SCL and West Ham
United Foundation
creating opportunities


Please enter your search term below

SCL continue to deliver opportunities for young people working with West Ham Foundation after agreeing a five year extension to their contract.

Using the power of sport to educate, SCL, the leading providers of education through sport, and West Ham strive to create and improve pathways within football for the next generation. 

The Hammers work closely with SCL to provide opportunities for 16-18 year olds to complete their Level 2 or Level 3 qualification in sport, whilst training full-time at their state-of-the-art Chadwell Heath and Beckton facilities.

The east London club has four teams participating in the SCL U19 Development League, with West Ham United Foundation’s Second Chance Academy Chadwell Heath Blues lifting the Champion of Champions title in May, thanks to a 3-1 triumph over Hednesford Town. Victory that evening capped off a remarkable quadruple success for their Second Chance Academy, who also added the league title, Challenge Cup and U19 National League to their honours list. 

Success on the pitch is fuelled by the Foundation’s commitment with SCL to educate the youngsters in the classroom as Jimmy Hampsheir, the Foundation’s Senior Academy Integration Officer told fcbusiness Magazine. 

“The boys are very lucky to be on this study programme as it offers them a pathway to not only become a professional footballer, but the opportunity to branch out into other areas of the industry 

“It’s my job to grow and support our workforce within Football Development and get the players through their coaching qualifications and obtaining their talent ID. They may go down the scouting route, coaching or even both whilst some go down other avenues like officiating or perhaps pursue a career in sports media. 

“As you can see, there are a wide range of opportunities and I actually didn’t realise how many opportunities there were prior to taking up my role at the club.” said Hampsheir, who is already planning the recruitment process for next season. 

“It’s incredible what the club does for young people and it’s great to have the support of SCL throughout the programme.”

Jim Hampshier

“In the age of social media, it’s refreshing to be able to pick up the phone and speak directly to SCL. They are very friendly and fair, and what I do like about the SCL programme is the way in which we can develop the players through the power of sport and education.” 

Last season’s trophy laden campaign was down to a strong team culture, which encouraged hard work both on and off the pitch.  

Reflecting on his side’s achievements, Hampsheir added: “The league was extremely competitive and tough, and you couldn’t take anything for granted. 

“The biggest thing was to keep the boys’ feet on the ground, especially when we were at the top of the table. We assembled a fairly new squad, which was exciting and towards the end of the season we were playing up to four games a week – with that amount of football I thought it might be too much for them. 

“However, full-credit to the ones who worked extremely hard and they deserved their success in the end.” 

Hampsheir is already planning for next term and is proud to see a number of success stories emanating from the programme. 

He said: “We have five players who are about to move into professional clubs and as an example, we recently had a boy called Reuben who was a great player with a great attitude. We supported him through his qualifications and his talent ID Level 1. 

“From a playing point of view he had a few offers, but he didn’t want to take them – he’s actually about to go on trial with a pro club and he now works full-time as a coach for our Foundation. He could go on to become a scout or a fully-fledged coach if he keeps going, there really are no boundaries to what he can go on to achieve.  

“The Second Chance Academy is already liaising with SCL in organising trials for potential players to join the club. The ones that join this programme are all from mixed backgrounds – we’ve got some tough lads from east London and we’ve also from Portugal, Romania, France, Italy and Brazil, so we’ve got players from a diverse range of backgrounds.” 

Enthused at the prospect of developing the next generation of youngsters, who hail from all corners of the globe, Hampsheir added: “We are lucky to have fantastic facilities at West Ham and the players have excellent staff around them to complement that. 

“We try to create a united environment where everyone can thrive which includes the players, coaches and scouts.”

Jim Hampsheir

“The lads get to use the artificial pitches, which proved invaluable last season when we had heavy snow and temperatures of minus six. We’ve also got access to the gym and they have a nice place to relax and have their lunch in between sessions. 

“It’s great to work in a culture that encourages participants to express themselves and the key thing throughout their time here is the ability to enjoy the programme. 

“We support the players with their diet and the right standard of coaching and conditioning. Training is intense and that will really show at the end of games when other teams are starting to flag.

“Ultimately we will give the players the highest possible level of coaching and each player has their own individual plan that they need to go through.” 

The Hammers’ first team has a rich tradition of developing players through their academy ranks with the likes of Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand strutting their stuff on the world stage. The Second Chance Academy might be a unique and separate branch of the club, but the values remain the same. 

“We’re quite strict with them and expect more and more over time as we look to take them to the next level,” said Hampsheir.  

“Once they buy in to what we are trying to do, the lads can go on to achieve whatever they want.” 

As well as educating the players, the programme develops the players’ life skills, an aspect which Hampsheir is proud of. 

“It’s been an enjoyable season, not just because of the success that we’ve had, but we have a laugh too and make it a pleasure to come into work.”