We offer a range of different opportunities for students because we know one-size doesn't fit all, so why should a university experience?
It is well documented that presently, US collegiate soccer with its limited season and oversized rosters means little true development opportunities for many talented players, restricting student’s optimal development.
Across all our Academies, our goals remains the same, to provide the world's best integration of university education and football experience so students can reach their potential in the classroom and on the field.
On both sides of the pond, our Academy locations allow every student the opportunity to study, live, and thrive.
Here's a breakdown of each university
As well as what you can expect, to help you determine if this is a good fit for you.
The University of Gloucestershire
Located in Gloucestershire, England, the University of Gloucestershire is considered the UK’s most sustainable university (People and Planet League 2019). Across three specialized campuses, Gloucestershire is home to over 10,000 students, over 80 competitive sports, clubs, and societies, with over 4,000 placements and internships completed by students. Set in the idyllic countryside with close proximity to the iconic Cotswolds and Shakespeare Country, Gloucestershire offers the best of a small city with the beauty of England's green and pleasant lands.
The University of Chester
The University of Chester is home to 20,000 students from 130 different countries, with over 300 courses offered across 30 programs. While studying in the UK you will be able to earn your undergraduate degree in just three years. Most undergraduate degrees include a five-week work placement in your second year anywhere in the world!
The University of Chester aims to support and develop global citizens. Offering over 300 degree options across three specialized campuses, UoC has academic opportunities for everyone. Focusing on quality, most degree programs take a duration of three years to complete. In addition to its unique culture, Chester prides itself on offering a variety of student support options. From advice to personal guidance, the University wants all students to have a memorable experience during their course of study.
New Mexico State University
The UDA-US Academy follows the success and demand of the UDA-UK Academies located in Chester and Gloucestershire, England. The UDA-US Academy is open to students from around the world seeking to further their soccer development through multiple pathways, while studying at NMSU.
Even with a lot of great options, determining what may be a good fit for you isn't always easy. Know that you don't have to do any of this alone. We strongly encourage you to reach out to Recruitment Director, Seamus Reilly with SReilly@udauk.org or +1 614-421-8084 with any questions.
If you're interested in any particular academy, the best way to learn more is to attend a recruitment event. If you're unable to attend in-person, we recommend signing up for an online information session where we will answer all of your burning questions about a UDA Academy.
If a UK Academy specifically interests you, we recommend checking out the degree courses offered at Chester and Gloucestershire to get an understanding of what program might be the best fit for you.
By Nathan John and Farman Siddiqui
Richard O’Kelly has been involved with professional football for over thirty years and has extensive experience both as a professional footballer and as a coach. He has managed some of the country’s top players at a variety of different clubs ranging from non-league Hereford United to Premier League club Aston Villa, where his most recent position was as Dean Smith’s assistant head coach.
The Birmingham born man gave an exclusive Q&A interview session to the UDA student-athletes where he answered questions on his experiences at coaching at the top level of the game. In accordance with UDA at UOG’s Training Programme, Richard offered his insight to the aspiring graduates about just what it takes to make it and what separates the top players from the others.
Given the close connection between Aston Villa Football Club and UDA at UOG, Richard was invited to give his expertise on elite level football, as part of the UDA Visiting Coach Programme, which acted as a fascinating eye-opener for the students to learn more and have the opportunity to ask questions of a professional coach.
“The biggest thing is the attitude” said Richard when asked his first question about what separates the top players from the rest. “It was nothing to do with ability, it was just attitude. They treat every training session, everything they do to the best of their ability. Their reaction to mistakes is also key as it happens to everyone. Turn up on time and make sure you respect your teammates and coaching staff.”
Richard has fond memories from his playing days, particularly his time in the third division. His advice for younger footballers in the same position is discipline. “It was difficult sometimes to get to training for me. But I always made it when I could.”
Aston Villa have had a roller-coaster of a time ever since gaining promotion in 2019. Richard credits Villa for their opportunity and when asked his favourite memory at the club, he replied “The 7th goal against Liverpool! But in all seriousness, it would have to be winning the Championship.” He was further asked who he saw as the best player he coached at the club and his reply was almost instant “Grealish.” Jack Grealish was signed by English champions Manchester City for a record British transfer fee. “If he was here right now, he would jump into the training pitch with all of you. He had much enthusiasm for the game. He’s also a really good person.”
The UDA Visiting Coach Programme focuses on tactical, physical, technical and psychological parts of the game, offering a multi-dimensional look at football.