Alex scores union with top French football club

Alex Harrap and Eilish McGeehan (s)

Alex Harrap and Eilish McGeehan (s)

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Children in the Ribble Valley, and across the UK, will be given a golden opportunity to learn the beautiful game from some of the world’s top coaches ... thanks to Clitheroe’s Alex Harrap.

For Alex’s company has secured an exclusive deal with the Paris Saint-Germain Academy in Paris to create academies across the United Kingdom.

Alex (28) whose company, Accord International Summer Schools, offers English language courses and sports across the UK and Europe, plans to open two academies in the South of England and one in Rossall on the Fylde coast. And Alex is already making plans to bring an academy to his hometown in the future.

He said: “We are the first European club to have an academy in the UK and we will have Paris Saint-Germain coaches. This is great news and is wonderful opportunity for so many youngsters.

“I am already looking at potential sites and venues to bring the academy to the Ribble Valley.”

A former pupil of Waddington and West Bradford Primary and Ribblesdale High Schools, Alex studied hospitality management at Manchester Met University and after graduating worked in a variety of different roles before joining Accord, which is run by his mum Natalie Harrap and her partner Francois Pfeiffer.

Alex took over the management side of the school and grew the idea of offering football coaching alongside languages to the children.

Alex said: “The focus is on offering the coaching to children of all abilities, not just the best or most talented players.

“Boys and girls of all ages will have this fantastic opportunity to learn to play the game the Paris Saint-Germain way which values the importance of encouraging players to work together and enjoy possession of the ball and also develop their own individual skills.”

In keeping with the ethos of Accord, which teaches languages and sports children at the UK summer camps will also be taught French.

Around 400 youngsters between the ages of eight and 17 of different nationalities are eligible to take part and the course start on Sunday, July 3rd, and run until Saturday, August 13th.

A keen footballer and cricketer who used to play until injury forced him to stop, Alex will be running the academies with the help of his girlfriend Eilish McGeehan, who is also from the Ribble Valley and heads up the marketing for Accord.

Alex said: “There is going to be a lot of interest in this partnership due to the massive following that football has.”