1st Touch Football Academy
1st Touch Football Academy

Contact Us :

1st Touch Football Academy

12 Grampian Close


East Sussex

BN23 8EP

07799 771272 

Coaching Venue U5 to U7 :

Eastbourne College

Beresford House

Summerdown Road


East Sussex

BN20 8DG


Astro Trainers Only

Coaching Venue U8 to U16 :

Eastbourne College

Beresford House

Summerdown Road


East Sussex

BN20 8DG


Astro Trainers Only

Session times :

Eastbourne College - Beresford House :


Pre Academy 

Thursdays 6.30pm to 7.30pm

(4-7 yr old)


Foundation Phase 

Thursdays 6.30pm to 7.30pm

(8-11 yr old)


Development Phase

Thursday 6.30pm to 7.30pm

(12-16 yr old)

2 Free Trial Sessions!!

All new players receive two free sessions before deciding whether to commit to 1st Touch Football Academy

Book it online now.

Latest News

1st Touch Football Academy Coaches 2014

New Set Up for 1st Touch Football Academy Sessions


1st Touch Football Academy enters the new season with a new set up. While a change of venue was somewhat forced on us, it has given us the opportunity to re structure our sessions and provide an even more comprehensive coaching set up and programme than previously.


We have now managed to secure an indoor venue for our pre academy age groups (4 - 7 year olds) allowing them to develop their foundation skills and technique without having to do so exposed to the worst of our winter months! The indoor facility now allows us to spend time with the players focusing on their footballing ability instead of simply trying to keep them active and warm during the worst of the weather.


Our older age groups continue to be split into two groups with our Foundation Phase players (8 - 12 year olds) moving to Eastbourne College, in Summerdown Road, on a Friday night (6pm - 7pm), allowing parents more time to get there on time meaning players get the full benefit of the sessions. With the pre academy now being seperated from the older boys it also allows us more space and time with the players to offer a more comprehensive coaching programme.


The Development Phase players (12-16) continue with their Thursday night sessions (7pm - 8pm), but we have also extended this night for an invite only session for our more experienced and advanced players aged 9 - 11 years.


Although initally changes always seem a headache, we hope that these changes will prove to once again to enhance and improve the players experience at 1st Touch Football Academy and enable us to provide a fuller and more enjoyable opportunity for the players to develop with us.


Sessions for all groups start w/c 8th September 2014 and run all year round excluding school and public holidays. We look forward to the new season.  

1st Touch Football Academy Players and Coaches

1st Touch Football Academy Crowned Double Champions at London Soccerdome

19th February 2014


1st Touch Football Academy returned from the Billy Wingrove Cup, held at the London Soccerdome, with two trophies as our U9s and U12s dominated the age groups, playing some wonderful football and scoring some stunning goals.


Once again we were able to demonstrate our strength in numbers and our strength in quality and showed again just how far the Academy has come in such a short time, by taking 48 players, in six teams spread across 5 age groups.



Billy Wingrove is the world free style champion and appears in a host of commercials alongside the likes of Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi (http://www.billywingrove.com) showing off a range of tricks and skills that are simply mindblowing.


Billy, in conjunction with the Soccerhub and The London Soccerdome, hosts this tournament and it attracts some of the Souths top football coaching schools and 'Academys' and the standard of footballer on show is very high and it was to our credit that we emerged victorious in two groups and were narrowly eliminated in 3 others.

Our U7 group competed fantastically well. Due to there not being an U7 group they were entered into the tough U8s competition and with many of our boys representing 1st Touch Football Academy in matches for the first time, it was a huge test for them.


However despite finding life tough amongst the older boys, our lads showed tremendous technique and skill and were only well beaten, understandably so, in their first game of the competition as nerves got the better of them.


As the day progressed though, so did their performances and as they grew in confidence they found themsleves able to compete well. This group showed huge promise and will continue to improve.

The U8s were in the same competition and their extra experience was obvious as they showed great skill and were among the strongest teams on show. Having won two, drawn two and lost just one of their opening games they needed to win their last game by two goals to qualify for the semi finals.


However, lady luck was not smiling on them, as they managed to hit the post and crossbar 3 times and forced the opposition into a string of goal line clearances and saves either side of scoring the solitary goal of the game, to win just 1-0 and be eliminated from the competition by just 1 goal scored!


We were extremely proud of these two age groups and we hope they enjoyed their first taste of competition with us.  

Billy Wingrove Cup Winners 2014

Last season as U8s our boys were beaten finalists and this year as U9s they were determined to use that experience to go one better.


They started the day nervously, edging their opening game with a 1-0 win. Their second game saw them go an early goal down but they soon got into their stride and hit back with two fine strikes to make it 2 out of 2 wins. A 3rd win in 3 was to follow before they went down to a very strong and experienced NLCA side. But the boys were not to be denied and needing just a point from their final group game they made it 4 wins and a loss from 5 with a fine 3-2 win versus Coerver Coaching.


The semi final was a close affair but having defended well they managed to score the decisive goal late on to carry them to the final.


Up against a strong looking Pro Soccer Academy in the final the boys got off to the worst possible start, conceding in the opening minute but they showed great determination and hit back almost immediately, before a slice of good fortune saw a long range effort creep in to give them a 2-1 lead. With the minutes ticking away nerves were starting to show but a last minute goal from a corner gave them a fine 3-1 win to be crowned champions.


These boys were fantastic on the day and thoroughly deserved their crown as they recieved compliments on how they'd played throughout the day.

Our U10s started slowly and despite only losing once, were left to rue two draws that negated winning their last game, to miss out on qualification by 1 point. However, they played in great spirit and showed glimpses of their real potential in the games they won and simply suffered from some poor luck and some inconsistency. This was demonstrated as both finalists emerged from their group, with us having drawn with the eventual winners and beaten the runners up.

Our strong looking U11s looked certainties to progress as they started the day with a disciplined 1-0 win against 3 Lions Academy and followed this up with a 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient.


A second 1-0 win against TPD Academy put them in pole position but a nervy 0-0 draw with NLCA meant they needed a draw in their final game against Coerver to be sure of a semi final place.


Coerver though were just too strong and a 2-0 loss mean we went out at the group stages on goal difference, by a margin of just one goal and Coerver went on to be crowned the overall champions.

Billy Wingrove Cup Winners 2014

The U12s had high expectations, having been runners up at U10s two years ago and losing semi finalists on penalties last year and this year proved to be their year!


The group dominated the age group from start to finish and were complimented by opposition, spectators and organisers as they passed and played their way to the top of the group conceding just 1 goal.


The semi final saw their poorest performance of the day, but the opposition were unable to capitalise as they held on for a 0-0 draw. So penalties it was and this year the boys showed great maturity and progressed 3-2 having scored all their pens.


The final saw a return to form and although the score remained 1-0 from early on, they dominated possession and created numerous chances to extend their lead, before finishing the game in control of proceedings to be crowned Billy Wingrove U12 champions.


This group have in the main, been with us now for 3 years and so it is no surprise, but very rewarding to see that the long term benefits of our coaching, are showing signs of real fruition and once again reinforces our belief that our methods show real long term progress both for individual technique and tactically as a group.


Our thanks go to all the players who took part, who were a credit to the academy and also to their parents, to the parents for their ongoing support and trust and to the Soccerhub and the Lonson Soccerdome for hosting us.


My personal thanks go to the coaches, Matt, Steve, Lewis and Zac who i trust implicitly with the development of our young footballers and my special thanks go to Billy Wingrove himself, who proved a real star by spending valuable time with all our boys (as well as others), showing patience teraching them tricks and displaying hiw own repetoire of skills for their entertainment. A perfect role model to all these aspiring footballers.

1st Touch Football Academy visit SAFA Select

3rd January 2014


1st Touch Football Academy were delighted to be invited to Buckswood School, where they took part in a development game against Southern Association Football Academy (SAFA) Select. (www.safafootball.net)


SAFA began in 1998 and now coach approx 400 children a week. They are run by Jim Colston who is the area scout for Crystal Palace FC and a highly respected coach who has influenced many coaches and players based in and around Eastbourne over recent years and was head coach at Eastbourne Borough during their meteoric rise from County League to Conference South.


SAFA Select is the name given to the SAFA boys that represent the Academy as teams in local leagues and throughout the age groups SAFA Select are recognised as being one of the top teams in Sussex.


The game was a great advert for youth football and showed that both organisations are working hard at not only playing the right way but also coaching the right way. Information and intructions were at a minimum during playing time, encouraging players to make their own decisions and breaks were used contructively and tactically to emphasise where improvements could be made.


Overall two quarters were drawn and SAFA Select were victorious in the other two quarters, but both sets of players performed extremely well in difficult conditions playing some wonderful football with SAFA Selects experience as a team proving to be an influential factor overall.


We would like to thank Jim and his team of coaches for an enjoyable morning of football on the new astro at Buckswood School and look forward to playing at other age groups and cementing the strong links between us.

Ex 1st Touch Football Academy player gains International Honours

30th November 2013


Former 1st Touch Football Academy player, Rhyle Ovenden has gained international recognition as he was selected to represent Wales at U16 level in the recent victory shield competition.


Rhyle, who is from Eastbourne, was selected and played a significant part in the matches against Scotland and Northern Ireland for the Welsh U16s side for whom he qualified for through his grandparents. 


1st Touch Director of Coaching, Tobi Hutchinson said, "I was delighted for Rhyle. He has always shown a great attitude towards his football and was a pleasure to coach during his time with us and it must've been a very proud moment for him and his family"  


Hutchinson, first coached Rhyle in 2007, when he worked with the highly respected SAFA (Southern Association Football Academy www.safafootball.net) under Jim Colston. He said, "In my opinion SAFA gave all the boys a fantastic early education as footballers. My own son (who is an Academy player at BHAFC) was a SAFA boy and I feel players like him and Rhyle (along with many others) benefitted hugely from the work Jim did with them early on, as did the young coaches like myself and Anthony Storey did by working for Jim"


From SAFA, Rhyle joined the newly formed Allstar Football Academy where his talents earned him two  separate trial periods with Brighton and Hove Albion. However, although these trials were at the time unsuccessful, Rhyle used these experiences  to his benefit and displayed a great determination to succeed as he went back to his club, Eastbourne Town FC and began training with the elite group at 1st Touch Football Academy. Rhyle spent the following year working hard at his game, before securing a third trial at Brighton and Hove Albion shortly after leaving us, which this time proved successful and he was registered as a player at the clubs Academy.


"We don't presume for a second that 1st Touch should be credited for any of  Rhyles success. His success is entirely down to his attitude, determination to succeed and his natural ability. However, like his coaches at Eastbourne Town and Jim Colston at SAFA, its nice to have helped any player progress but ultimately his success is down to himself and the support from his family." said Hutchinson.

Elite Week III shows Premiership quality!!

19th August 2013
Our 3rd Elite Week proved more popular than ever as our growing reputation saw the course sell out and attract players from Eastbourne, Hastings, Lewes, Brighton, London and Uckfield!
58 players including 4 goalkeepers attended the four day course and were pushed beyond their comfort zone, physically, mentally, technically and tactically as the course programme sought to push players to their limits.
A range of activities, testing and improving the players agility, balance, co-ordination and speed, as well as a strength and conditioning programme proved physically demanding but very enjoyable for the boys and alongside the SAQ and ball familiarity work the players saw a vast improvement in their core strength, ball control and foot speed over the week.
Technically the sessions were designed to improve the players in various aspects of the game using drills from some of Europes top academies giving them a 'toolbox' of skills that will benefit them as they develop as players.
As the only coaching set up in the town that can provide a team of UEFA B License coaches, each player at every age group was able to be shown how these skills apply to a game situation and to improve them tactically by encouraging them to think for themselves and to 'problem solve' as each situation evolves.
Course Director Tobi Hutchinson, said, "It was very important to me that the coaches emphasised that the players made decisions for themselves. We focussed on players anticipating situations and reading the game and being able to make qood, quick decisions, as the game evolved around them, without the need to constantly take instructions on board from the side line"
We were fortunate enough to have a visit from a scout from a premiership football club who praised our philosophy on this and likened it to a phrase he uses with his players. He said to me, "the players are in the driving seat driving the car. As coaches we are simply sitting in the passenger seat with a map.....not telling them where to go but simply helping direct them when they are lost". I liked that and it sums up how we like to coach"    
He loved what we are doing and said we were certainly the best set up he'd seen in this area, which is always very encouraging."
As well as a visit from the Premier League, we were also granted a visit from a coach from a Championship Football Club who took two sessions for us, which the players enjoyed immensely, as well as providing the boys with a short Q & A session and staying the day to watch them in action.
Taking the goalkeepers this year was Tom Betts, who has been capped by England at U18 Schoolboy level. Tom has played for the likes of Lewes, Burgess Hill and Merstham in the Ryman League and runs his own popular Goalkeeping Academy Y.G.A (http://youthgoalkeepingacademy.weebly.com/index.html) He proved a popular addition to the week and the goalkeepers were well and truly put through their paces!
In all, the week was a huge success and emphasised just how far we've come in 3 years, well done to everyone involved, from the coaching staff, the admin team, the parents and most of all, the players who made it a huge success!!
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