Alex Read signs a scholarship at Crawley Town
31st July 2013
Alex Read became the Eastbourne's latest full time footballer as he signed professional scholarship forms at League 1 Crawley
Town last month.
It was almost a year to the day that Alex first signed Centre of Excellence forms at Crawley Town. However, since then, Alex had to endure further set backs as Crawley
twice set up and folded their Academy!
Having endured these let downs Alex showed true dedication and determination to return to local football with Eastbourne Town and continuing to work at his game with
1st Touch Football Academy and his dedication paid off handsomely when following a further trial period the club rewarded him with the offer of a full time place among their 2013 Scholars and a
chance to play professional football for a living alongside continuing his studies.
1st Touch Football Academy Director of Coaching, Tobi Hutchinson was delighted for Alex and delighted that 1st Touch Football Academy were the first Eastbourne
coaching academy to see one of its players progress through to full time football.
He said, "Alex and his family are well aware that the hard work really starts now but we are all delighted for him. Alex has had to pick himself up, dust himself down
and continue to work hard following more than one set back, but he has shown the kind of attitude that will hold him in good stead now he is playing football full time. He thoroughly deserves
this and we are all very proud of him.
He has great support from a super family and that will be vitally important for the next few years"
He added, "Of course I'm delighted that 1st Touch were able to help someone into full time football. Many boys in Eastbourne have progressed into
Academies and Centres of Excellence over the last few years, but to be the first one to have a player that actually secures full time football makes us very proud, and backs up our belief that it was
worthwhile setting up a centre for older boys. We felt many had been overlooked during the earlier stages of their career and Alex has proved that with hard work its never too late if you have
belief in your ability and the determination to keep working"
Finland Visit for 1st Touch Director of Coaching
10th June 2013
Director of Coaching Tobi Hutchinson, returned from a visit to Turku, Finland where he worked with a newly formed soccer
school linked to Finnish 2nd Division side Abo IFK, enthusing over what he had seen.
He said, "The standard of facilities was exeptional, the club (AIFK) looked after me fantastically well."
I was able to work with their very talented 12 to 15 year olds as well as take the warm up and watch their U17 team against local rivals and Division 1 club
ÅIFK greatest successes were winning three Finnish championship titles, in 1910, 1920 and 1924. It has played a total of 9
seasons in the Finnish premier division Mestaruussarja the last occasion being in 1967. It also won the Finnish Cup in 1965 and participated in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in the 1966–67
Tobi was invited out to Finland by Tom Powers, who is head coach for girls football at the club as well as running the U17 boys side and is a highly respected english
coach working in Finland.
He continued, "The technical ability of these players is excellent, but by their own admission they need a little more game playing and decision making skills. The
idea was that we could bring a small part of our game to therm and see what they made of it and see if it could benefit them at all. Overall it was a hugely rewarding experience, for all of us and
one we are hoping to repeat and possibly expand in the future. Finland is a lovely country and takes its sport very seriously, they just need some success at national level and the whole place would
"My thanks go to Tom, his club, the people who run the club and the boys and girls who made it so enjoyable and i look
forward to returning!"
Left : Tobi with AIFKs Tom Powers
Next Level Coaching Academy Host Half Term matches
30th May 2013
1st Touch Football Academy enjoyed a day of playing matches against the boys from Next Level Coaching Academy (NLCA) www.nlca.uk.com/page/1/1/welcome-to-nlca/, in Tunbridge Wells. Glynn Heyward and his team
always provide a well organised day against some top quality opposition. The day was hugely enjoyable for our U8, U10 and U12 squads as the coaching manuals were put away and the boys were simply
left to play with minimal if any coaching input. This approach is always great fun for the boys as they play without any fear and are able to try new things with no pressure on success. For the
coaches its a great opportunity to see just what progress the boys have made as they play without instruction giving us a chance to see them solve problems and make their own decisions in match
situations, something we place huge importance on.
Our thanks go to Glynn and his staff and players at NLCA and we hope to return the favour by hosting them in the near future.
Chelsea visit from Hong Kong
3rd April 2013
The Chelsea Football Club soccer schools from Hong Kong paid a visit to the UK and 1st Touch Football Academy were
fortunate enough to be invited to the 3G Astro at Crawley Town FC to plasy matches against their U8s, U12s and U14s.
As has been the case recently our ever improving U8s were the stars of the show as they dominated their game against the Chelsea boys, passing the ball well and
showing real individual skill. Our focus on improving the boys decision making and problem solving skills is really paying dividends as the boys ran out convincing winners. Our U11 squad were handed
a real test as they were pitted against Chelseas U12s squad. Our U11 squad showed just why they are amongst the strongest year 6 boys in the area as they more than matched the older counterparts
physically and technically. However we were unable to beat an outstanding goalkeeper and an entertaining match amazingly ended 0-0! The older group of 13s, 14s and 15s mixed showed their lack of
match play together as they were soundly beaten by a very good Chelsea group 4-0, however this was largely due to the disjointed nature of playing 11 a side football together for the 1st time against
a group that play regular matches.
Overall the day was a huge success and we thank the Chelsea soccer schools as well as organiser Simon Wormull for hosting the games and giving the boys an opportunity
to play some outstanding opposition. We hope to repeat the experience on theor next visit.
1st Touch Football Academy shine at Billy Wingrove Cup
4th January 2013
1st Touch Football Academy again demonstrated their increasing levels of talent when they sent 5 teams of boys to the London Soccerdome to compete in the annual
Billy Wingrove Cup.
Teams representing us at U8s, U9s, U10s and two U11s travelled by coach to East London and competed against other top academies from across the South East. The
standard of footballers on show was extremely high and our boys did themselves proud as they competed with every side at all age groups and were not outplayed by anyone, even being able to field two
teams at U11s one of whom made the semi finals (losing on a penalty shoot out) and the other missing out on qualification from a tough group on goal difference.
Pride of place though went to our flourishing U8s group who have made huge strides in recent months. The youngest boys flew through their group, winning every game
without conceding a goal! The boys drew many an admiring comment as they defeated 3 Lions Academy 2-0, Pro Soccer Academy 3-0, Leighwood 1-0 and Southend United 3-0. In the semi final the boys
were always in control but having gone 2 up they conceded from a last minute free kick to reach the final at the expense of Next Level Coaching Academy.
The final saw the boys up against a side from Hornchurch but it was quickly evident that these boys were not club footballers. Despite a gallant effort and working
very hard we were well beaten by 3 goals to 0, however we soon found out that all of these boys were in fact all signed on pre contract agreements with either Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur or West
Ham United! This went some way to showing just how well our boys had done competing with players that are among the elite 8 year olds in Europe!
Stand out players for the 8s on the day were Oli Hobden, George Murphy and Joe Jonas who have all now gone on and been training with Brighton and Hove Albions Pre
1st Touch Football Academy get the Winning Look!!
2nd January 2013
1st Touch Football Academy really have got the winning look as they secured the Hailsham based company Winning Look as their new kit supplier.
Winning look will now provide kits, training wear and bags to 1st touch Football Academy as we continue to improve the set up and appearance of the Academy.
Having been open for only two years, the Academy has continued to progress and the new kit supplier Winning Look ensures that our on field progression is matched by a professional smart appearance
Our thanks go to Ian Robinson and his Winning Look team and we look forward to an ongoing relationship with their successful company.
New Touch Technique and Speed Centre opens!!!
1st January 2013
1st Touch Football Academy has started the New Year with a bang as we announce the opening of an additional nights coaching on offer!
The recent buzz surrounding 1st Touch Football Academy has seen an explosion of new players joining our coaching centres at all ages and so the offer of an additional
short term slot at our Eastbourne College venue was too good to turn down.
The centre opens on Tuesday 8th January 2013 and will cost just £45.00 for the 12 week course. At just £3.75 a session we feel this represents huge value and the
players signing up will, we are sure, see very obvious improvements to their games.
The new sessions will be open to anyone aged 7 - 15 and will focus solely on Touch, Technique and Speed (with and without the ball) and will look to ensure each player
spends as much of the hour in contact with the football working on his ability to dominate 1v1 situations and mastering the ball.
Director of Coaching, Tobi Hutchinson says, "I was at Academy games recently at the new Tottenham Hotspur
training ground and the talent the players at that club displayed was simply staggering. At no time did any player rush himself on the ball, whether he was under pressure or not. The coaches
encouraged more touches and the players thrived on the freedom to manipulate the ball into or out of situations that suited what they wanted to do with it without being told when how or who to pass
it to. When speaking to the coaches it was explained that they spend a huge amount of time working on 1v1 situations. With this in mind we felt that our players would benefit from an additional
session that focussed simply on that part of the game with the intention of integrating that with the more tactical sessions they enjoy on mondays"
Bookings are now being taken so please contact us as soon as possible if you want to get involved on 07799771272 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BEST Academy host Christmas games
28th December 2012
BEST Academy, who are based in Bexhill hosted an informal afternoon of matches to which we took teams of 8, 9, 10 and 11 year olds to take part. The games were played
in a great spirit with fast competitive and attack minded players scoring loads of goals and enjoying their football.
Stand out performers on the day for 1st Touch were George and Harry Murphy, Toby Hodgkinson, Ben Johnson, Jack Hobden, Moyo Daramola, James Earl and Dan Blackmore
who all caught the eye of the coaches in attendance.
Thank you to Chris Agutter and BEST Academy for inviting us to take part.
European Touch comes to 1st Touch Christmas Games
27th December 2012
Christmas saw 1st Touch Football Academy move away from the regular holiday course formats as they hosted a Futsal tournament at the indoor venue at
Eastbourne Sports Park. The game of Futsal is the favoured form of teaching touch, technique and skill in the major European countries.
Forming several in house teams at various age groups we were visited by over 30 boys from IGFA and played round robin matches and included semi finals and finals. The games were fast, action packed and full of skill as the nature of
Futsal dictates. The heavier ball and the small pitches meant that the boys needed to display top quality movement and technique in order to create goal scoring chances.
The day was a huge success with the boys and with the watching parents and the talent on show was sometimes breathtakingly good!
1st Touch Football Academy Secure 4G Venue
21st October 2012
1st Touch Football Academy have secured the use of the new 4G training surface at Eastbourne Sports Park for the remainder of the winter. The venue gives us security
in terms of the english weather as well as the latest artificial surface that is the closest thing to playing on the perfect grass surface. This means we can produce consistency and gain better
quality from our coaching sessions from both player and coach, which will both contribute to aid player development. Great news and another step in the right direction for our Academy.
Alfie Bendle signs Pre Academy Contract
10th October 2012
Alfie Bendle became the youngest player in 1st Touch Football Academy history to be signed by a professional football club, when the 7 year old recently signed a pre
academy contract with Championship club Brighton and Hove Albion.
Alfie first came to our attention when he was part of the Stone Cross primary school after school football club. From there he quickly became part of our Academy
sessions on monday nights where he worked hard and developed all aspects of his game from our technical programme.
Having attracted attention from Crawley and Arsenal last season whilst representing 1st Touch Football Academy in
matches, Alfie dedicated himself to working hard and when BHA formed their Pre Academy, part of their development to Academy status Catagory 2, we had no hesitation in offering him the chance to
train with the club. From there on in it was all down to Alfie, as he proved himself ready to make the step up and impressed the coaching staff at the club with his technical ability enough to be
asked to sign forms, tying him to the club for the next year.
1st Touch Director of Coaching, Tobi Hutchinson, says "I'm delighted for Alfie and for his family. He clearly had talent from the moment i saw him play 2 years ago and
since then he has been a pleasure to coach and to watch develop"
"He has always been keen to learn and to work hard and plays the game with a lovely enthusiasm thats makes coaching worthwhile. All the coaches at 1st Touch wish him
all the best now he has moved on and hope he continues to work hard and develop as he has done to this point."
Elite Week 2012 Unparalleled Success
20th August 2012
Elite Week 2012, proved just how far 1st Touch Football Academy has come in a year, as 52 individually selected players proved just why they had been selected as one
of our best and were put through their paces on our elite coaching course.
The 4 day course consisted of daily emphasis of a players speed, touch and technique as our outfield players worked through ball
familiarity and SAQ, as well as phase of play drills to create goal scoring opportunities. These focussed primarily on the players movement, touch, quality of pass and combination play, helping
players to develop their own combinations to encourage good early decision making without the need for a coaches instruction.
Players were then put through a daily session of each of the 4 key areas of the game :-
Passing/receiving and creating space
Dribbling, changes of direction and transition
Defending, pressing, dropping off and support play
Transition, switching play and keeping possession
This gave all outfield players a rounded understanding of all aspects of the technical program that we had specifically designed for the week.
Left : Two of our youngest players demonstrate great technique in protecting the ball and good defensive
distance to prevent turning
Right : Movement, speed, timing of run and receiving the ball into space, all displayed in our daily 'creating space to score' drills.
For the first time this year we included a goalkeeper academy and we were fortunate to have ex Charlton Athletic FC, full
time professional Callum Christie onboard to give the goalkeepers the benefit of his experience.
Callum (left) visited us for 4 days to put our elite goalkeepers through their paces with a
range of drills to improve their shot stopping, cross taking, positioning and handling
Left : Callum in action for Charlton Athletic FC
The week proved a huge hit with two premier league clubs who visited the course to run their eye over the local youngsters.
They were not only impressed with the standard of footballers but also the set up and professionalism that the course displayed as well as the standard of coaching in
information passed on to the youngsters. Both clubs have promised to return to take second looks at several of our players that they were impressed with during the course and are also keen to form an
ongoing relationship where they can keep an eye on players that develop from 1st Touch Football Academy.
Alex Read signs for Crawley Town FC
1st June 2012
Alex Read, who attends our Thursday night elite sessions has been signed by League 1 club Crawley Town FC.
Alex, who was playing for Eastbourne Town FC, has been working with our elite group for the past year was signed for the forthcoming U16 season following a successful
trial period at the end of last season.
Director of Coaching, Tobi Hutchinson says, "I have known Alex since he was 11 years old when he attended SAFA (Southern Association Football Academy), where i
coached. He always stood out as a player with real talent and one i felt the academy system was missing out on. But he is one of the youngest players in his age group and maybe this went against him
in the earlier years. However his attitude towards training and development has always been first class and this has proved to be decisive in his progress as he got a little older.
He has remained dedicated and hard working and most importantly of all had faith in his own ability and this makes our jobs as coaches a million times easier. Although
we have helped develop his game the real credit goes to Alex himself and he is someone our younger players can look up to."
Everyone at 1st Touch Football Academy wishes Alex all the best for the coming season and would also like to pass on our congratulations to the coaches and players at
Eastbourne Town FC and the part they have played in Alex's success.
1st Touch Football Academy Coaches land Eastbourne Futsal Success!!
29th May 2012
Football Academy coaches proved unstoppable as they entered a team into the Eastbourne Futsal League. Playing matches against other local teams and players from the University of Sussex where Futsal
is a popular game for students, 1st Touch Football Academy ended the season as League Champions and Cup winners, as well as Director of Coaching Tobi Hutchinson, at 42 years old, picking up the
golden boot award for the competitions top scorer!
Above : The Eastbourne Futsal League and Cup double winners 1st Touch Football Academy
Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced small sided football game that is widely played across the world and is officially recognised by both UEFA and
Left : Director of Coaching Tobi Hutchinson, with his Futsal Golden Boot award
Futsal is played indoors and is 5 a side but unlike other indoor football games the pitch is marked by lines rather than walls and the ball is heavier and has reduced
bounce. Because of this the players are constantly placed in situations where they must receive or play whilst under pressure or in confined spaces and it places considerable demand on technical
skill and ability in situations of high pressure and is a test of technique, movement, tactical awareness and fitness.
Many of the top world class footballers played Futsal in their youth and credit it with supporting their footballing development; players of the calibre of Pele,
Zico, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Lionel Messi to name but a few of the South American legends all played and enjoyed Futsal. But Futsal has not just helped produce South American football stars, on the
European stage Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco, Xavi, Fabregas amongst many others have played Futsal to develop their skills.
The coaches had great fun and were delighted that their touch and technique stood up to the test as they took the opportunity to practice what they
Easter 2012 Holiday Course dates announced
23rd March 2012
1st Touch Football Academy have confirmed dates for their Easter 2012 holiday camps. The courses which are aimed at enjoyable learning for all abilities will take
place at Cavendish Secondary School during both weeks of the school Easter holidays.
The 3 day courses offer single days and discounts for those attending both courses.
Full details can be found on our holiday course page and can be booked online or by telephone 07799771272. Players do not need to be existing members and friends,
family or new players are always welcome on these courses.
1st Touch Football Academy in IGFA Success
17th February 2012
IGFA (www.iangilmourfootballacademy.com) hosted a football festival during half term where 1st Touch Football Academy were lucky enough to be invited to take part
alongside Next Level Coaching Academy, IGFA and Southend United.
1st Touch FA took 4 teams from 3 age groups to the event at Hove Park School and competed in the U8, U9 and U10 groups.
For some of our U8s it was their first opportunity to compete with other players form similar academies and certainly the first opportunity to play against players
from a professional football club, but they performed extremely well, competing against even the best as they lost narrowly by the odd goal in three to Southend United. During the other games the 1st
Touch boys managed to score some spectacular goals and scored a total of 15 goals in their 4 matches.
The U9s was a tough age group with Southend United being particularly strong but it was Next Level Coaching Academy that took the honours. However, our boys played
some super football and showed a steady improvement throughout he day as they worked hard to develop their game.
strongest age group however once again proved to be the U10s and their dedication and work rate at the monday night centre has seen their games develop
significantly during the last 12 months. Fielding two teams at this age, both teams played some stunning passing football which resulted in one team losing only once
(to Southend United) while the other team maintained a 100% record for the day including a fantastic 2-0 win against Southend United which saw them emerge as the champions of the U10 age
Above : 1st Touch Football Academy coach Matt Anderson collects the trophy from IGFAs Ian Gilmour
The 1st Touch Football Academy U10 squads
Our thanks once again goes to Ian Gilmour and his coaches for hosting the day and continuing to invite us to his events.
1st Touch Football Academy enjoy success at David Beckham Centre
21st December 2011
1st Touch Football Academy took two age groups to the London Soccer Dome, formally owned and known as the David Beckham Football Academy, where they enjoyed success in
tournaments featuring other Academies from the South East.
The tournaments were run by The Soccer Hub and named the Billy Wingrove Cup after the involvement of world freestyle champion Billy Wingrove. Billy and his friend
Jeremy Lynch have performed at the 2010 World Ballon D'Or event as well as with a host of world stars for Nike adverts. Billy and Jeremy displayed their skills as they treated the players and
supporters as performed a live show displaying their unique talents!!
Following the unbelievable display of skills the 1st Touch Football Academy boys were able to display skills of
their own as they competed against high class opposition from the South East in the form of FOX Football Agency (Woodford, London), IGFA (Brighton), Supreme Football Academy (Essex), Next Level
Coaching (Tunbridge Wells) and the Aylesbury Coaching School.
Above : The two 1st Touch Football Academy Squads
Our U12 squad competed in the U13 age group and were unbeaten in the group stages without conceding a goal. However following a closely fought semi final which
finished goalless after extra time they eventually lost out on penalties to the eventual winners NLCA.
The U10s went one better and although competing in the U11 age group they qualified through the group stages as runners up and won their semi final by a solitary goal
against IGFA. The boys then played exceptionally well before losing a closely fought final with FOX Football Agency after having a contentious goal line clearance ruled to have not crossed the
However, the boys in both age groups competed exceptionally well against boys a year older and received compliments on their abilities as well as offers to visit other
academies in the future.
1st Touch Football Academy attend IGFA Academy Day
19th December 2011
1st Touch Football Academy took a change from the usual holiday course format by taking teams at U7 to U14 to I.G.F.A (www.iangilmourfootballacademy.com), where they
competed in matches against other academies from Brighton and the South East including teams from Arsenal FC Academy.
Despite the wet weather over 40 boys enjoyed a great day of football where they competed well against other academies at all age groups, with particular success at
U11s where a team of our U10s produced some stunning football against their older counterparts and remained unbeaten all day as well as seeing other coaches nominate William Lyon as the age groups
player of the day.
Our thanks goes once again to Ian Gilmour for not only hosting a super event, but for once again inviting 1st Touch Football Academy to be part of it.
Ellis signs for Crawley Town FC
15th December 2011
1st Touch Football Academy is delighted at the news that 12 year old Ellis Cormack has signed for Crawley Town FC as a member of their centre of excellence. Ellis,
who has been coached by director of coaching Tobi Hutchinson since he was 8 years old played for Ratton Rangers where Hutchinson was his coach and was last season nominated player of the year at the
club. He was among the first to sign up with 1st Touch Football Academy just over a year ago and on reaching his 11th birthday he was promoted to join our elite centre for 13-15 year olds where he
continued to impress the coaches with his natural ability and hard work.
Everyone at 1st Touch and Ratton Rangers wish Ellis all the best for the future at Crawley Town FC.
1st Birthday for 1st Touch!!!!
14th November 2011
Today marks 1st Touch Football Academies, 1st birthday!! Barely any time at all seems to have passed since the idea of starting our own academy was born. A small idea
in my head on how to help youngsters in Eastbourne improve their football skills resulted in a night in front of a computer designing our logo and a few weeks of procuring equipment and kit in the
hope that the young footballers of Eastbourne felt the same as i did, in that there was a shortage of constructive, disciplined but enjoyable football sessions to take part in.
Over 50 children turned up on the opening night, many of who remain with us today and who continue to enjoy their football more than ever.
Today, and in just 12 short months, we have increased our membership by 100%. We run an advanced centre for our older boys, have a goalkeeping academy, provide after
school football clubs at Eastbournes primary schools and perhaps most encouragingly take PE lessons offering coaching and physical activity in Football, Hockey, Basketball, Tennis and Athletics at an
East Sussex School.
We now have 7 coaches working at our football centres, all of who are FA qualified and have extensive playing and coaching experience and 3 separate multi sport, PE
instructors who cover our school PE curriculum.
In the 12 months we have been running, we have enjoyed playing other academies at all age groups with the majority of our boys enjoying representing the academy and
have played Crystal Palace FC, BHA and had the honour of visiting the Arsenal FC academy teams at ages 7 to 14 on several occasions.
The coaching given to our boys has also contributed to several of them being signed by professional football clubs and we have the highest percentage success rate of
trialists to be signed as registered players of any academy in the town. A fact we are very proud of.
Tobi would like to thank his team of coaches and helpers for their efforts over the last 12 months which has been the backbone to all our success and we would all
like to extend that gratitude and thanks to all the players and parents who have supported us over the year.
We will continue to grow and to do all we can to provide top level coaching in an enjoyable environment, so that as many footballers from across the county as
possible, can improve and can take this improvement either back to their clubs, or upwards to the next level.
Crawley Town Snap up 1st Touch Elite boy Ted Laws
10th October 2011
Crawley Town have snapped up and signed 1st Touch Football Academy Elite boy, Ted Laws. Thirteen year old Ted, who had
been under the eye of Brighton and Hove Albion, was snapped up following a successful 6 week trial with the League Two pacesetters, having previously been part of our Elite 13 - 15 year old
In fact Teds connections with 1st Touch Football are two fold as he has been working with senior 1st Touch FA coach, Ben Hutchinson since he began playing at
Ratton Rangers at U9s. Ben has worked extensively at the technical side of Teds game and has seen him develop from being an out and out defender to being a player who is comfortable in possession,
capable of bring the ball out of defence and also playing in midfield.
Ben says, "I'm absolutely made up for Ted and his family. He has been a pleasure to coach and to see his progress over the last 3 seasons, makes coaching
Director of Coaching, Tobi Hutchinson added, " I've seen Ted at close hand over the last few years and he is an example to all young players. He plays the game with a
smile on his face and has an unassuming way about him with an air of quiet confidence, without ever coming across as anything other than hard working and dedicated to improving"
Ted will now play weekly Centre of Excellence matches against other football league clubs as he attempts to earn a follow on contract next season and we at 1st Touch
FA as well as Ben and his friends at Ratton Rangers, wish him every success.
Ted becomes the 7th player to progress through the hands of our 1st Touch Coaches into a Football League Clubs Academy and is the 7th from 8 triallists that we have
This success rate of 88% cannot be matched by any other academy and is proof that although we dont measure our standards by the quantity of boys that are sent on
trial, we constantly look to progress boys at the right time for them and our knowledge of the required standards within the Centres of Excellences, means we believe that the boys we do send on
trial, stand a more than even chance of being signed.
1st Touch Football Academy Weekly Centre Re-opening dates
2nd September 2011
Following our busy summer of football courses, 1st Touch Football Academy re start their weekly coaching sessions for the new term shortly.
Our 4 - 12 year old groups begin at Eastbourne Sports Park (grass) on Monday 12th September 2011. The session begins at 5pm for one hour so please arrive in time to
register and prepare properly.
Our Elite sessions for 12 - 16 year olds begin the same week, but on Thursday 15th September 2011, at Beresford House Astro from 8pm until 9pm.
The sessions will see a number of changes, with new coaches involved who have vast experience of coaching elite footballers, both within the education system and
the professional football system.
We will be hoping to maintain, and enhance, our reputation for providing top quality coaching whilst retaining our ability to make the sessions enjoyable for
Following the introduction of our player reporting scheme, our individual development plans are in place and players will be able to access this information at all
times and continually look to advance their games in line with their personal targets.
New players are always welcome and should contact Tobi Hutchinson, either via this website or by phoning him on 07799771272.
1st Touch Football Academy ELITE Week a huge success
13th August 2011
1st Touch Football Academy has just completed its first ever ELITE week training camp and reaction to the course has been fantastic from both players and
44 of our most talented players aged 8 to 15, were put through an intense week of football coaching designed to push the players beyond their comfort zones
and to imitate life at a professional football club.
Using drills and ideas from some of Europes top clubs, the players were put through their paces by a team of coaches for 4 days of football working on all
aspects of the modern game from SAQ's, balance / co ordination and core strength through to 1 v 1s, turning and changes of direction, possession and combination play, as well off the ball
movement to create space to score.
1 on 1 session using changes of direction & core strength.
The 8s and 9s group work on passing and touch technique.
Great poise and balance from one of the elite boys from one of the daily sessions on creating space to score.
1st Touch Football Academy Holiday Course Dates announced
11th July 2011
The 1st Touch Football Academy Holiday Course dates are now on the holiday course page. The Elite week will be limited spaces with invites going out shortly so please
book your place ASAP if you wish to be included on this fantastic experience!!
The 'fun' course dates are also up so make sure your place is booked soon to be included on this enjoyable course.
Elite Week Course dates soon to be finalised
26th June 2011
Following the huge success of our Easter and half term camps, 1st Touch Football Academy will shortly be announcing our details for our debut summer Elite Week
Coaching Academy to be held at Cavendish Secondary School in August 2011.
The course will mirror drills and exercises used at professional football club academies from all over the world such as Ajax, Chelsea, Boca Juniors, Santos and Inter
Milan and will be a stern test of players abilities, concentration and dedication. It will be aimed at players aged 8 - 15 who are capable of meeting the demands set by this challenging but exciting
Keep an eye out on the website for further details.
Further Games for 1st Touch Football Academy
26th June 2011
This week (29th June) sees our U11 and U12 squads visit IGFA to play further matches. With the U12s generally thought of as IGFA's strongest group of players it is
sure to be a great test of the progress made by our older players.
Early July will also see us visit Pro Direct Soccer Academy at the 3G astro surface at newly promoted Crawley Town FC. On the 15th July our U9s and U10s will travel to
Crawley and the following week (22nd July) our U11s and U12s will attend the Pro Direct centre.
This will be followed by an 11 a side fixture in Eastbourne for our elite centre of boys aged 13 - 15.
1st Touch Football Academy v IGFA
22nd June 2011
1st Touch Football Academy coaches gave up their time for free to allow players from our U8s and U9s to compete in development matches against Ian Gilmour Football
Academy (www.iangilmourfootballacademy.com) from Brighton.
Both age groups from both Academies contributed to two fantastic matches which saw some outstanding football from the boys and demonstrated to the watching parents
just how much progress has been made by the players in their time with us, as the boys showed both individual skills and fantastic team play to score some quite simply stunning goals.
Director of Coaching, Tobi Hutchinson said, "I was extremely pleased with the football that we played. With the results unimportant, the boys played with freedom to
express themselves that is all too often missing from club matches and tournament play. We attempted to play the right way throughout and the boys tried to put into practice the skills that we
teach them on a weekly basis. The result was some super football and evidence, if needed that we are doing the right things with the boys.
Some of of our passing was delightful, and what pleased me was that it was done at a good tempo, was incisive and created goal scoring opportunities against good
quality opposition and not just in unopposed areas of the pitch"
1st Touch numbers continue to grow!
18th May 2011
The 1st Touch Football Academy reputation continues to spread and this has seen membership increase again this month, with more talented footballers looking to improve
This increase has led to further additions to the coaching staff and means we now employ 7 coaches on monday nights alone, in order to keep the playing groups a
suitable size and to ensure maximum individual attation to all the players within it.
Our goalkeeping academy under the guidance of the very experienced Gavin Richards also goes from strength to strength.
1st Touch boys signed by Brighton and Hove Albion FC
11th May 2011
1st Touch Football Academy players Kye Crowhurst and Dean Richards became the latest boys to be signed by
Brighton and Hove Albion FC from our Monday night centre for their Centre of Excellence.
Following lengthy trial periods with the Championship club, both boys were among the first of the new crop of U9s to be signed ready for the start of the 2011/12
Kye (pictured) played for Eastbourne Town FC and Dean, Ratton Rangers. Their coaches, at their respective clubs, along with the 1st Touch Football Academy staff
are rightly proud of the boys achievements and the small part they all played in helping them progress.
The boys will now train twice a week with the Centre of Excellence coaches and play weekly matches against other Championship and Football League clubs
9th May 2011
Following the Easter break and the numerous bank holidays, our Monday centre for 4 - 12 year olds re opens tonight at Eastbourne Sports Park. Please arrive early for
any registrations needed and be ready to begin training at 5pm.
Easter Elite Camp
20th and 21st April 2011
The 2nd week of Easter saw 1st Touch Football Academy completely sell out its invite only 2 day elite course.
With the focus very much more on technical work and individual development than the previous 'fun' camps, the boys aged 9 - 14 underwent a thorough test of their
abilities where a higher level of performance and discipline was expected and received.
The players received a days coaching from Brighton and Hove Albions lead scout for their centre of excellence, Mark Hendon, who was impressed with the boys
committment and ability and as well as the general set up of the Academy.
The two days were a massive success and enjoyed by everyone. We look forward to the summer where we will look to extend this and increase the capacity to allow more
players to benefit from the coaching.
1st Touch Football Academy v Arsenal FC Academy
14th, 16th and 18th April
Easter provided 3 of our age groups the fantastic opportunity to visit the Arsenal FC Academy to play matches against the Arsenal academy teams.
Through our close link and friendship with I.G.F.A. (www.iangilmourfootballacademy.com) we were invited to join Ian and his teams as a joint venture to play the games through Ian and his
son, who is signed to the Gunners until he is 16.
Our U10s were first to travel
to Halesend Sports Ground where, despite the boys initially being a little too star struck (to say the least) we enjoyed 3 games against some of the top young
players in Europe.
Despite conceding a few goals (which was to be expected!!) 1st Touch players managed to score several of their own as Isaac Hutchinson (6), Charlie Botting (2),
Charley Kendall and Jake Hutchinson all got themselves a moment of glory by scoring goals against the countries elite.
Above : One of our U10s Squads with their Arsenal counterparts
The U8s gave a fantastic account
of themselves and drew admiring comments from the Arsenal staff. Playing 4 sessions of 20 mins the boys did themsleves proud as they managed to play some constructive football and enjoyed some fine
individual moments. Despite a sometimes onesided scoreline we were rewarded for our efforts with goals from Jake Hutchinson (2), Jack Bashford (2), Toby Hodgkinson and Jake Bendle.
Right : One of our U8 squads with Head Coach Tobi Hutchinson
Left : 1st Touch Football Academy U8s, alongside I.G.F.A and Arsenal FC
Our sternest test came on monday where our U13/14 youngsters from our Thursday Centre, provided the opposition for Arsenals elite U13s prior to their international
tournament in Ireland, against other premiership teams and some of Europes top clubs. The Arsenal boys were simply sensational as they stroked the ball around confidently almost scoring at will and
gave the boys an experience to remember if not to savour!!
Above : Our U13/14 squad with coaches Tobi Hutchinson and Reece Head and the elite Arsenal squad prior to their trip to Ireland
The trips provided evidence, if any was needed, that Arsene Wenger and his staff are good for our game as the talent on show from some of these boys was simply out of
this world and will surely one day grace our premiership.
Our thanks go to Ian Gilmour and his Academy (IGFA) for inviting us and to the Arsenal staff for their hospitality in making us feel welcome and allowing us the
opportunity for some boys to experience football at the highest level. For many of the boys it was the chance of a lifetime and something most will never experience.
Easter Holiday Camp
15th April 2011
Following on from our hugely successful debut course at half term, 1st Touch Football Academy managed to increase attendance at Easter and attract over 50 boys aged 4
- 12 to our Easter Course.
Using our fun based games, drills and exercises the boys focused on 1v1s and finishing as they enjoyed their football whilst learning and improving
Next week sees a sold out invite only 2 day 'elite' course for 34 of our older, more focused players who will receive more in depth attention to their alround
More details of our summer holiday camps will follow shortly....
1st Touch Football Academy v Southend United Centre of Excellence
12th April 2011
1st Touch Football Academy's elite group of U13/14s had their first ever test in match situations as they travelled to Southend United to play their centre of
The boys have been training in their elite sessions on thursday nights for 12 weeks now and their ability to keep possession drew huge praise from the Southend United
1st Touch took an early lead as Max Parks finished off a flowing move. The game saw some fantastic football as the Southend boys increased the quality in an effort to
draw level however Max Parks scored again to give us a well deserved 2-0 lead.
The boys tired considerably in the final quarter as Southend took control and kept the ball better and they ratteld the woodwork on more than one occasion. However
they only managed to pull one goal back as we held onto a narrow 2-1 win.
Irrespective of the score, we can be well pleased with our efforts and the manner in which we played the game. We kept possession for long periods and the Southend
United staff have said they would welcome more games with us in the summer for various age groups.
1st Touch Players : Niall Cheshire, Tyler O Callaghan, Rhys Hadfield, Rhyle Ovenden, Jon Reeves, Max Parks, Matt Bosley, Matt
Wheeler, Harry Harris and Sam Wheeler.
1st Touch Football Academy Matches
26th March 2011
1st Touch Football Academy is delighted to announce that over the Easter holidays we will be sending sides to play matches at both Arsenal and Southend
On the 14th April 2011 our U10 squad will travel to the Arsenal Academy venue in Halesend where they will train inside the David Rocastle Dome before playing matches
against the Arsenal Academy boys. Then on the 16th April we will repeat the trip with our U8 squad.
Our U13/14s will also be visiting the Academy on 18th April 2011 they will also be travelling to Southend to play Southend United Centre of Excellence on 12th
1st Touch boys begin 6 week trials at Brighton and Hove Albion
16th March 2011
Two of our talented lads have begun 6 week trials at Brighton and Hove Albions Centre of Excellence. Kye Crowhurst and Charley Kendall, both of Eastbourne Town FC (U8s
and U10s respectively) were recommended for trial by our director of coaching Tobi Hutchinson after impressing with their ability and commitment in recent weeks.
Hutchinson says, "Both boys have earned the right to see if they have what it takes to progress to the next level."
"Anyone can get a trial and anyone can send a player on trial, but you have to understand the required standard of C of E football and i refuse to just send
anyone. I will only send boys to the club if i feel they have an equal chance of being at the right level"
"They will now train and play for several weeks and how they do is entirely upto them and how they perform and conduct themselves."
"We wish them all the very best and hope they enjoy the experience regardless of the end result"
1st Touch Football Academy new Sponsor
14th March 2011
1st Touch Football Academy are pleased to announce their first ever sponsorship deal.
specialist search and selection consultancy based in the heart of London have been kind enough to sponsor the 1st Touch Football Academy team of coaches with a full range of Errea Coaching Kit to
ensure our image is as smart and professional as our coaching.
The Academy has gone from strength to strength in recent months, growing in numbers, stature and reputation and we would like to thank Peterson March for ensuring we
maintain and enhance this reputation both on and off the field.
For full details of Peterson March please visit our sponsor page.
1st Touch Football Academy Kit / Merchandise
8th March 2011
Following the rapid growth of the 1st Touch Football Academy and our upcoming programme of games, we are going to have
to place an advanced order of academy kits.
The training kit purchased is on our "Merchandise" page and is worn when representing the academy in matches. If you still require kit, rain tops or sweatshirts
(other items on request) please make us aware as soon as possible in order for me to place a bulk order with the suppliers to ensure the earliest delivery possible and that it is here in time
Please bear in mind delivery for certain sizes can be upto 4 weeks.
1st Touch Football Academy to visit Arsenal FC Academy!!!
8th March 2011
1st Touch Football Academy have managed to arrange games for several of their squads to visit Arsenal FC at their
academy base in Halesend North London.
Through our close links with the Ian Gilmour academy in Hove, Ian has been good enough to invite us to join his academy in taking teams to Arsenal FC during the Easter
Full details of dates and age groups will follow soon as we look forward to this exciting opportunity to visit one of the top academies in the country, possibly
Easter Holiday Courses now confirmed.
8th March 2011
Following the huge succes of our half term camp, the dates for our Easter holiday courses have now been confirmed.
We will be running our fun holiday camp on 13th, 14th and 15th April at Ocklynge School. This will be aimed at ages 4 - 13 and will be fun based football activities
for all abilities.
We will also be running a 2nd course on 20th and 21st April 2011 at the same venue, which will be invite only, for ages 8 - 14 and will focus more on coaching and
development of the individuals.
Full details and pricing plans are available on our Holiday Course page
Half Term Holiday Camp a great success!
25th February 2011
1st Touch Football Academy enjoyed a fun filled 3 days in their first ever holiday camp.
Over the 3 days, 47 boys aged 5 - 13 enjoyed a fun packed course, which focused on continued learning whilst simply having fun playing football.
The boys enjoyed skill based games, timed challenges and mini tournaments, using indoor and outdoor facilities at Ocklynge School (photos in our images
Please keep an eye on our holiday course section and make sure you book early for our Easter Camps!
U10s Squad enjoy fixture at I.G.F.A
11th February 2011
Our U10s squad visited the highly respected Ian Gilmour Football Academy (Brighton and Hove www.iangilmourfootballacademy.com ) this evening and despite a
narrow 4-3 defeat left with our reputation enhanced, having given a more than good account of ourselves.
The squad, having never played together before and featuring two U9 players, played some fantastic football and demonstrated a high level of footballing ability
throughout an entertaining encounter.
Rohan Collins opened the scoring in the first quarter before IGFA hit back with a well worked goal. Collins restored the 1st Touch FA lead shortly after and by the end
of the 2nd quarter we had raced into what looked like a comfortable 3-1 lead as Dante Hutchinson finished well.
However despite creating plenty of good chances 1st Touch FA found the IGFA 'keeper in fine form and were unable to increase their lead.
IGFA soon punished our inability to turn possession into goals and they hit back with 2 well worked efforts of their own before hitting 1st Touch on the break in
the closing minutes to clinch a narrow 4-3 win.
We would like to thank IGFA's Ian Gilmour for welcoming our lads to their venue and we look forward to returning the favour in the near future as they
hopefully bring various age groups back to Eastbourne for further matches.