Brand new partnership between CACT and Ashford United Football Club


Charlton Athletic Community Trust and Ashford United FC (AUFC) are pleased to announce a football and sports development partnership which will see CACT use the Homelands as their South Kent Community Hub.

This will see CACT deliver a FREE two-year further education Post-16 Football Academy for all players.

  • CACT in partnership with SCL Education will deliver free Post-16 football and education programme
  • Homelands, the home of AUFC in Kingsnorth, to be used as CACT South Kent Community Hub
  • Programmes delivered at the South Kent Community Hub will be open to all the community, with toddler sessions through to walking football being delivered in association with AUFC
  • Programmes to start in early October

After the successful launch last week of the CACT diversionary activity project, in partnership with Ashford Council and Kent Police, CACT are proud to announce that several football and sports development programmes are coming to Ashford. Based at Homelands and delivered in association with Ashford United FC, CACT will bring their expertise in delivering, fun, safe and advanced sessions for all within the community.

This will include a further education programme for all of those leaving secondary school this year. The free full-time education course will be delivered by SCL ( who will run a Level 2 and 3 NCFE in Sport, with up to 280 UCAS points available for university upon completion of the course. 

The course offers an introduction into working in the sports industry and includes modules on nutrition, sports psychology, injuries, coaching and business within sport.

The first students are expected to start in September 2022.

Players in the football academy will train at Homelands, with qualified UEFA and FA CACT coaches, and play weekly affiliated league fixtures in a selected league.

Past students of the academy CACT already runs in London have gone on to play semi-professional football and moved to the US to train alongside studying at American universities.

Michael Ward, Head of Football and Sports Development (CACT) said this of the partnership:

“CACT are really excited about this new opportunity, we will be working closely with AUFC to deliver football and sports activities for the whole community in Ashford. We will bring our knowledge and experience to ensure a fun and safe environment to learn, utilise links to the famed CAFC Academy to run an Advanced centre for talented players, and use Homelands to deliver sessions for community groups such as the elderly, migrants and families.

“The post 16 football and education programme will offer current Year 11 students an excellent further education pathway for next year. The students will study a comprehensive course and have opportunities to develop and improve as players in a football environment. We have our first football assessment during the October half-term, click here for further information or contact our south Kent football development officer Richard Styles.

Paul Bowden Brown, Director of Football (AUFC) spoke on behalf of the club:

“I would firstly like to thank Michael Ward for the professional manner in which our agreement took place. I heard that CACT was establishing themselves in the Borough of Ashford and didn’t want to end up competing against a club of this stature. After several progressive meetings in which Michael was very impressed with the owners vision for the clubs development at Homelands, we have agreed to forge a partnership and I think this a fantastic coup for the club.

“With their already successful model that runs in the Greenwich and Bexley areas, it will help to bring in the local community via new initiatives to The Homelands as well as new income streams to support the owner, which was one of my objectives when I joined the club. Of course, it will help us in our climb to sustain its promotion aims too.

“Ashford is a fast-developing community, and we want as many of the current and new tenants coming along to see the facilities, we have on offer footballing wise and on the function suites side of the club.

“We are looking forward to working alongside CACT and will be advertising the new initiatives as soon as they become available.”

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