Promising young Margate defender, Ben Swift, has been selected to be part of England International and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy – and his progress will be screened on the Sky Sports channel.
Ben is one of 42 talented youngsters picked to visit City Football Academy, the training complex of Manchester City FC located on the Etihad Campus, for a five-day residential programme.
A host of professional clubs will be represented at the V9 Academy, ranging from top domestic British clubs and clubs from further afield in Europe and beyond, all in search of the next Jamie Vardy.
Ben will be evaluated technically, tactically, physically, and mentally, leaving the residential with an individual development plan to help the talented centre-back further progress his game.
Margate fans will be able to watch Ben’s progress as the Sky Sports cameras will be filming during the residential programme in June.
Ben said: “I really appreciate the opportunity from V9 and Watty for putting me forward. I’ve learnt so much during my time at Margate and I’m looking forward to spending the week at Manchester City’s facilities and developing my game with the V9 coaches and see what happens!”
Lee Tucker, Head of Recruitment at V9 Academy, said: “After being made aware of Ben’s progress whilst at Margate I spoke to Steve Watt who was very complimentary about Ben’s ability and most of all potential. Steve has been a very supportive advocate of V9 which made this an extremely smooth process in Ben’s recruitment onto the Academy.
“Over the six days that Ben will be with us he will be exposed to elite level coaching with our coaching team of David Coles, John Doolan, Simon Ireland, Chris Ramsey, Robbie Stockade and Alan Stubbs. He will also hear from experienced professionals from within the game as the programme includes an extended team of guest speakers, sport psychologists and sports performance coaches.”
“Ben will be staying in the Manchester City first team accommodation, eating, sleeping and being around the facilities usually occupied and used by the likes of Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne. He will play in showcase games which last year attracted over 70 scouts from around the UK and beyond.”
Praise for Margate FC
Tucker also praised Margate for developing young players, as they selected Ben following his development so far this season.
He said: “We are impressed with Margate’s philosophy of identifying young players who have ambition to develop and move up the football league pyramid whether that is with or through the support and expertise offered by Steve Watt and his coaching team.
“Non-league football is an excellent environment for young players to really get to know what competitive football is like and develops certain characteristics we feel are invaluable for a successful career in the game, as well as being something football league clubs acknowledge as useful attributes when recruiting players.
“We hope V9 creates the platform that really helps such players to show their talent and potential. Regardless of getting offered a deal by a professional league club or not we are sure that Ben will have an unforgettable experience at the Etihad in June.”
Click here to learn more about the V9 Academy and follow @V9Academy to see how Ben and the boys get on!