The collaboration between St Joseph’s College and Ipswich Town Football Club (ITFC) offers students exceptional prospects for football advancement within both academic and club settings.

The partnership ensures students benefit from professional coaching, mentorship and insights into the operations of a professional football club, whilst enjoying the forward-looking educational philosophy and warm community environment that St Jo’s offers.

The success of this partnership is clearly illustrated by the footballing careers and prospects of past and present St Joseph’s College students playing for ITFC.

The ITFC Women’s squad features seven athletes from St Jo’s. They include two current students, Sixth Formers Evie Williams and Leah Mitchell, and five ‘Old Birkfeldians’: Summer Hughes, Sophie Peskett, Kyra Robertson, Nina Meollo and Maria Boswell, the team captain.

Ipswich Star: The college has formed a successful partnership with Ipswich Town Football ClubThe college has formed a successful partnership with Ipswich Town Football Club (Image: WHAT Associates)
Meanwhile, the ITFC academy currently has four players on a performance pathway at the college, facilitating their growth as players and supporting their ambitions.

“Our objective is to nurture and sustain these collaborative ties over the long term, aiding aspiring players in pursuing their dual career ambitions and ensuring they thrive as young adults,” said Mr Cole Skuse, head football coach.

“This involves broadening avenues for talent recognition, facilitating routes into professional football and fostering closer integration between the college and ITFC, whilst providing a nurturing community in which students not only become independent learners but also feel happy and well-supported.”

Last year, the college’s U18 girls squad were national champions of the English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA), and this year the U15 boys squad is through to the final at West Bromwich Albion’s stadium.

Ipswich Star: Cole Skuse, head football coachCole Skuse, head football coach (Image: WHAT Associates)
“The success of St Joseph’s College’s football provision is built upon a holistic approach to football development,” said Miss Paige Shorten, director of football. “Our experienced and knowledgeable coaches operate within a supportive environment that encourages growth in the person as much as in the player.”

There is a growing emphasis on investing player time with a multi-discipline team. This includes ex-professionals Cole and Paige, together with Mr Damon Artiss, the school’s athletic development coach.

Pupils enjoy a competitive training model and comprehensive fixture list throughout the year. They are encouraged to be hard-working and respectful of one another, celebrate each other’s successes and support their team when success is not instant.

“Every student-athlete is valued and supported regardless of skill level or background,” said Paige.

“We are ever conscious, too, that opportunities will continue down the line; life after St Jo’s is always considered. We are determined to provide an environment in which students can excel, both on and off the pitch, for talented athletes and those playing for the joy of the game alike.”

Ipswich Star: Paige Shorten, director of footballPaige Shorten, director of football (Image: WHAT Associates)
St Joseph’s College welcomes ambitious children and strives to match their ambition with opportunity. Its students are heading into an exciting, fast-moving and ever-changing world, and St Jo’s will send them out equipped to meet every challenge as their best self, thanks to the resilience it instils and the support it gives to every dreamer at every level in every arena.

Both on the pitch and in the classroom, ambition fuels success. The college’s ambition is to fulfil every child’s potential by shaping their abilities and strengthening their confidence in the pursuit of their dreams.

For more information, visit