Blackpool FC Community Trust’s BTEC Level 3 Football Academy A team started the 2017/18 season with a 5-3 defeat at home to local rivals Preston North End. As part of Blackpool FC Community Trust’s BTEC Level 3 Football Academy programme, students train 3 times a week and play 11 a-side and Futsal fixtures every week against other professional clubs. The Seasiders fielded a strong team and there were debuts for new students Kyle Townsend and Luke Thomas. Blackpool opened the scoring with Lewis Martin, who calmly slotted past the goalkeeper after a fantastic through ball from Luke Davison. But the Whites equalised moments before half-time to make score 1-1. The second half was as topsy-turvy as it possibly could have been. Blackpool’s Lewis Martin grabbed his second goal to restore the lead for the Tangerines but Preston replied almost instantly before taking the lead for the first time. With The Seasiders trailing 2-3, Luke Harris converted a penalty to level the score 3-3. With minutes to go, Blackpool’s fitness levels proved costly as the team ran out of steam which allowed Preston to score two late goals and secure a 5-3 victory. The Trust’s Senior Education Officer Mark Whalley, who managed the team, was happy with the performance but agreed that lack of fitness cost the team in the end. Mark said, “We played some really good football and it was good to see the new lads settle into the team. On another day we would’ve buried our chances and won comfortably. It’s time for the lads to improve their fitness and come back stronger.” Blackpool FC Community Trust are still recruiting for our BTEC Level 3 programmes. For more information, call 01253 348691.