Academy education officer Nathan Fawley says that his role focuses on developing Rovers Academy players to ensure they become excellent young men as well as excellent football players.
With the help of Academy psychologist Dr Tom Mitchell, a curriculum has been designed to support the Youth Development Phase players (age 14-16) on and off the pitch throughout their time at the football club.
Nathan said: “We aim to use an holistic approach with regards to off field training through the use of classroom sessions in which players will focus on a different life skill every four weeks. This culminates in the delivery of classroom-based sessions in which the players discuss and complete tasks around a focused life skill.
“We cover lots of aspects such as communication, teamwork and confidence. All follow the theme of the eight pillars programme that has been implemented by Dr Mitchell with regards to his work in sports psychology.
“We look at how they can be applied to football but also to other walks of life. All of the pillars have strong links to education.”
Not only is Nathan responsible for preparing and delivering lessons, he works closely with the youth team players to ensure that their education outside of the club remains at a high standard.
He added: “I help the players ensure that they are on track with their school work, attitude and behaviour and build strong links with schools and parents.
“My overall aim is to help the players use the life skills to develop a well-rounded approach to their everyday life and become respected members of a modern day society of which they represent the club at the heart of it.
“It helps prepare them with the skills needed for further study and even life beyond football.”