The Woking FC Academy has been operating in its current format for over a decade with the aim of helping talented young footballers make progress into the club's first team set up or in their sporting careers whilst continuing with their academic studies.
For the 2023/24 season, the youth and academy setup runs in three stages; a pre-academy for six to nine-year-olds, a youth academy for nine to 16-year-olds, and a full-time academy for talented young players above the age of 16, including an education plan.
The Academy works with the Football Club's partner charitable and community organisation, Cardinals in the Community (CITC).
Notable academy graduates in recent history include Woking legends Craig Ross and Joe McNerney, Wrexham's Ollie Palmer, and ex-Chelsea and now-Reading's Jayden Wareham.
The Pre-Academy is for the very youngest players, covering U7s, U8s and U9s. Meeting once a week, players train and learn in a fun and friendly environment under the watchful eye of our coaches. Players that show real talent have the opportunity to progress to Woking FC Academy Youth.
The Pre-Academy trains at The Winston Churchill School in Woking, Thursdays, 17:00 - 18:00.
Starting with U9s and progressing through the age groups right up to U16s, players train with our Academy coaches and have the opportunity to play competitively in the Junior Premier League. Training is held twice weekly at CITC’s sports hub, within the grounds of Woking College, and matches are played on Saturdays. At this level, players are able to continue playing for their grassroots clubs.
As with the main Academy, players receive a progress report twice per season, which helps identify areas of their game to work on and improve. U16s players are assessed throughout the season with a view to being invited to join Woking FC Academy.
Woking FC Academy
Woking FC Academy is a National League licensed academy. We aim to develop each and every player to reach their full potential, instilling ambition and a professional attitude. We work as closely as possible to Category 3 Academy standards, creating a professional environment in which players thrive.
Players train 5-6 hours per week at CITC’s sports hub. Their development is supported by video analysis of training and matches, group workshops and strength and conditioning sessions. One-to-one reviews are held twice every season, along with player reports so that both the coaching staff and the players themselves have a clear focus on individual development.
Woking FC Academy plays competitive matches in the U18 Isthmian League, U19 National League and also have the opportunity to play in U23 fixtures. Players in our Elite Development Plan (EDP) compete in the Tactic League and National B League. Cup competitions are a feature of the fixture calendar. Pre-season training includes friendlies and there are opportunities to travel abroad for football tours and tournaments, including the Gothia Cup.
Our football timetable is planned in conjunction with players’ education. Academy players can choose to attend Woking College or focus on gaining the NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport, which is delivered by SCL Education at Westfield FC. Players on the EDP pathway study towards the NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport (equivalent to 3 A levels) with SCL.
Age Group Competitions
Under 23s - Second and third years (and progressing first years)
Play in: Suburban Football League - Premier Division
Home games: Knaphill FC, Thursdays, 19:30
Under 19s - Second and third years (and progressing first years)
National League U19 Alliance - Academy South Division
Home games: Westfield FC, weekdays, daytime
Under 19B - predominantly U17s - first years
National League U19 Alliance - Division E
Woking College, weekdays, daytime
Under 18s - predominantly U17s - first years
Pitching In Isthmian Football League - Youth West Division
Knaphill FC, Thursdays, 19:30
Players will also have the chance to represent the academy in the prestigious FA Youth Cup.