St Albans Football Academy pair set to join up with England for Centenary Shield

St Albans Football Academy duo Kyle Ajayi and Daniel Gould will join up with England.

St Albans Football Academy duo Kyle Ajayi and Daniel Gould will join up with England. - Credit: Archant

Two young footballers from Oaklands St Albans Football Academy (SAFA) have been selected to play for England schoolboys.

Goalkeeper Daniel Gould and midfield man Kyle Ajayi will join up with the national team ahead of the prestigous Centenary Shield, a known proving ground for some of the country’s top talent.

The pair, both from Luton, came to Oaklands College from Lealands High School in Sundon Park, choosing to study alongside the opportunity to join SAFA.

The academy programme combines high quality sports training with academic achievement, combining intense training with classroom study.

Gould said: “This is an incredible opportunity now to step up beyond college, beyond the county and now to be part of a team with some of the best of our age in the country.

“We’re still at college so to know we have the support from our tutors and coaches to help us manage when we’re away is great.”

Ajayi added: “I study plumbing which is a complete contrast to my love of football but being the academy at college gives me a responsibility for both. The discipline, commitment and dedication you need for football will help in your future career.

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“You have no idea where any of this will lead and it’s good to know you have options.

“I will have the job security of a trade whilst also having this amazing opportunity in football.”

Their first international training event will take place in Valencia before the team plays start their Centenary Shield games with a home game against Ireland on March 16 at Luton Town’s Kenilworth Road.

College principal Zoe Hancock said: “To have two students with the opportunity of playing such a high level of football is a credit to their commitment and ability, supported by the staff in the academy.

“We wish them every success on their journey with the ESFA.”