary masterclass for our students – a truly enriching experience. It was a fantastic opportunity for the team to learn from respected figures in the world of football, with their knowledge and mentorship highly valued.


“The integration of professionally led football training alongside our academic curriculum has been transformative for our students. This immersive approach not only equips them with essential academic qualifications but the invaluable life skills such as resilience, teamwork and effective communication.”


For those seeking post-GCSE study that offers a flexible approach, Abbey College Manchester is hosting an Open Morning on Friday 9 February 2024. If you’re keen to attend, register your interest via the website:


Abbey College Manchester, part of the Abbey DLD Group of Colleges, is a thriving independent college in the heart of Manchester city centre, with a fast-growing and vibrant community of students aged 15-19.


With a teaching philosophy based on small classes and highly personalised learning in an academically rigorous but informal setting, the college focuses on the transition from school to university, working with students individually to achieve the academic standards and social skills required by their target and world-class universities. Abbey College Manchester also expertly prepares students for challenging courses such as medicine. The flexible programmes and personalised learning, combined with a strong academic ethos, offer a unique alternative to traditional schools.


There are 220 students at the college, comprising a mix of students from the local area and other countries. The college offers A-Level, GCSE, Combined Studies and International Foundation Programmes.


For more information on Abbey College visit, or call 0161 817 2700.


To find out more about the Academic Studies with Football Training Programme at Abbey College Manchester visit:

Categories: Abbey College Manchester