New Otley College football academy to be led by ex-Ipswich Town star Ian Marshall

Ian Marshall will be leading a new football academy at Otley College

Ian Marshall will be leading a new football academy at Otley College - Credit: Gregg Brown

Otley College is launching a football academy which it is hoped can be as successful, in the long-term, as that of sister campus, Easton College.

From September, boys and girls enrolling on BTEC level two and three courses will get the chance to sign-up for around six hours of football coaching a week, led by former Ipswich Town striker, Ian Marshall.

The Easton football academy, launched just over 10 years ago, has seen four players make the professional game, including current Grimsby Town defender, Shaun Pearson.

There will also be provision for the students to represent Otley in matches against other colleges on Wednesdays, although girls’ participation in games will depend on enough female students signing up for the academy, as teams are not mixed.

Marshall said: “I was approached last year by an education provider to run a BTEC apprenticeship course – looking after the football side – and for one reason or another it didn’t work out.

“It was a great concept but it didn’t happen. This year, Easton and Otley College was mentioned to me, they used to do sport and were looking to bring sport back to Suffolk.”

He added: “I don’t profess to be able to teach a BTEC course, but if I can help students improve their football and reach a better standard, then that would be brilliant.

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“It would also be nice for the students to be coached by a different face from time to time too and I have a number of contacts in the professional game, keen to impart their ideas and philosophies.”

Marshall will be attending forthcoming careers fairs and is also offering a free coaching session to local under-16 teams.

Director of curriculum, Lynsey Wilson, said: “We have had a football academy at our Norfolk campus and it’s grown massively over the years.

“Four of our students in Norfolk gained scholarships to play in America last year and this is the kind of progressive place that we want to create at our Suffolk campus.”

For more details about the course and how to sign up, contact 08000 224556 or visit

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