Whyteleafe Academy

A new partnership between Warlingham Sixth Form and Whyteleafe FC offers players a unique opportunity to receive sixth form education and qualifications with Warlingham Sixth Form whilst developing their football with Whyteleafe Football Club. Players between the ages of 16 and 18 are trained by highly qualified FA & UEFA coaches and play in the prestigious National League U19 Alliance.

On Wednesday 27th February, the Whyteleafe FC’s U19 Academy squad lined up against Maidstone United FC’s U19 Academy squad.

Whyteleafe Academy lads started the game very brightly and on the front foot after the excitement of a photographer attending to record them in action.

The game was end-to-end against a very strong Maidstone side with a number of good one-on-one challenges taking place in various areas of the pitch. Alex Corvaglia had his hands full up against Maidstone’s right side striker, which brought the best out of Alex showing that he wasn't going to be beaten easily, winning tackles both in the air and on the ground. In possession, Alex was effective in setting play up on the counter attack.

Guest goalkeeper Jimmy Penfold made a number of good shot-stopping saves. Blake Plows, like Alex was up against a lively left striker who early on, started to get in behind Blake causing problems, but once Blake re-adjusted to playing in a new right centre back position, he got on top of his game. Chris Burrow was very commanding for the first 40 minutes showing good leadership qualities, commanding in the air and using the ball to good effect. Unfortunately, as the team broke out from the back with the ball they tried one too many touches and lost possession, which resulted in the ball being played back into the area and which brought about a goal for Maidstone.

It was 1-0 at half time with the game in the balance!

Maidstone started the second half very strongly, trying to increase their lead. The Whyteleafe lads matched them for long periods with George Agathocli being Whyteleafe’s main threat to Maidstone with a number of surging runs from deep positions on the left wing. On three occasions, George sent excellent crosses in to the penalty box on the six yard line area that were made for forwards to finish, unfortunately neither Louis Simmons nor Ollie Squire could quite time their runs to make contact.

With Whyteleafe pushing hard to make ground up with an equalising goal, Riley Douce was the driving force in midfield but the players found themselves up against a sound defensive Maidstone side.

The longer the game went on, gaps started to appear as the Whyteleafe lads were chasing the game and Maidstone finished the game very strongly, taking full advantage of the extra space to finish 7-0 - worthy winners of a very entertaining game.

Whyteleafe can take a lot of positives from the game and they never gave up trying, even though the game was out of sight towards the end. Talking through the game afterwards the lads are aware that with a little bit of extra work on their physical development they can match up to teams technically and give a really good account of themselves as the season progresses.

Team: J Penfold, J Campbell, C Burrow (Capt), A Corvaglia, R Douce, D Keen, S O’Sullivan, G Agathocli, P Mozooni, B Plows, T Thorn, Subs all used: L Simmons, O Squire, W Standen, G Watchorn.

Assistant Headteacher and Head of Sixth Form, Rob Scott, said: "We are delighted with how the partnership is developing with Whyteleafe FC. The students involved are working well to achieve their qualifications at Warlingham Sixth Form whilst being able to develop their football skills. I am quite sure that as the team develops and matures, it will achieve great success in the future."

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