When people talk of sport in Independent schools it is often thought that rugby is the dominant activity on the beautifully manicured playing fields. Whilst this is certainly the case in some parts of the country, it is also true that the national game of Football, has an equally long and rich history in the Independent sector. The game is positively thriving, with recent international footballers such as Frank Lampard, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fraser Forster and Michael Keane all having played on the Independent school circuit. Repton, having played our first football match in 1894 and run a school 1st XI since 1866, is one of the oldest and most competitive football schools on this circuit boasting England U21 star and Derby County midfielder Will Hughes amongst its alumni.
Old Reptonian Will Hughes (back row second in from the left) who currently plays for Derby County FC and England 21.
Although matches have been played at Repton for over 120 years the experience of a footballer at Repton is incredibly different from even ten years ago. These days the players have access to the sort of development tools you might find in a professional academy. As well as beautifully kept grass pitches, a Repton footballer will train five times per week, receive specialist goalkeeping coaching, undertake professionally led strength and conditioning sessions in our brand new on-site gym and, from September 2017 be able to use video analysis provided by Hudl to help their personal development and game understanding.
Team photograph from 1888 featuring C B Fry
Repton is one of the few schools to play in a national league, with high-quality matches as far afield as Berkshire, Surrey, Somerset and Sussex: we are willing to travel to ensure we have the best quality opposition in the country. On top of this there are developmental tours every two years to train and play abroad with a tour of Lisbon in 2015 being followed by Madrid, with training at both Real and Atletico, in October 2017.
The strength of the Repton programme has attracted boys from all over the country to join the school, both at thirteen and sixteen years old. There are increasing numbers of parents who want their children to develop their football alongside a high-quality A-level programme of study. This opens up several potential routes, whether it be in the professional game, at semi-professional level or, as increasing numbers of leavers are looking to do, secure football scholarships to US universities.
There are scholarship opportunities available for talented footballers with the school also offering financial bursaries to help a wider range of income groups access the opportunities Repton has to offer. Director of Football, Matt Carrington, is always keen to hear from potential football scholars to see if Repton can help them to achieve their goals as they have done with so many boys in the past.
Repton School's 2015-16 1st XI football team
The successful and consistent development of players has led to a significant level of national and regional success for all age groups. The 1st XI, who will play between September and May each year, have been both Derbyshire and Staffordshire champions for the past two years. They have also held the ISFA Northern 8s title for three years running and have won the prestigious national ISFA Sixes title twice in the last seven years.