Former Premier League player sets up football academy at Northampton school

Cogenhoe V Cobblers pre-season friendly.  Darren Purse.
Cogenhoe V Cobblers pre-season friendly. Darren Purse.

Former Premier League footballer Darren Purse is setting up a new football academy at Malcolm Arnold Academy in Northampton.

The 37-year-old, who has made more than 700 Football League appearances in his 20-year career, has been appointed Director of Football at the secondary school in Trinity Avenue.

The former centre-back, who had a trial with the Cobblers last Summer, will oversee the new Scholarship Academy that Malcolm Arnold is running in conjunction with Rushden and Diamonds AFC, starting in September.

Mr Purse said: “The partnership between Malcolm Arnold Academy and AFC Rushden Diamonds is an exciting one which will see the students get an educational offer that will stand them in good stead for the future and for their football careers.

“They have the opportunity to progress through the ranks and push towards first team football at the club”.

The students selected for the programme will receive ten hours of practical coaching a week with the professional footballer. He will also have a strategic role in developing the participation and performance of football throughout the David Ross Education Trust (DRET).

Mr Purse said: “As a Trust, DRET’s vision for football and sport for young people really impressed me. I’m looking forward to managing the scholarship academy and playing a key role in the Trust’s education and football development.”